Then, the interview took a very dark turn. Emerson, who on Friday is scheduled to compete against Joe Taimanglo on the preliminary card of Bellator 116 at California’s Pechanga Resort and Casino, spoke about a running feud with UFC flyweight Ian McCall and made a very serious accusation.
With his gaze cast downward, Emerson seethed over McCall and said he was indirectly responsible for the death of Shane del Rosario, the UFC heavyweight who suddenly passed away this past December.
“Shane was my best friend – we were all friends – and there’s a lot of facts and stuff that I’m not going to bring up, but I hold him indirectly responsible for what happened to Shane,” Emerson said.
Del Rosario, who lived in Newport Beach, Calif., died from natural causes, including complications from a rare heart disorder. But a trio of illegal drugs also were found in his system and contributed to his death, according to a coroner’s office.
McCall shared an apartment with Del Rosario and reportedly found the fighter unconscious. Del Rosario, who had recently withdrawn from a UFC 168 fight with Guto Inocente, was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced brain-dead on Dec. 3.
Jason House, who manages McCall and also repped Del Rosario, declined comment through an associate when contacted Monday by MMAjunkie.
Emerson and McCall once trained together in Southern California at Team Oyama. But this past year, their relationship took a nasty turn when McCall on Twitter accused Emerson of sleeping with his wife.