MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Four Bellator Fighters Fail Drug Tests

Emerson Four Bellator fighters failed their drug tests at Bellator 127, which took place October 3 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, according to Andy Foster, the Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission. The four fighters who tested positive for a banned substance are Rob Emerson, Keith Berry, Fernando Gonzalez, and Nick Moghaddam. The news was first reported by Emerson, who was defeated by Rafael Silva via decision, tested positive for Modafinil, which is a drug that helps treat narcolepsy. Since he lost his fight, the positive drug test won’t affect his record. As for Berry, not only did he test positive for marijuana, he also tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. His split decision win over Joe Pachecho was changed to a No Contest as a result of the positive test. Gonzalez tested positive for marijuana. According to, Gonzalez’ first-round knockout win over Karo Parisyan will be changed to a No Contest. And finally, Moghaddam tested positive for elevated testosterone levels as well as for marijuana, but since he lost his fight to Ray Sloan anyways the positive drug tests won’t impact his record. All the fighters who tested positive were fined and indefinitely suspended. Over the years we’ve heard media as well as fighters such as Ben Askren criticize the lack of drug testing in Bellator. The promotion often visits smaller venues affiliated with poorer commissions that simply don’t have the financial backing to do drug tests (especially the more complicated ones), so a lot of times in the past Bellator fighters weren’t drug tested. That changed in recent years after all the criticism, and we’ve even seen name fighters such as Doug Marshall, for example, fail their drug tests and have it come out publicly. With Scott Coker taking over for Bjorn Rebney and theoretically more often heading to different venues in states such as California where drug testing is more prevalent, I do expect more Bellator fighters to start testing positive in the near future, and obviously the four fighters who failed their tests at Bellator 127 is a good start of catching those who try to cheat the system.

Written by Adam Martin.

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