MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Shlemenko Fails Drug Test

Maiquel-Falcao And another one bites the dust. As first reported by John Morgan of, former Bellator middleweight champion tested positive for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio following his knockout win over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133, which took place Feb. 13 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. According to Jason Floyd of, who spoke with California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster, Shlemenko has been suspended indefinitely, fined $2,500, and his win over Manhoef will be turned into a No Contest. The length of Shlemenko’s suspension has yet to be determined, but it’s likely going to be anywhere from nine months to one year when it’s all said and done. The news of Shlemenko testing positive is very disappointing and, dare I say, shocking. Like Anderson Silva a few weeks ago, Shlemenko wasn’t the type of guy that fans and media figured would be using performance enhancing drugs based on his physique and based on the fact he seems like a quiet, hard working guy who has gotten by over the years just on his natural ability and not much more. So as far as the news go, it’s pretty surprising, to say the least. There is no proof that Shlemenko has been using PEDs for longer than the Manhoef fight, but this positive test makes you wonder if he has, especially since he’s been a guy who has historically been very active in his fight career, someone who hasn’t dealt with many injuries. I’m not sure what exactly Shlemenko was using PEDs for in particular, but if it was to heal injuries so he could stay active, it seems possible. It’s also possible that Shlemenko was trying to gain a strength edge after he was outpowered in his previous two Bellator fights against Tito Ortiz and Brandon Halsey. Both those fighters were huge middleweights and Shlemenko, someone who should be fighting at welterweight, was taken down in both those fights and submitted very quickly. So perhaps this had something to do with that. Regardless of the reason why, and at the end of the day we’ll likely never find out for sure what exactly the reasons behind Shlemenko’s PED use were, the guy cheated, and he needs to be punished for breaking the rules. I think a one-year suspension, at a minimum, should be handed down to him, but I trust Foster to make the right, fair call. And one more thing: a few years ago, fans and media says Bellator fighters aren’t drug tested, but I think it’s pretty clear now that they indeed are, and so I hope we don’t have to read anything more about Bellator fighters getting away with stuff. The fact is, drug testing is stepping up in the sport, and if you are cheating, you are likely to get caught these days, and as far as I’m concerned, this is a great thing for MMA and I hope the drug testing becomes even more stiff so even more cheaters are weeded out and the sport’s image can change for the better.

Written by Adam Martin.

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