Despite ban, Shlemenko to fight in Russia

January 23, 2016

MMA Junkie reports that former Bellator middleweight Alexander Shlemenko is slated to fight in Russia despite a three-ban by the California State Athletic Commission for alleged steroid use.

Last June, Shlemenko was suspended 3 years and fined $10,000 by the California State Atheltic Commission.  It was the harshest penalty against an MMA fighter since it began regulating the sport.

Shlemenko filed a lawsuit in California seeking judicial review of the commission ruling.  The case is stil ongoing, but Shlemenko believed that he could no longer wait on a determination and took the fight in Russia for the M-1 Global promotion.  According to a report from Bloody Elbow, Shlemenko stated that Bellator gave him written permission to fight for M-1.

The CSAC indicated that it would not take further administrative action against Shlemenko since it had no jurisdiction.  It is not known whether the CSAC would use Shlemenko’s decision to fight elsewhere in the court case.

Payout Perspective:

At the age of 31, you can understand why Shlemenko is seeking somewhere to continue his career.  Despite being banned by the CSAC, one had to know that this would be a possibility with a 3 year ban.  The inevitable return of Shlemenko reflects the fact that a state commission’s reach when banning fighters can only be so far.  Even if Shlemenko were to lose his court case, it’s clear that a fighter can find other promotions to continue fighting if the promotion is willing.

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