Aleksander Emelianenko failed to meet the medical licensing requirements and was scratched from his bout against Paul Buentello at the Affliction: Banned event on July 19 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
California State Athletic Commission Executive Director, Armando Garcia, was unable to elaborate on the situation due to California's very strict medical privacy laws. And since Gary Goodrich was able to step-up on such short notice to replace him, much of the fallout from Emelianenko's ban went by the wayside.
That's not to suggest the MMA community didn't do its share of speculating. Everything from hepatitis to a brain aneurysm -- even total heart failure -- was offered as a possible cause.
Not so, according to "Sasha" (translated from Life.ru):
I passed the medical board and my license to fight was obtained without any problems. But the fact is that in California the commission is very rigid for admittance. One of the main conditions to let you fight is the ability to pass all of your tests on time. I had to be in America by July 13, the Visa was only good until the fourteenth and my tickets were purchased in advance for the fifteenth. On the whole, I was late. They thought the organizers could agree and settle the problem but they quickly found out they would not be able to get me on the card. Instead they were able to find a suitable replacement for Paul Buentello. The laws in California are so rigid.
According to Emelianenko, it wasn't his health, rather his inability to meet the strict deadlines that California imposes on competing fighters.
The same strict guidelines that every other participant, including older brother Fedor Emelianenko, were able to meet.