Tyrell Fortune Says Bellator 288 Fight with Daniel James Ruled No Contest Due to Failed Drug Test

Tyrell Fortune, Bellator MMA
Tyrell Fortune, Bellator 288 Credit: Bellator MMA

Tyrell Fortune has been no stranger when it comes to adversity throughout his career. His most recent setback, however, is set to be removed from his record.

Fortune and his team received word recently that his bout against Daniel James at Bellator 288 in Nov. 2022 had been overturned and changed to a ‘no-contest’. The reason for the change was a reported failed PED test by James the day before the bout took place.

“We immediately contested the fight because of the illegal blows. If you watch the replay Bellator continues to post you can see I’m struck to the back of my head six times before he transfers it to elbows that were legal,” Fortune told Cageside Press.

“But you had hit me six times to the back of my head and Daniel James is a big man.”

When Fortune and his manager Matt Aptaker contested the fight they were told that Fortune had lost that contest.

Fortune said “They then get back to me to tell me that have a congruent case that will overturn the contest but they can’t state why.”

Tyrell Fortune and his team waited over 11 months for an answer regarding his fight with Daniel James and wanted to get answers.

After going back and forth with the Commission for months and waiting for some clarification they received news a few days before Fortune’s scheduled bout with Marcelo Golm at Bellator 301 that his fight with Daniel James would be ruled a no contest.

Cageside Press was able to verify the positive PED test through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. An unspecified anabolic substance was to blame; James was fined $5,000 for the incident, and suspended three months. He received an additional suspension for unpaid child support.

Combatreg.com subsequently changed the Tyrell Fortune vs. Daniel James fight to a no contest as a result of the positive test and the fight will not reflect either fighters’ record. Fortune added he was notified by the commission by letter that the result was overturned.

“Daniel James was a big man on steroids. It took almost a year for them to tell me he popped positive for steroids and my fight was now officially ruled a no contest,” Fortune told Cageside Press.

According to Tyrell Fortune, Bellator MMA had no idea that Daniel James tested positive for a banned substance, because Illinois does not fall under the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).

“I walked from the commission office to Bellator to tell them Daniel James got popped for steroids and my fight was ruled a no contest and they said they had no idea,” said Fortune.

Daniel James was previously pulled from his scheduled fight against Davion Franklin in May 2022 due to a positive test, making this his second drug test failure in less than two years.

“I contacted Bellator before our fight to ask them what are we doing to make sure I’m safe fighting him and they said he’s going to have to test negative before you guys fight and he passed that test so between that test and the time we fought he started taking steroids again,” he said.

Fortune and his team feel very strongly about fighting clean and not taking steroids, because as Fortune put it, “peoples lives are at stake and my career is on the line.”