With numerous MMA sites reporting that Affliction’s second event has been rescheduled for January 17, and multiple Affliction officials stating Fedor Emelianenko has been confirmed to compete on it, everyone pretty much assumed that Fedor would be skipping his traditional New Year’s Eve fight in Japan this year. However, as we previously reported, Tom Atencio stated late last week that the date for “Day of Reckoning” has not been finalized, and will take place sometime in the first quarter of 2009.
Could this be the reason why?
Fedor made an appearance at today’s DREAM.6 event in Japan, and after multiple translations it appears that he still intends to fight on New Year’s Eve in Japan. His opponent was believed to be the winner of the Cro Cop-Overeem fight, however it now looks like that is up in the air because the fight ended in a no contest. Regardless, if Fedor is fighting in Japan on New Year’s Eve, he’s not going to make the Jan. 17 date for Affliction. And right now, it is critical that Fedor is on their card. He’s the primary reason why they drew so much interest for “Banned,” and when it was announced he wouldn’t be making the original October date for “Day of Reckoning,” all the buzz for that event fizzled out with “abysmal” ticket sales to prove it.
We all know Fedor’s going to do whatever he wants, and unfortunately, that creates problems for Affliction, but they’re problems Affliction has to deal with and workaround, even if it means shuffling around dates to accommodate Fedor’s schedule.
[UPDATE 9/23/08 2:46PMET] – Tom Atencio has shot down, or is at least trying to, the possibility of Fedor fighting in Japan on NYE.
“Fedor was supposed to fight for them on New Year’s Eve, but he is not because we extended his contract.”
Seems someone forgot to give that memo to Fedor. Maybe Affliction has more leverage over Fedor than I thought. I guess we’ll find out when this thing plays out.
Atencio also maintained that the date and location are still not official.