Josh Barnett

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It’s been talked about for years, rumored for months, but is it actually going to happen?

Well, it just might.

According to, talks are underway to finally book Josh Barnett against heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko.

Fedor Emelianenko could return to the ring in June against Josh Barnett, sources close to the Russian heavyweight champion and his promoters, Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global, tell

The anticipated bout, which would put Emelianenko’s WAMMA belt on the line for a second time, is the preferred choice for Affliction and its partners — Golden Boy Promotions, Trump Entertainment, and M-1 — as they gear up for a third event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

A date for the fight has not been secured, though that process is ongoing. Emelianenko (29-1) and Barnett (24-5) set up the title fight with wins one month ago.

For whatever reason, this fight’s been elusive as Lyoto Machida over the years, but now, has nowhere to hide. Besides Barnett, and perhaps Alistair Overeem, who’s tied up for awhile, there really isn’t any other compelling match-ups for Fedor outside the UFC. It’s more obvious now than ever that this is the fight to make, so let’s hope Affliction gets it signed, sealed and delivered.

Oh, and by the way, WAMMA has officially named Josh Barnett as the number one heavyweight contender. I’m sure you’ll sleep much better knowing that.