If you’re one of the fight fans who has been waiting for years to see Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett mix it up in the ring, then today is a pretty good day for you.
According to the Russian version of M-1 Global’s website, Fedor and Josh are finally scheduled to meet at Affliction III in early August.
According to preliminary data the long-awaited match between the Champion WAMMA Heavyweight weight – Russian Fedor Emelianenko and American fighter Joshi, Barnett will be held on the third tournament of M-1 Global & Affliction, which is scheduled for early August this year.
Before we get too excited though, let’s not forget this is only one piece of the puzzle until Affliction confirms the news. For all we know, Affliction might think they’re booking Fedor vs Vitor Belfort in October.
Assuming it is true though, I’m a little curious to see what date in early August Affliction is targetting. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that Atencio and Co. were seriously considering countering UFC 100 before eventually backing off the idea. They wouldn’t be looking at UFC 101 on August 8 instead, would they? I hope not, but nothing would surprise me at this point.
Nevertheless, I’m just happy to hear Fedor’s camp isn’t trying to book him for some BS fight in Japan this summer. New Year’s Eve, that might be a different story. The report also confirmed that negotiations are taking place between M-1 Global, Affliction, and a Japanese organization, presumably DREAM, to co-promote a major event on NYE.
Update: Ariel Helwani gets the inevitable “nothing is finalized” comment out of Tom Atencio.
Update II: Josh Barnett’s camp says nothing has been officially offered to him yet.
Update III: The English version of M-1 Global has a story up now addressing the Fedor vs Barnett rumor.
Rumors have been rampant on the Internet the past 24 hours regarding a potential bout between former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett having been signed to take place during Affliction and M-1’s yet-to-be announced third event. [Ed. note: Yeah, rumors M-1 started!]
While the bout has not been finalized, M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchtein confirmed to M-1Global.com that formal talks are indeed taking place regarding a Fedor vs. Barnett matchup and that bout agreements could be signed within the next ten days, barring any setbacks.
Official word regarding a date and a venue are not yet available, but early-August is believed to being targeted for Affliction/M-1 III with the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. anticipated as the venue for the event.