Fedor EmelianenkoWe’re getting closer.

While nothing is official yet, Mike Chiappetta is reporting that Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett have verbally agreed to fight at Affliction 3 on Aug 1.

Affliction’s third event, featuring a main event of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett and taking place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Aug. 1, should be officially announced within days, a source with knowledge of the situation told FanHouse.

Though neither Emelianenko or Barnett has signed official bout agreements, they have both verbally accepted the matchup, according to the source.

Apparently, Affliction also briefly considered booking a Fedor-Arlovski rematch, but didn’t move forward with the idea. Arlovski will face Brett Rogers on June 6 at Strikeforce “Lawler vs Shields,” and at least at the moment there seems to be no indication that Arlovski will compete at Affliction 3.

The report also mentioned that Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi were likely to meet on the card. However, with Mousasi’s participation in DREAM’s Super Hulk Tournament and his unwillingness to compete at middleweight again, who knows whether that one will actually happen or not.

And last but not least, Tim Sylvia could make his return to legitimate competition against either Paul Buentello or Gilbert Yvel. Either one should make for a pretty entertaining fight.

All sounds good to me, but of course, it’s matter of papers being signed and everything coming together. I guess you could say I’m cautiously optimistic.

Update: MMA Mania is saying Tom Atencio has confirmed that Fedor vs Barnett for Affliction 3 on August 3. I’m assuming this means it’s signed. Also, Tom confirmed Mousasi vs Belfort, as did Mousasi himself earlier today, however, Belfort’s contract is not yet finalized. Tim Sylvia, Paul Buentello, Chris Horodecki and Dan Lauzon were also confirmed as participants.

You can check out the latest Affliction 3 fight card in our fight cards section.