If Affliction Entertainment is in fact inching closer and closer to their demise, which they still vehemently deny (see Atencio interview after the jump), you wouldn’t know it with the moves they’re trying to make. The Barnett fight is the last on Fedor’s Affliction deal, and they could just let him go elsewhere instead of continuing to pay him millions, but instead they’re looking to lock him up for three more years.

Although the reigning WAMMA heavyweight champion’s impending free agency officially jumps off the very second his fight with Josh Barnett comes to its conclusion, it doesn’t keep Affliction front-man up at night one bit.

Atencio is confident that when it’s time to belly-up to the negotiating table, he and his Russian comrades will be able to come to terms.

“Well, contractually, yes, but we have a great relationship with him, so we’re really not too concerned about that,” Atencio told 5thRound.com in an exclusive interview regarding Emelianenko and his contract. “We’re gonna move forward with M1-Global, they’re our partners, we just haven’t finalized the little nuances of the contract. But yeah, we are looking to bring him on until 2012.”

Perhaps, there’s ulterior motives beyond promoting Fedor and holding events for the foreseeable future, but that discussion would just get too speculative at this point, so I’ll take Tom’s word for it…for now.

Videos via MMA Fanhouse