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After Barnett fight, will Fedor jump to UFC?

Posted on: June 2, 2009 8:48 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2009 8:58 pm
Last week, Affliction and M-1 Global issued a string of press releases alerting the media to a pair of press conferences -- one to be held Wednesday in New York, and another on Thursday in Los Angeles -- "to announce 'Trilogy,' Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett , on August 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA; Live on Pay-Per-View."

That quote is taken directly from one of the press releases, which begs the question: What's left to announce?

Beans-spilling press releases aside, the story here is that Emelianenko vs. Barnett is finally going to happen, not that Affliction is flying people all over the country to reveal that which has already been revealed.

Fedor Emelianenko Barnett (24-5-0) has been the second-best heavyweight on the Affliction roster since virtually day one. But due to a number of circumstances -- Tim Sylvia being available to fight Fedor last summer, Andrei Arlovski getting the honors for Affliction 2 -- he has never fought "The Last Emperor." Not even in Pride, where both men enjoyed lots of career success. At last, Barnett will get his shot at the man widely considered the best heavyweight MMA fighter on this planet.

For Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-0, 1 NC), Barnett not only represents the stiffest challenge possible among guys he hasn't fought yet, but he also may be his final worthwhile opponent outside of the UFC roster. Simply put: If Emelianenko beats Barnett on Aug. 1, there will be no more credible opponents for him in any promotion other than the UFC. And that's where things get truly interesting. Consider the following:

1) After Affliction's second PPV in January, speculation swirled that the company would only promote one more show -- tentatively scheduled for the summer, as "Affliction: Trilogy" is -- before bowing out of the MMA promotion business for good. But in a recent interview with MMA FanHouse's Ariel Helwani, Affliction COO Michael Cohen not only insisted that Affliction: Trilogy would not be the last event, but he promised a fourth, fifth and sixth show.

The trouble is, Emelianenko vs. Barnett is believed to be the last remaining fight on Emelianenko's Affliction contract. If that's the case, and if Emelianenko ends up running the table on Affliction's main event-worthy heavyweights, would it be financially viable for Affliction to re-up Emelianenko if the quality of his PPV opponents will go south? Spending big for a superstar fighter is only worthwhile if the profit outweighs the expenditure, and all indications are that Affliction hasn't yet figured out how to come out of its investments with a profit.

2) If Affliction does try to re-sign Emelianenko, there's a good chance it would be for a lot less money. In this economy, the decision may not even be up to Affliction anymore. They could be willing to pay him $1 million per fight -- hypothetically, of course -- but if they can't secure the financing to pull it off, will they be willing to pay Fedor out of pocket? If the UFC can match or beat Affliction's financial offer to Emelianenko, then the only remaining roadblock to him signing with the UFC would be the exclusivity issue. Which remains a potential deal-breaker for sure, but with Emelianenko running out of options and the UFC still wanting to book him, one or both sides could budge on their demands enough to meet somewhere close to the middle. The state of the MMA business and the world economy in general means that an Emelianenko-UFC negotiation might go a little differently today than it did in 2007 or 2008.

3) While it would take several major pieces falling into place for it to happen, an Emelianenko deal with the UFC might not be as far-fetched as some think. In a February interview with , Fedor said "Me and my management hope to get a chance to talk to Dana White in person in June to discuss a possible fight between me and Brock [Lesnar] ." Sure enough, on Sunday -- the last day of May -- Dana White was Twittering about having a "HUGE" meeting in Los Angeles the next day. "Insane for UFC fans if we get this done," he tweeted.

Then, in a video blog posted on YouTube on Tuesday, White mentioned the Kimbo Slice participation on The Ultimate Fighter , and followed up with this:

"Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I had a killer, killer meeting in Los Angeles today, and I was hoping I would be able to tell you about it today, but the way deals go, they take time," White said in the video. "So I can't tell you today, but I can tell you it was a great meeting and I'm feeling very confident that we're gonna get this deal done, and it's gonna literally change the UFC forever."

We know Emelianenko is in the U.S. this week. Could it be?

Wait -- let me rephrase that.

Who else could it possibly be?


Since: Dec 25, 2009
Posted on: January 19, 2010 7:18 pm

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Since: Dec 25, 2009
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Since: Dec 19, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2009 3:19 pm

After Barnett fight, will Fedor jump to UFC?

jets, you are an idiot, end of story. You have no credibility when you spew your nonsense about Fedor. Fedor is a god when it comes to mma fighters, period. Please just shut already!  

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: June 11, 2009 2:12 pm

After Barnett fight, will Fedor jump to UFC?

I hope, Fedor is the best fighter I've ever seen.  His only loss in 30 fights was due to a stopage because of a cut.  This guy is unreal.  I would love to see him fight Randy, I think anyone who follows MMA has been dying to see this fight for about 3 years now.  Please, if Kimbo Slice fights in the UFC before Fedor does that would be the biggest disgrace in the short history of MMA.

Since: Jun 11, 2009
Posted on: June 11, 2009 12:56 pm

After Barnett fight, will Fedor jump to UFC?


Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: June 11, 2009 12:21 am
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Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 8:54 pm
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Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 8:45 pm
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Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: June 10, 2009 4:33 pm

After Barnett fight, will Fedor jump to UFC?


No im not saying fedor couldn't beat those guys, all im sayin is he can't really think he's the best til he fights some of these guys. If your the best, wouldn't you want to prove it? You make it seem like he's a god and none of those guys have a punchers chance? The heavyweights in the UFC were not that impressive a few years ago but now there are some guys who are bigger, stronger, and more explosive than Fedor. I think a lot of these guys could beat him. You can't allways go off past fights in MMA and be sure of who the better fighters are. The fact is these guys are grown @$$ men who aren't scared of Fedor and who I think would love to get him in the Octagon. Wasn't Cro Cop supposed to come in and Dominate? That didn't happen when he got put in a CAGE with bigger more physhical guys like Gonzaga and Kongo. Fedor is what 6' 230 of butterball. Just remeber I told you so when he gets welcomed to the UFC.

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 4:32 pm

After Barnett fight, will Fedor jump to UFC?

Some people on this thread clearly have never watched fighting outside of UFC.  I understand how this could happen because UFC is really promoted so much stronger than any others in this country, so I can't hate on you for this.  Just please don't speak about fighters who you've obviously never seen fight (or haven't seen since they were with UFC). 

Fedor is clearly the best fighter in the world.  End of story.  He deserves a title shot anytime he wants if he comes into UFC, although like others have said it would be smarter to give him 1 fight before the title shot. 

Other fighters who are notable adversaries for him right now include Mir, Lesnar, Overeem and Barnett.  These are all top tier fighters among the division and are in a different class than the rest.  By the time Fedor's fought all of them then Kongo or someone else could be a potential opponent, although right now he's not in the same league. 

Hopefully Fedor coming to UFC could spark an explosion of new talent within the HW division by exposing the best fighter in the world to a lot of fans who have never seen him.

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