Fedor Emelianenko, the world’s near-consensus top heavyweight and among the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighters, will not be competing on New Year’s Eve and will also not meet Josh Barnett early next year at Affliction’s second event.
Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio recently alerted MMA Junkie of the status of the promotion’s top fighter.
“I’ve been told actually 100 percent that he is not fighting on New Year’s Eve,” said Atencio. “[The members of Emelianenko’s management team] are our partners. We have extended his contract, and that’s where we’re at. I spoke with [Emelianenko’s managers] the other day, and they said he is not fighting. So that’s just rumors.”
Affliction’s second event, “Day of Reckoning”, was scheduled to take place on October 11 in Las Vegas but was rescheduled last month, reportedly due to low ticket sales. The event was tentatively rescheduled for January 17th in Anaheim, California but is now expected to take place on another date in early-2009 at a location to-be-determined.
Rumors and reports suggested that Emelianenko would meet Barnett, another of the promotion’s top heavyweights, in the “Day of Reckoning” main event but that fight is now not expected to take place after Barnett turned the fight down.
Emelianenko, who has fought on New Year’s Eve for five-straight years beginning in 2003, could instead meet former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, who defeated Roy Nelson in primetime at EliteXC “Heat” on Saturday, in the “Day of Reckoning” main event.