Fedor Emelianenko confirmed that he will indeed fight on the next Affliction show, although he couldn’t name his opponent yet, according to a recent interview on DreamFighters.com. Affliction VP Tom Atencio has long stated that the plan is to pit Fedor against Josh Barnett, but Vitor Belfort is another name that has been tossed around recently.
Perhaps the bigger news though is that Fedor is hopeful to meet face to face with UFC president Dana White this summer with hopes of a bout against Brock Lesnar becoming the fruit of their talks.
“Yes, I will fight again on the next affliction card. Besides this 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,” said Fedor in the DreamFighters interview.
Such an outcome has many hurdles before it. Firstly, Lesnar and Frank Mir are expected to meet before June to unify the UFC heavyweight championship. The outcome of that bout could have a big influence on any possible match-ups.
Aside from that, there is the matter that Fedor is under an exclusive contract to Affliction and M-1 Global. The folks that head M-1 Global also handle management duties for the Russian fighter.
A one-off deal or co-promotion is not something that the UFC has even remotely considered to this point, which is a major hurdle for both sides.
“The fact of the matter is that a loan-out is something that the UFC would not desire, they would never go for such a deal,” M-1 Global Chief Operating Officer Joost Raimond told MMAWeekly.com last October. “And secondly, the way we have our program set up for the next years, and our event schedules set up, it’s just not feasible to have a Fedor fight within the UFC.”
The UFC-Fedor soap opera has been a long and winding road, but it looks like there are still a few twists and turns left before we find out what the destination is.