by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
At a press conference held Tuesday in Los Angeles, the forces behind new fight promotion Affliction unveiled the stars of their “Banned” show to be held July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Fedor Emelianenko will clash with Tim Sylvia in the main event, and Josh Barnett and Pedro Rizzo will co-headline the event in a rematch of their 2001 fight. Ben Rothwell, Matt Lindland, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, and Aleksander Emelianenko are but a few of the fighters filling the card.

And according to Tim Ryan, president and CEO of the Honda Center, the stars are lining up for the show, with $250,000 in tickets sold within the first 30 minutes of going on sale Tuesday morning.

California State Athletic Commission executive director Armando Garcia confirmed that a 3.5 million dollar bond had already been posted for the show, clearing the way for ticket sales to the public. The bond ensures, among other things, that fighters are guaranteed their purses.

The amount of the bond further refutes the rumors that the fighters’ purses alone were expected to total six million dollars.

Also announced was a partnership with Fox Sports Net to air the evening’s hour long undercard live.

Making his way to the black stage at the trendy Century City shopping mall, Fedor Emelianenko received a raucous welcome from hundreds of fans – some of them waited five hours for an autograph – before speaking for the first time about his fight with Tim Sylvia. And not so subtly, he established the link between his services and Affliction, thanking M-1 Global – the defunct American/Russian MMA promotion now run by his manager Vadim Finkelstein – and Affliction for bringing him to California.

“I’d like to thank Tim Sylvia for taking this fight,” said Emelianenko. “I know him very well and have a tremendous amount of respect for him, and I look forward to meeting him in the ring.”

Of course, the heavyweight-stacked line-up of fighters was decked out in Affliction, save for Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who wore a crisp suit.

“I try to dress up a bit,” he said. “I have to change my image. I guess I can’t.”

Though many fans expected Affliction to announce the signing of Andre Arlovski, the promotion instead revealed that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would be on the July 19 card. Nogueira became available following the collapse of Canada’s Hardcore Championship Fighting.

Affliction vice president Tom Atencio told MMAWeekly.com that he was unaware of Arlovski’s contractual status and that no contract was on the table.

“If I had a contract out to him, I would sign it,” Atencio said.

Ben Rothwell remains the only main card fighter without an opponent.