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Did Fedor Emelianenko Lie to Japanese Fans? Or Is Affliction Lying to American Fans?

Fedor Emelianenko addressed Japanese mixed martial arts fans during the Dream.6 show last night and told them that they should get ready to see him on New Year's Eve:

But there's just one problem: Fedor is allegedly scheduled to fight for Affliction in the United States on January 17, and Affliction can't promote a Fedor main event if there's a chance that he's going to get hurt 18 days earlier. So what's going on here?

Sorting through all the possibilities, I think it basically breaks down to this: Either Fedor lied to the fans in Japan, or Affliction is lying to the fans in the U.S.

At first I thought there was just a misunderstanding about the date of Affliction's show. As Steve Berry pointed out at MMAConvert.com, Affliction has hedged on the date of its next show, saying only that it would be some time in the first quarter of 2009. So that would mean Fedor could have close to three months off between a New Year's Eve fight for Dream and the next Affliction card. That's doable.

But then I read where Affliction Entertainment VP Tom Atencio told MMARated.com that Fedor will not fight on New Year's Eve: "Fedor was supposed to fight for them on New Year's Eve, but he is not because we extended his contract," Atencio said.

OK, then why did Fedor leave the Japanese fans with the impression that he'd be fighting in front of them on December 31? FightLinker.com thinks Affliction is just trying to reassure us that everything is fine with their promotion, and that in reality, they can't stop Fedor from fighting in Japan on New Year's Eve.

That sounds right to me. I think Fedor is planning to fight in Japan next, and the Affliction folks can't be believed when they say they've got Fedor's next fight.