clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fedor Emelianenko 'Disappointed' Josh Barnett Fight Off, Will Fight Anyone

Fedor Emelianenko, the generally recognized heavyweight champion of MMA, made his first public comments about Josh Barnett's failed drug test on Thursday in Russia, a day after learning that Barnett would not be able to fight him in the main event at Affliction Trilogy. Fedor said he was disappointed by the news and open to fighting anyone, while his manager said Fedor's next opponent was likely to be Brett Rogers or Vitor Belfort.

Fedor said the following at his press conference:
"I feel disappointed about this situation," said Fedor, before adding, "But I will fight anyone who Affliction puts in front of me. I know a lot of fans waited for this fight to happen and I am sorry for them. I can't do much about it now but I am in good shape, my training has been good and continues to go well. ...

"From now on it all about accuracy, precision and execution. There was no specific manner to prepare for the planned bout with Josh Barnett. It's all the same: standup and ground game... Undoubtedly, it's better to know the name of your opponent long before the fight though."
Fedor's manager, Vadim Finkelchtein, seems to think the best possible opponent for him is Rogers, but he acknowledged that there may be contractual problems with getting the Rogers fight worked out, because Rogers is under contract to Strikeforce. Finkelchtein said that if Rogers can't fight Fedor, the most likely opponent is Belfort, who was scheduled to fight on the Trilogy undercard but has already said he'll agree to fight Fedor if it's offered to him.

"if there is any problem with Rogers, then it's pretty safe to say it's going to be Belfort," Finkelchetein said.