President and owner of M-1 Global, Vadim Finkelchstein has stated that Fedor Emelianenko‘s likely opponent for “Affliction Trilogy” on August 1 will likely be either Brett Rogers or Vitor Belfort.
The news came early this morning from Russia as Finkelchstein and Fedor held a press conference in response to the recent news of Josh Barnett being pulled from the bout due to testing positive for steroids for the second time in his career.
The report of the press conference has come courtesy of M-1 Global.com.
“By the end of the evening we expect to officially announce who’ll be the replacement for Barnett,” Finkelchtein was quoted as saying. “Vitor Belfort agreed [to the fight in] principle.”
However, M-1 Global recognizes the fact that a bout with a much smaller Belfort is not a fight the consensus would be satisfied with. According to Vadim, they have their eyes set on a knockout artist with a mohawk, and it’s not Chuck Liddell.
“We personally entertain the idea of having Brett Rogers step in since he knocked Andrei Arlovski out,” said Finkelchtein. “But if there is any problem with Rogers, then it’s pretty safe to say it’s going to be Belfort. However, we are well aware of the fact that fans don’t consider Vitor Belfort to be a suitable replacement, according to a recent Sherdog poll.
“Belfort can make heavyweight but the fans don’t want this fight. Fedor isn’t seeking an easy fight. If logistics weren’t an issue, we’d like to see Fedor fight against Brett Rogers. Fans want it (and) so do we.”
Another question on the minds of many fans is whether or not the last second change of opponents will have a negative effect on “The Last Emperor” when he steps into the ring in August, but with Fedor, every fight is the same. Just another human being to decimate.
“No, the main routine is over now,” the former PRIDE heavyweight champion responded. “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.”