Buentello-Emelianenko Set for Affliction Debut

Paul Buentello. Photo by Jon Swenson.

Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Paul Buentello will return to action for the first time in over eight months when he takes on Aleksander Emelianenko, the younger brother of top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, at Affliction’s “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

The popular California-based clothing company officially announced the previously rumored bout earlier today at a press conference earlier today in Los Angeles.

Buentello has not fought since losing to Dutch kickboxer Alistair Overeem in a failed November bid for Strikeforce’s vacant heavyweight title. It was the Texas native’s first loss in two years and only his second in his last dozen fights.

Emelianenko most recently stopped Brazilian grappler Silvao Santos with strikes to earn his first win of 2008 at the latest edition of the M-1 Challenge last month. The PRIDE and BodogFight veteran is currently riding a five-fight winning streak.

Also announced at today’s press conference was Affliction’s signing of PRIDE veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira according to Sherdog.com. Nogueira has split his last four bouts, most recently earning a second-round TKO of Todd Gouwenberg at Hardcore Championship Fighting’s “Destiny” event in February. He is expected to make his promotional debut at the company’s next planned event in October.


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