Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
Perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko will reportedly return to action at Affliction Entertainment’s second show, which has now been moved to January 2009 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California according to Mike Chiappetta of NBCSports.com.
Chiappetta confirmed Emelianenko’s participation with Affliction COO Michael Cohen, who stated that he has been confirmed as participating on the show and that an opponent for him is still being decided due to the possibility of the previously planned Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett showdown being broken up.
“It [Fedor’s opponent] is to be determined,” Cohen said in the report. “We are considering changing the combatants. We have not finalized that at this time. That is as a result of the issues to be revealed at the announcement.”
The announcement Cohen refers to will reportedly be made at a planned press conference at the Trump Tower in Manhattan within the next two weeks. According to Cohen, the revelation will be “groundbreaking”.
“Unlike others who call for a press conference for groundbreaking MMA news, the Affliction announcement will truly change the sport, and not through a toy deal,” Cohen said. “I wish I could give you more details. When you have a secret as a little kid and it’s a good one, you want to go to the top of the playground and yell it out because everyone will pay attention. I’m like that little kid. This will be an amazing event.”
Speculation has suggested that Affliction’s big announcement later this month may have to do with a potential partnership with boxing promotion Golden Boy Productions, which is spearheaded by Oscar De La Hoya and currently has a television contract with HBO.
Although HBO officials have denied talks of a possible deal with any MMA organization, Affliction VP Tom Atencio has stated that he will make a major announcement this Saturday at the MGM Grand Hotel, where Juan Manuel Marquez will take on Joel Casamayor under the Golden Boy banner.
De La Hoya and company have long been attempting to partner up with a budding MMA promotion. Could Affliction be the one and become the promotion that was able to strike a deal with HBO where as the UFC was not?