Well Pride’s last two events have set in stone who the top three heavyweights are in that promotion, in order even: Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, and Josh Barnett.
Now the big question: Who is going to fight Fedor next?
Both Fedor and Barnett are scheduled to fight at Pride’s show on or around New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t have a name as of yet but I’m willing to bet that Pride will go ahead and use Shockwave just as in previous years.
Cro Cop defeated Barnett at Final Conflict Absolute 2006 in September. That would make him the shoe-in to fight Fedor, right?
The thing is Cro Cop lost to Fedor last year and this fact creates a dilemma. Should Pride give Cro Cop another shot just one year later or should Barnett be given the chance even though he lost to Cro Cop last month?
To make matters even more confusing, Fedor announced at a post-fight press conference for Pride’s most recent event, The Real Deal, that he wants Barnett as his next opponent.
Barnett is interested in the opportunity:
Josh said, “Cool. I’m glad that he nominated me. Honestly, I think he understands the game out there. There’s not really all that many people left for him to fight, but I’m sure he’s understood for at least some time now that fighting me would be a really big match up for him.”
“For me, basically what it all comes down to is how training goes…and this year has been, uh…something else so far, but if I feel good, I’ll do it,” said Barnett.
Barnett has expressed wanting to take on Fedor in the past and it looks like right now is the closest that the two have ever been to actually possibly fighting. It’s going to be interesting to see the decision that Pride makes this month concerning the fight.
If the promotion decides to have Cro Cop take on Fedor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira could be the obvious choice of opponent for Barnett…
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