With yesterday’s announcement that Affliction Entertainment was postponing and moving “Day of Reckoning,” it was all but a forgone conclusion that Fedor Emelianenko would be involved in January 17th’s fight card. Now it seems as though Fedor’s people have told Affliction Entertainment that he’s going to skip fighting on New Year’s Eve in Japan for the first time in five years.
Does it really seem like that? While everyone is talking about Fedor fighting for Affliction on January 17th, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if his management still books up a freakshow fight for NYE in Japan. They’ll probably justify it by saying “Hey, don’t worry. He’s fighting Royce Gracie” or something equally silly.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t matter who you face in MMA, you can still get hurt. Tim Sylvia didn’t manage one iota of offense and Fedor still came out of that fight with a fucked up hand. Hell, lots of fighters end up hurt just training for a fight … something Fedor should know from personal experience.
Anyways, there’s a good amount of risk that you take when you rely on one guy so heavily in a sport where injuries are standard and expected. Most companies recognize this and try to spread their draw across multiple fighters. Affliction tried to do this in Vegas with Arlovski and Barnett and you saw what happened. So they’re kinda stuck at the moment keeping their fingers crossed that Fedor makes it to their next event ready to fight.
And they really really have to hope he doesn’t accept a New Years Eve booking in Japan. I wouldn’t make any assumptions on that front, though.