Anaheim, Calif. — Ever since Affliction announced late last week that its “Trilogy” event scheduled for Aug. 1 had been canceled, the combat sports world collectively has waited for an official response from former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.
On Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT inside the DoubleTree Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., Emelianenko will address the media for the first time since last week’s sudden cancellation. During the press conference, Emelianenko will discuss the ramifications of the cancellation, comment on his future in the fight game, and respond to questions from members of the media.
“Since the cancellation, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding Fedor and M-1,” said Vadim Finkelchtein, whose M-1 Global fight company not only produces international MMA events but also manages Fedor. “On Wednesday, the media and fans will be able to hear what’s going on with Fedor from the man himself.”
Emelianenko, considered by most pundits to be the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, had been scheduled to fight top contender Josh Barnett. A win over Barnett would have marked the sixth former UFC heavyweight champion that Emelianenko has defeated in his career.
Unfortunately, Emelianenko was denied his opportunity after the California State Athletic Commission announced last Wednesday that Barnett would not be granted a license in time for the fight.
Emelianenko, 30-1, is perceived by many within the industry to be a free agent and it is believed he is being courted by every major MMA promotion in the world.
Already considered a superstar in many other countries, he has seen his popularity rise in the U.S. since defeating Tim Sylvia, a former UFC heavyweight champion, in just 36 seconds in July of 2008. Emelianenko followed up the dominant Sylvia victory with a first round knockout over Andrei Arlovski — another former UFC heavyweight champion — this past January.