We reported earlier this week the possibility of former Elite XC star Brett "The Grim" Rogers facing off against world ranked Josh "The Babyface Assassin" Barnett at Affliction: "Day of Reckoning" on January 24. However, a recent interview between Sports.ru (via Fighters Only Magazine) and Russian heavyweight Aleksander Emelianenko suggests otherwise.
Here's a snip from the younger brother of current WAMMA heavyweight title holder Fedor Emelianenko:
"An agreement has been reached that the Affliction show on January 24th will hold a rematch with the former UFC champion Josh Barnett."
Aleksander and Barnett first locked horns back in May of 2006 at Pride: "Total Elimination Absolute" with Barnett winning with a second round submission (key lock).
Originally slated to face Paul Buentello at the inaugural Affliction event in July, Emelianenko was forced off the card in the eleventh hour after failing to get medically cleared by the California State Athletic Commission.
Due to privacy regulations, the reasons for him not getting licensed to fight were never fully revealed. However, the rumor mill ran wild with claims that he had tested positive for Hepatitis B -- a DNA virus that affects the liver and in rare cases leads to death.
Aleksander and his team denied those reports and apparently feel like there won't be a problem getting cleared this time around.
He's currently riding a five match winning streak, including his most recent first round knockout victory over Sang Soo Lee at M-1 Challenge 9 last week in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia. There's also talk of a potential New Year's Eve fight in Japan for the former two time world Sambo champion.
Here's another snip:
"There is a chance that before this I will fight at the traditional New Year's Eve show in Japan. But talks on this fight are still going on."
"Day of Reckoning" is scheduled to air live on pay-per-view on January 24 beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Some of the under card action will also air live on HDNet prior to the PPV telecast.