Atencio Wants to Give Emelianeko a Vacation

Written by Tom Ngo
June 12th, 2009

On August 1st, WAMMA heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko will be facing the toughest challenge of his professional MMA career as he will be taking on highly touted Josh Barnett at “Affliction: Trilogy.” It will mark the soon-to-be 33-year-old’s 3rd fight in 25 months. Affliction VP Tom Atencio knows that his superstar needs a rest.

“…Fedor’s record is proven,” Atencio told 5thRound.com in an exclusive interview. “It’s unmatched. At 30-1 record, and the one was on a stoppage due to a cut. But Fedor, he needs some time off too. We can’t just bringing Fedor back [event after event].”

And that’s why he’s so amped about “Trilogy.” Although it’s a bit away from completion, the roster thus far is sick. With the likes of the aforementioned Barnett, former UFC champ Vitor Belfort, former Dream middleweight king Gegard Mousasi and the ever-popular Tim Sylvia, this star-studded cast is more than qualified to carry the card without the presence of “The Last Emperor.”

“If you look at the fighters we have, you look at “Babalu” [Renato Sobral], we have Vitor, we have Paul Buentello, Tim Sylvia,” Atencio said to us. “So we have heavyweights, but we also have other weight classes that can definitely carry a card … we are looking at other main events, be it Vitor or Gegard. There’s other guys in this event that can be the main card, but we have chosen to have Fedor on the main card.”

And we certainly appreciate that the Russian is on this upcoming card, because his scrap with Barnett is gonna be nasty. He has been in the lab working on this for a while, and now, thanks to him, MMA fans can watch the biggest heavyweight fight in MMA history.

“This is the fight the world has been wanting to see, anybody that knows MMA knows that this is the ultimate match-up,” Atencio said to us in closing. “Both are fantastic mixed martial artists, as well as friends, so it’s going to be an exciting night.

“So this is the pinnacle, we are reaching Mount Everest.”

With his current Affliction contract becoming a thing of the past the nanosecond his tussle with Barnett concludes, expect the Russian to be chillin’ for quite some time.

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