With the opportunity of a lifetime presented to all fighters, at least those not in the UFC, MMA veteran Jeff Monson is making his case to step in for the steroid-abusing Josh Barnett to face WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at “Affliction: Trilogy.”
“I’m the guy to beat Fedor. He’s a great fighter. I’d definitely love to see me fight Fedor. It’s a perfect match-up. He’s the guy I’m destined to fight,” Monson told MMAWeekly.com. “I want to be the guy to beat him. I’d definitely love to be carried off afterward, after I submit him. My goal is to be the best in the world, even if it’s for one fight.”
Monson holds an impressive 31-8 professional MMA record and has been perfect through his last seven. Coincidentally, his last loss was a convincing unanimous decision to Barnett at “Sengoku: Second Battle” last May.
Although Monson’s resume is fairly solid, his drawing power is far from box office status. In addition, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio stated that, even though they are jammed behind the eight-ball, they will find a quality substitute.
“We are very confident in getting a worthy opponent,” Atencio confidently said. “I am in the negotiation process with a few fighters and we’ll put on the best fight possible, as we always do, to make sure that the match-up is one of quality and lives up to the standards of Affliction.”
Word on the street is Atencio is planning on making an official announcement regarding who will headline opposite Fedor inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on Friday. As of now, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort appears most likely to land the gig.