As is turns out, Affliction is bringing out the big guns for its second show.
Fedor Emelianenko will headline Affliction's "Day of Reckoning," now rescheduled for Jan. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. It is unknown whether the headliners of the Oct. 11 event, Josh Barnett and Andre Arlovski, will remain as co-headliners or if the card will be shuffled with the addition of Emelianenko.
Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio on Wednesday revised his earlier "no comment" following a report on NBCSports.com that confirmed the Russian's attendance.
Emelianenko was scratched from consideration for the originally scheduled event due to a chip fracture he sustained in his 36-second win over former UFC champ Tim Sylvia. Last month, Emelianenko and his representatives told MMAWeekly.com he intended to fight on a New Year's Eve card of unknown origin.
With the confirmation, it appears Emelianenko has chosen profit over sentiment in forgoing his beloved New Year's performance.
Atencio promised a major announcement on Affliction's future this Saturday at the MGM Grand Hotel, where the Marquez-Casamayor fight is scheduled to take place. The timing and location of the announcement has added fuel to speculation that Affliction has a new partner in mixed martial arts, none other than Golden Boy Promotions, which quite possibly could include HBO. Golden Boy is the promoter of record for Saturday's boxing match -- which airs on HBO pay-per-view -- and President Oscar De La Hoya has expressed interest in mixed martial arts as of late.
Regarding a possible pairing of the MMA and boxing promotions, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer on Wednesday seemed to all but confirm the idea when he told Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole "we are close with those guys" when questioned about a partnership with Affliction.
It would not be the first time the two companies had mingled. In March of this year, a partnership was nearly forged between Affliction and Golden Boy for Emelianenko's second fight in the U.S.
A source close to the negotiations said talks broke down when Affliction made the partnership announcement prematurely. When contacted for comment in March, Bruce Binkow, Chief Marketing Officer for Golden Boy, told MMAWeekly.com that his company was not getting into the MMA business any time soon.
But by Saturday, that time may be over.
MMAWeekly.com could not reach Atencio to confirm whether Golden Boy or HBO is part of Saturday's announcement.