Josh Barnett: Fedor Emelianenko and I Are Buddies, but We'll Fight Each Other

With just a couple of weeks to go before the Day of Reckoning show, Affliction is already planning to pair the winner of its co-main event (Josh Barnett vs. Gilbert Yvel) against the winner of its main event (Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski).

That means, if the two favorites win, we'll finally get to see the Barnett vs. Fedor fight that fans have been hoping to see (and many have accused Barnett of ducking) for years.

It also means two friends could be fighting each other for the generally recognized heavyweight championship in MMA, and on a call today to promote Day of Reckoning, I asked Barnett about his personal relationship with Fedor.

"When we were in Japan we spent time together, we'd go out and have dinner and hang out together, we'd wish each other happy birthdays, and do the stuff that regular friends do," Barnett said. "We understand in this sport, of course, people will develop friendships. But at the same time, in our business, you'll fight, and we're OK with that. ... I just make sure I'm in good shape to fight whoever's in front of me. If I were to fight Fedor I think it'd be a great match and I don't think there'd be any problem."

There could be a problem, however, with Barnett's fight with Yvel. Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio acknowledged it's possible that a replacement may need to be found for Yvel, who still hasn't been cleared by the California State Athletic Commission.

"I have a couple people in mind if this doesn't work out," Atencio said. "Josh is preparing for (Yvel), but I also know that Josh will fight anybody out there."

Josh Barnett: Fedor Emelianenko and I Are Buddies, but We'll Fight Each Other originally appeared on MMA FanHouse on Wed, 07 Jan 2009 15:33:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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