(Afterwards, Emelianenko personally invited Rogers to Stary Oskol for a tour of his playground training facility followed by a private meatloaf-eating contest. Props: sports.sho.com)
For a brief moment last week, it seemed like Brett Rogers had a decent shot at replacing Josh Barnett in the main event of Affliction: Trilogy (R.I.P.). Fedor wanted it, the fans wanted it (at least more than they wanted to see Emelianenko take on middleweight Vitor Belfort), and hey, at least it would be better than canceling the event altogether, right? Then, the rug was pulled out from everyone’s feet. Team Bison owner/head trainer Mike Reilly made a long post on FiveOuncesofPain over the weekend to answer questions and explain the Grim’s role in the behind-the-scenes negotiations. Some highlights…
On how Rogers first came up as a possible replacement: "We never asked to fight Fedor. We are under contract with Strikeforce and happy to be [with] Strikeforce. We have not sought any bouts outside of Strikeforce. We were however approached to fight Fedor by Affliction. Of course we agreed to the fight immediately provided all the details could be worked out among the many parties involved."
On Fedor: "He is the unqualified best in the game. The quintessential fighter. Accepting a fight against him on nine days notice may seem foolish or simply a money move; but it is not. The bottom line is you never know when, or if you will get another chance. Brett is not in this game to be good, he is not in it to be great; his goal is to be the best. How, as a fighter, could he have turned down the possibility of taking his greatest test? No chance he walks away from that opportunity. When Fedor mentioned Brett by name as the replacement he wanted we were very honored."