As of right now, all of the signs are pointing towards Vitor Belfort replacing Josh Barnett to take on Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction 3 on August 1st. It's not finalized at the moment, and things could change but that's what it's looking like. The word is that Emelianenko's camp wants to fight Brett Rogers(I want him to also), but I suppose Strikeforce doesn't want to risk one of the up and coming heavyweights.
While Belfort has fought as a heavyweight before during his career, a fight with Vitor Belfort does nothing for Fedor Emelianenko at this moment in time. He would be fighting a guy that has been fighting as a middleweight for over a year, has considerable skill with his hands and a speed advantage on Fedor. He's also versed on the ground. What if Fedor actually lost to Belfort? What would that do to his legacy? Fedor has gone from a fight that could potentially seal his legacy as the greatest heavyweight in MMA history, to a potential fight that could tarnish his legacy if he lost. Not because he lost, but because he lost to a fighter that isn't even a heavyweight. How could you justify being called the greatest HW of all time if you lost to a middleweight?
I'd just like to say that is all Josh Barnett's fault. Fedor had finally gotten the fight to solidify himself only for Barnett to piss it all away. The only good thing about this is that this is Fedor's last fight on his Affliction contract, although he'll still be under the M-1 umbrella. After this fight, he'll be able to pick and choose where he wants to fight next. If he fights Belfort and wins, well he was supposed to beat the blown up middleweight right? If he does fight Belfort, what are Belforts chances of winning?
Affliction: Trilogy coverage