Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio answered questions this afternoon from the press related to the recent fallout surrounding the Josh Barnett steroid situation . Atencio was cut in dry in his remarks, with the following notes providing the highlights from today's call.
-Barnett has appealed the results from the original test and the state athletic commission is checking a second sample taken to validate the original test.
-Atencio is talking to three different fighters, but would not mention any names.
-Atencio confirmed Fedor is willing to face anyone and wants the best opponent possible.
-Atencio confirmed that he is working with Strikeforce to see about a possible opponent from their organization.
-Atencio said that every single name people are speculating on has been mentioned to him and is being considered. His goal is to put together the best fight possible given the circumstances.
-Atencio has said that despite rumors (specifically with Vitor Belfort), there are no contacts signed and in place. Things are being negotiated on several fronts and he won’t comment on any potential opponents until he has contracts in place.
-As soon as contracts are in place for Fedor and his opponent that information will be revealed.
-Atencio said that if Barnett’s second test comes back postive he won’t be able to fight in his organization anymore.
-Atencio said his organization was moving ahead and even if the second sample comes back negative, Barnett will not be an option to fight Fedor on the August 1 card.
One thing is for certain: the Aug. 1 date for the Affliction: Trilogy show is set in stone barring an act of God. Speculating on who Atencio will choose as Fedor's opponent now becomes the x-factor and with 10 days to go, anything could happen.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for details as the situation develops.