Many names have been tossed around as to who should replace Josh Barnett against Fedor Emilianenko, at Affliction Trilogy, on August 1. One name however, has yet to be mention. Before we show his credentials to do so, let's go over the other possible replacements.
Vitor Belfort- Belfort is already set to take on Jorge Santiago, but putting that aside, he's a Middle-weight, he's to small.
Brett Rogers- Rogers is too green, plus Strikeforce said no.
Fabricio Werdum- Werdum has got the credentials, but he's not appealing and again, Strikeforce said no.
Bobby Lashley- Lashley is also to green, even he knows it, so he said no.
Tito Ortiz- Ortiz is out of shape, due to recent back surgery, and he also said no.
Tank Abbot- Seriously?
Don Frye- Frey would be fun but, we know how it would end.
Jeff Monson- Monson would be the best choice, but he's to small and he hasn't been able to win when it matters. i.e. Chuck Liddell, Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett. Along with that, Monson is schedueled to fight Tony Sylvester at the NAAFS in August.
Now that we've eliminated our other options, lets look at the best remaning one. It's still not as good as Josh Barnett, but nothing they find will be. We are left with none other than Renato 'Babalu' Sobral, and here's why; Babalu is in shape, already training for a fight on Affliction's August card. If Affliction is willing to cancel Santiago/Belfort, they can cancel his. Sobral is trained to fight Mousasi, who trains and resembles Fedor very well, so Babalu's current gameplan can still work. He's got credentials, he's the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, and has been unstoppable as of late. He's got attention, he's well known, and they have a strong angle to sell him.
Sobral even has a good chance of winning, and here's why; Fedor, and Babalu have fought before, with Babalu losing by decision. Fedor knocked Arlovski out, and tapped Sylvia out, but was unable to finish Babalu. Sobral even caught Fedor in a leg-lock in the last round, but was unable to finish as time expired. Fedor admitted that had the match been 15 seconds longer it would have been a bad night for him. There's been no word of Babalu, Strikeforce, or Affliction saying no, so why not have Babalu vs Fedor II?