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“I am always 100% involved in the negotiations especially with regards to the Barnett fight,” he responded. “We discussed this fight with the whole team (trainers, coaches, management), so as a team we agreed to a fight with Barnett.”
The potential showdown with Barnett is one that is intriguing in that the two are friends who have trained with each other in the past. Fedor was asked to discuss the nature of his friendship with Barnett.
“Besides Josh's qualities as a fighter, he is also one of the best representatives for MMA in the U.S.A.,” he said. “We often had drinks after our fights in PRIDE and Affliction so I do consider him a friend.”
The friendship between the two heavyweight standouts is so strong that it even remained as such in spite of Barnett's 2006 second round submission victory over Fedor's younger brother, Aleksander, at PRIDE Total Elimination Absolute.
“There is no desire for revenge,” Fedor answered when Barnett's win over Aleksander was brought up. “This is a totally separate fight.”
“I consider Josh as one of the truly best in MMA, I think he is really in his prime right now,” he said. “Just like when I fought Cro Cop, he was in his prime as well. At that time it was one of the most anticipated fights in MMA history (and) my fight with Josh can be that as well.”