With more and more names being thrown out in the Fedor lottery after Josh Barnett's positive steroid test we're fast approaching California Gubernatorial Recall levels of hilarity.
Here is a rundown of every name that has been thrown out and their status:
Vitor Belfort - Originally scheduled to fight Jorge Santiago at 185 pounds. Vitor has accepted the fight in principle but it has not been warmly received by a large number of fans. At the time of this writing Sherdog.com has up a poll asking if Vitor is a suitable replacement with 73% of the voters saying no. Fedor's management has cited this poll as a reason the fight is not appealing.
Jeff Monson - Jeff has talked in the past about it being his destiny to defeat Fedor. He has expressed extreme interest in taking the fight, even on late notice. Monson's agent confirms:
"This is the fight he has always wanted." said Monson’s agent, Jessy Evans. ... "Now it up to Tom and the Affliction guys to make their minds up to see if they want to make history."
Brett Rogers - "The Grim" appears to be the prefered option for Fedor and his management. It didn't ever seem like a strong possibility given that Rogers is a potential future star with an undefeated record and would have roughly one week to train for the fight. Strikeforce has made it clear that Rogers would not be fighting on August 1.
Fabricio Werdum - Along with Monson, Werdum was considered the best "sporting option" by many fans...however, like Rogers, Strikeforce stated that this was a no-go. One recent update says that Affliction is still not taking negotiating with Strikeforce for either fighter (Rogers/Werdum) off the table.
Tito Ortiz - Never was a serious possibility but his name picked up some steam with fans pointing out his drawing power. He was only recently cleared by a doctor to start training and has said that he would not be taking a fight with Fedor on short notice.
Tank Abbott - Dave Meltzer gives the MMA Universe nightmares with the following:
Tank Abbott wants to be in play although I wonder if Affliction would want to go in that direction. He’ll mean more for ticket sales in Orange County and PPV than any alternative. The flip side is he’s Tank Abbott in his 40s.
Don Frye - Probably not a realistic option, but certainly the most entertaining "I want Fedor" quote:
"If Tom was smart, he’d have me fighting Fedor instead of whoever he’s hiring on a one week notice," Don Frye told MMAInsider. "My phone works if he wants a real fight with someone who sell a fight in four days, somebody who will beat that bald-headed commie too."
Post your thoughts on who would be the most entertaining choice as well as any fighters I missed that have had any serious public statements about the fight.
UPDATE 1 - King Mo - Mo is "tweeting" all over the place about being a possible opponent because he is training actively and is licensed in California. I've not really heard any talk of this being a possibility beyond Mo's own twitter account.