LOS ANGELES -- Initial ticket sales are strong for the July 19 debut of Affliction at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., according to Honda Center President and CEO Tim Ryan. A heavyweight bout between Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) and Tim Sylvia (Pictures) will headline the event. During Affliction's news conference Tuesday to promote the show, Ryan said that $250,000 worth of tickets had been purchased within the first 30 minutes of public sales. Ryan predicted that the show would sell out. Several fighters scheduled for the July 19 card attended the Tuesday news conference. In addition to Emelianenko and Sylvia, also present were Josh Barnett (Pictures) and opponent Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) as well as Renato Sobral (Pictures) and opponent Mike Whitehead (Pictures). Ben Rothwell (Pictures) was there, but rumored foe Andrei Arlovski (Pictures) was not. Arlovski's management declined to comment to Sherdog.com. The former UFC heavyweight champion is believed to still be negotiating with Affliction and with the UFC. Affliction also said Tuesday that it had signed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Pictures), brother of UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures). Fox Sports Net Executive Vice President George Greenberg announced two additional matchups: Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures) vs. Paul Buentello (Pictures) and Mark Hominick (Pictures) vs. Savant Young (Pictures). It was also announced that the first hour of the event will be aired live on FSN. The pay-per-view will start at 9:00 p.m. ET. Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) received a big reception at the conference, which was hosted by Jay Glazer (Pictures) and held at the Century City Shopping Mall in Los Angeles. The Russian heavyweight said he thought the show would be "one of the greatest cards in MMA history." Tim Sylvia (Pictures) complimented Fedor as a person and as a fighter. Sylvia had never expected the fight to happen, though now that it is he said he plans on keeping the fight standing by employing his usual sprawl and brawl technique. Fresh off his victory over Jeff Monson (Pictures) in Japan, Josh Barnett (Pictures) had just stepped off the plane one hour before the news conference began. He discussed how much opponent Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) has done for the sport, his longtime relationship with Affliction and promised that the July 19 event would deliver "hellacious beatings and dynamic submissions." Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) said he knew that the upcoming fight with Josh Barnett (Pictures) would be much harder than their fight seven years earlier. Ben Rothwell (Pictures) suggested that Affliction could change the landscape of MMA forever. He hinted at a possible matchup against Arlovski, saying he expected to be tested.
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