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Barnett Says He Didn’t Turn Down CBS Fight; Affliction and Elite XC Now Blood Brothers

Despite rumors to the contrary, Josh Barnett says he did not turn down a fight with Andrei Arlovski at ‘Elite XC: Heat’ on Oct. 4. Though talk centered on the possibility that Barnett bristled at the idea of taking a pay cut to help Affliction get their co-promotion on with Elite XC on CBS, “The Baby-Faced Assassin” declared in a MySpace blog post that he was not asked to take any such pay cut and did not turn down the fight:

I read somewhere that I had declined the fight because I would have had to take a pay cut. I suppose others may also formulate some story about me declining the fight for other reasons.

I never decelned to take this fight. I was never told that I would have any part of my pay reduced since working with Affliction. To my knowledge, no one has been asked to take a pay cut that fights for Affliction.

I did not turn down this fight.


Whether Barnett knows it or not, some Affliction fighters were asked to take pay cuts for the second show. Barnett already committed to fight at Sengoku 6 in November after news of the Affliction postponement, so he may never have been a realistic option for Elite XC. Now Roy Nelson gets Arlovski, and Barnett gets to go back to Japan and entertain all the loyal Josh-a-maniacs there.

In other Affliction/Elite XC news, Affliction COO Michael Cohen indicated that there will be an ongoing arrangement between the two organizations. Affliction’s postponed second event, now apparently scheduled for Jan. 24 (or maybe there’s no set date yet, depending on who you ask), will also be a co-promotional effort between Affliction and Elite XC, and will either air on CBS or Showtime:

“We truly believe this co-promote will help the sport to become more mainstream,” he said. “Fans should certainly look forward to seeing more fights on primetime television and Showtime.”

At least, that’s the story for now. By next week it could be completely different. If this tenuous deal holds, however, we’re looking at a significant change in the MMA landscape. Elite XC and Affliction might have been teetering on the edge of obscurity before but by bringing their fighter rosters and various TV deals/overpriced-clothing money together, they suddenly have the potential to become a major player.

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alkatraz- September 24, 2008 at 10:52 pm
it never seems to amaze me the negativity on these anyone here an mma fan?because i think this is great 4 the sport and all most of you can do is find bad things to say.
theKnappyOne- September 24, 2008 at 9:33 pm
I thought CBS was buying ProElite..? And if so wouldn't it be the same thing as Affliction getting the CBS deal? It exposes their fighters, most of whom don't have very big drawing power in the US, and will get them recognition enough to sell PPV's.

Does this mean we'll see a Fedor/Kimbo match? Because that would be FUCKING awesome. Not saying it'd be that good of a fight, but either way it played out, someone would be exposed.. and that's awesome. Kimbo doesn't stand a chance, for the record and in my opinion.
Josh Aint Thug- September 24, 2008 at 9:00 pm
FYI - this does nothing for EliteXC’s hvywt division, it’s an Affliction fight on EliteXC’s card.

i understand that, but as a fan, i think i would expect them to swap and have fighters cross over for fights. if not, then i dont see why a co-promotion would benefit both, it ends up just looking like one org piggybacking on another org's tv deal, like a parasite....a 95 dollar t-shirt wearing parasite
dabix- September 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm
If it was for a caption contest, I would go with :
"Hell Yeah, I'm gonna crush my balls on this fucking padded corner.
I'm not scared with my balls. My balls > to Cro Cop's balls."

Feel free to send my this bloddy T shirt.
Joseph- September 24, 2008 at 6:21 pm
Yes, Affliction + Golden Boy are still working together. so...

Affliction + Golden Boy + EliteXC + DREAM + M-1 + HDNet + Showtime + CBS are all working together.
Sodak- September 24, 2008 at 6:03 pm
thats sweet there adding an interesting fight to the EXC card but i'd much rather see barnett n arlovski plus it would help diminish some anger over the canceled show, and it would of set up a fedor opponent for their next one, your blowing it affliction.
Dex- September 24, 2008 at 5:59 pm
So is Affliction and Golden Boy still in cahoots?

I'm confused.
Big Brown Silva- September 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm
I did not use steroids. It was my hyper thyroid tumor.
NealTaflinger- September 24, 2008 at 4:31 pm
FYI - this does nothing for EliteXC's hvywt division, it's an Affliction fight on EliteXC's card.
Blackleg- September 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm
"So what happened to Golden Boy?"

They are providing spit bucket and restroom attendants. Gotta keep it in your wheel house.

Don't think they'd be showing there faces for a co-promo between Elite and Affliction. That's like telling your girl she has to make out with your ugly ass brother just because you're related.
Kimbo's Chest Hair- September 24, 2008 at 4:07 pm
^^ [Edit for above: I meant EliteXC got 6 million viewers... not Affliction.]
Kimbo's Chest Hair- September 24, 2008 at 4:05 pm
So what happened to Golden Boy? I was really looking forward to watching a 50 minute boxing match in between MMA fights.

I'm not sure this really solves the problem for either org, but it may go a ways towards prolonging the life of both until they can really get off the ground. EliteXC brings the TV deal, and Affliction brings the fighters.

Personally, I could care less if EliteXC fails miserably. They have never been about the sport, and their management is atrocious. EliteXC also has a very poor roster of fighters. But they do have a TV deal, which would be helpful for Affliction in getting recognition for some of their fighters. The problem is, Affliction is so heavily leveraged on fighter salaries that it will be extremely hard for them to do anything but lose tons of money on a show on CBS or Showtime. The ONLY way for Affliction to make money is to have a high-selling PPV event. The problem with an EliteXC partnership is that production costs are increased for Affliction, while revenue goes way down from where it would be if they could build a successful PPV show.

A better model might be for Affliction to loan out even more of their top fighters to EliteXC to bolster the October show to help ensure solid ratings, which may just save EliteXC from going bankrupt before the end of the year. As a payback for this loan, EliteXC would then loan Kimbo to Afflicition's January show, and they could make it a PPV. Having Kimbo on a PPV event, alongside fighters like Arlovski and Fedor, would really help sell the event and may even help Affliction actually break even on it.

That scenario could really help both organizations. But if what they are saying above is true, that instead, Affliction will look to have its January event on CBS, then I think both organizations will fail. Affliction already got 6 million people to watch Kimbo. They won't get a single person more to watch Fedor, because everyone who cares about Fedor was already watching. With the salaries Affliction pays out, and with the low revenue stream generated by the poor deal EliteXC has with CBS, I don't see how that is the route to success for either org. Especially if they decide to throw some boxing in the middle of it...
Josh Aint Thug- September 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm
although this is probably the best fight on the card other than Shields and Daly IMO, it still hurts my balls that Kimbo v. Shamrock will be the main event

but a co-promotion with eliteXC and Affliction, if done right, will be great. Alone they had so-so fight cards, but with the ability to swap fighters and have more challengers for eliteXC titles and, i guess WAMMA, the possibilities will be huge.

this does wonders for eliteXC's heavyweight division. before it was just kimbo and big brown silva, but now with the heavy's from affliction, there shouldnt be a problem finding silva's next opponent, whether it be a few months to a year from now
walrus- September 24, 2008 at 3:27 pm
That'd be crazy if Roy Nelson Ko'd Arlovski. I'd laugh.

aside from any topic related to the article -- I think Barnett would take Arlovski, it'd probably go to decision though.