Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Question of the Day: Will Josh Barnett Be Held Responsible For The Demise of Affliction?

Josh Barnett
(Loosely translated it means: ‘Screw this drug-testing stuff, I’m going back to Japan where they know how to treat a brother.’)

The good news for Affliction is that people are talking.  Josh Barnett’s failed steroid test and the ensuing media storm has, at the very least, gotten Affliction’s third event in the news.  This week Josh Barnett was #73 on the Google Trends list.  That put him well behind search topics such as “Michelle Obama haircut” (#29) and “dog takes baby from crib” (#25), but the point is, there’s some buzz now.

The bad news is that the buzz is mostly surrounding the one guy who we know will not be fighting Fedor Emelianenko next weekend.  Maybe the interest extends to the panicked search for a new opponent, at least for some people.  But who, aside from the hardcores who already know why Brett Rogers would be a sort of okay opponent and Paul Buentello wouldn’t, is willing to pursue it that far?

It’s sort of like when you hear about a sex scandal involving a Congressman.  The scandal itself is salacious enough to read up on, and who knows, you might even learn some new pick-up techniques (step 1: get elected to Congress, step 2: offer women green cards and cocaine), but that doesn’t mean you’re going to keep following the story long enough to know or care who replaces the guy when he is forced to resign.  

It’s the same with Affliction.  The story so far has been about the tremendous blow to their much-hyped main event on their critical third show.  That’s not exactly the kind of thing that makes people eager to pony up cash for the pay-per-view, even if it does make more people aware of the existence of such a pay-per-view.

As Affliction VP Tom Atencio repeated on Wednesday’s conference call, his plan has always been to make it to three shows and then decide whether he wants to keep promoting MMA events.  Ticket sales and pay-per-view buys for the previous two shows, which both had intact main events, weren’t exactly stellar.  Does that mean that Josh Barnett effectively doomed Affliction to remain forever a trilogy when he pissed dirty?  And if so, why aren’t MMA fans more pissed off at him?

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ihateemo- July 24, 2009 at 6:25 pm
Any company that deemed Tim Sylvia worth $800k, Matt Lindland $750k and Arlovski more than $1m was doomed from the get-go. Barnett's actions are inexcusable and excruciatingly idiotic but, while he can be blamed for the cancellation of this event by being caught so close to show time, he cannot be blamed for the financial lunacy that really defined Affliction as a promotion.

Affliction gambled on Fedor being a draw by himself regardless of the card (wrong), that by putting on huge events they could break even quickly (wrong) and either offered a) ridiculous amounts of money to secure name fighters on a card for more hardcore fans to entice them to check out the event or b) allowed fighters' agents to ask for more money than Scrooge McDuck used to swim in out of fear they would not be able to secure anything approaching a viable card leading in to the best fighter in the world (both stupid). Oh, and both events were awful when it came to production values - and Megadeth? Fucking lame. As soon as they came on I switched the UFC Fight Night event that was airing.

All things aside, someone needs to vandalise those "Do you know who I am?" signs with Josh Barnett's face with "YES, A CHEAT". Fucking steroids, man. When will people learn?
Drewimus- July 24, 2009 at 3:51 pm
Man, as much as I really loved Josh Barnett before this, and as much as I tried to forgive him for his first positive test, all I can bring myself to utter now is fuck Josh Barnett. I look at his face and I'm disgusted. All of his pre-fight antics that were at one point fun and likable, are now replaced with images of a loser.

My view on steroid use as a whole has also changed. I wasn't really into baseball when Conseco was going through his proceedings, but this shines a whole new light on the abhorrence of the matter. He had a chance to fight the number one heavy-weight in the world, and disgraced himself as well as the sport on the whole. I'm reminded of how I felt when Mark Coleman threw a fight when he was in a foreign country representing America.

CanadianGreaser- July 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm
Barnett is a disgrace, mind you that it's the third time that he gets caught juicing in America.

This guy should never be allowed to fight again.
Sneaky Pete- July 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm
Josh "The Baby Faced Assassin"* Barnett as a lot of you have already mentioned was just the tipping point on this already limited** venture. You can't really blame this on a dearth of talent, I mean everyone came out of the woodwork to challenge Fedor. I think you have to blame this on the resolve† of Tom Atencio to perhaps take a loss in order to really create a brand.

*'Assassin' of MMA events
†He's just a pussy
newguy137- July 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm
Btw the banner he is holding translates roughly to "You will also die." Little did everyone how prophetic this statement really was...
newguy137- July 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Josh Barnett has so much experience cycling steroids that there is no excuse for him to test positive, unless of course his plan was to duck Fedor for the (3rd?) time. By doing this he fucked over an entire event, stole paydays from many fellow fighters, and doomed an organization in the process. I hope Josh becomes the most demonized person out of this and will not be allowed to fight in America again.
Dr.- July 24, 2009 at 12:45 pm
UFC gave Affliction a Trojan Barnett and it's been waiting for the right time to make a move.
Old_Bald_and_Irish- July 24, 2009 at 11:26 am
Fist of the Northstar, FTW!
BackbaconBilly- July 24, 2009 at 10:22 am
Possible scenarios...

Barnett did not want to fight his friend, and this was a way out.

Dana, paid Barnett to take something to hopefully ruin the show and Affliction.

Barnett is just a dumbass. ( I really don't believe he's this stupid to get caught a second time but hey,lol )

There is a huge Anime/ vid show convention that Josh only learned about a few days ago, and he just had to go.

Barnett really is a dumb fuck!

The csac was paid off to bring up a bad test

Clyde- July 24, 2009 at 10:18 am
If he is held responsible for killing off affliction, will dana accept him into the UFC after any suspension is lifted?
newdeal- July 24, 2009 at 10:16 am
What about Randy Coture is he still bound to contract to the UFC now that he isn't champ anymore
Harry Russo- July 24, 2009 at 10:16 am
Josh Gross said the entire event is cancelled.
Goog- July 24, 2009 at 10:16 am
Nah. That'd be like saying Ken Shamrock ruined Elite XC by pulling out of Kimbo's fight. It's not built on Barnett, anyway. And if Fedor should somehow lose... he's not Kimbo. I think the fate of Affliction has always been in the hands of the people running it, not the fighters names. And like someone said above, Strikeforce is doing it better with decent cards and careful planning. They don't seem to be relying on superfights and million dollar paydays for these knuckleheads.

I was looking forward to the Barnett fight, but won't lose any sleep. Dumb move on his part, though, for sure. Had he won?... Oh my, the money that was in store for him.
JPfighter- July 24, 2009 at 10:11 am
"Does that mean that Josh Barnett effectively doomed Affliction to remain forever a trilogy when he pissed dirty? And if so, why aren’t MMA fans more pissed off at him?"

I think MMA fans are plenty pissed off at him, including people who were Josh Barnett fans. I doubt very much that Josh will have a much a fanbase after this debacle. Fortunately for him, the Japanese Pro Wrestling fans will likely welcome him back, so at least he will have a job. But I don't think there are many MMA fans who ever want to see this guy in MMA again. I have yet to hear one person speak out in defense of Josh Barnett, as of yet.
Koeikan- July 24, 2009 at 10:06 am

But not because Affliction is doomed.
simpsycho- July 24, 2009 at 10:04 am
Barnett may be responsible for the straw that breaks the camel's back, but it's unfair to ignore all the other straws that came before this one.
NateGetsIrate- July 24, 2009 at 10:03 am
LOL @ Dubbs!
NateGetsIrate- July 24, 2009 at 10:00 am
I think Barnett will be blamed for sure. Not only has he screwed Affliction, but he's screwed his really good friend, Fedor. Anyone Fedor fights on August 1 - including Rogers - is a no win situation for him. All i can say is, with friends like that, who needs yadda yadda.
Dubbs- July 24, 2009 at 9:58 am

I know man. A good friend of mine (definitely not me) was partying in Vegas with Dana a while back. Last thing he remembers was Dana Ordering I mean him a drink. I..ah..he woke up in one of the TUF dressing rooms naked, with a Randy Couture poster shoved up his ass. Dana was standing over him crying and screaming, "SO YOU WANNA BE A FUCKIN FIGHTER!!"

Hamma Fist Elbow Bam-Bam- July 24, 2009 at 9:47 am
If I were Josh Barnett's lawyer, I'd be using the "Dana White drugged my drink" defense. Plus, you know, Dana has a history of that sort of thing.
Jugger- July 24, 2009 at 9:45 am
Barnett usually has pretty stern words for people who make bone-head mistakes. Remember how ticked off he was that Cyborg acted so "unprofessional" as to weigh in almost 4 pounds over her weight class? Specifically, he said:

"...her lack of professionalism is deplorable. Never once was an apology uttered. Never once did I see one act of accountability. I don't know how to say it in Portuguese but, Cyborg is deserving of no respect and no praise. If you were ever a fan, I'd find someone of better character and better heart."

My, how the tables have turned. Not only is Barnett screwing the fans, he may well be sending a fledging promotion to its grave.

Speak of deplorable...
Dubbs- July 24, 2009 at 9:40 am
I personally can't justify dropping the money with the loss of Barnett. With this and the Carano/Cyborg card looking worse all the time...everythings coming up Dana! I wouldn't totally blame Barnett, even if he could fight on this card. What would be next for Affliction? They are rapidly running out of relevant fighters to put in relevant matchups.
ReDx- July 24, 2009 at 9:40 am
I just looked at the list. People who want to see the 9th inning catch to save the perfect game last night was ranked 42, but the people wanting to see pictures of the guys wife is ranked 95. Thats pretty funny.
C-Bus Allstar- July 24, 2009 at 9:38 am
oops see second post
Hexed79- July 24, 2009 at 9:37 am
It's hard to be pissed at Barnett when Affliction put all the eggs of this arm of their company in one basket. As interesting as Fedor is, he's not enough to carry an entire promotion over a sustained period of time.

Strikeforce is doing it right. Building cards with quality fights, regardless of big-time name recognition (upcoming Carano spectacle aside). If you build quality cards, fight fans will follow.

If you build cards based almost entirely on watching one guy fight, your demise will soon follow.