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Tag: Affliction Trilogy

UFC Picks Up Ben Rothwell vs. Chase Gormley From ‘Trilogy’ — Many More Affliction Fighters to Come?

Ben Rothwell MMA
("Hey Lesnar, I heard you like guns. WELL HOW DO YOU LIKE THESE?!?" Photo courtesy of milwaukeemma.com)

Why let Strikeforce have all the fun in picking over Affliction’s carcass? According to Sherdog, the heavyweight scrap between Ben Rothwell and Chase Gormley that was supposed to be featured on the undercard of "Trilogy" will now happen at UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles). Rothwell has won 14 of his last 15 fights, with notable wins over Roy Nelson, Krzysztof Soszynski (twice), and Ricco Rodriguez, and a sole loss to Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned. Gormley is a promising 6-0 heavyweight from Bodyshop Fitness Team who holds wins over Jon Murphy and Eric Pele.

But that could just be the beginning. InsideFights.com hears that a whopping twenty Affliction fighter contracts have been snapped up by the UFC. The names haven’t been released yet — maybe they’ll be revealed at Friday’s "crazy" press conference — but considering guys like Vitor Belfort, Jorge Santiago, Takanori Gomi, and Paul Daley are still floating in the breeze, Christmas may be coming early for Dana & Co. We’d include Fedor Emelianenko on that list, but as long as M-1 keeps denying that their #1 asset is heading to the Octagon, there’s no reason to keep playing with your emotions.

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Putting a Human Face to the ‘Affliction: Trilogy’ Tragedy


(Props: BJPenn.com)

Getting busted on a random steroid test and running an MMA organization into the ground may seem like fun and games to you, Josh Barnett. But it’s not so funny to all the fighters who depended on "Affliction: Trilogy" for a paycheck and some much-needed exposure. The above video shows an in-shock Rafaello "Tractor" Oliveira, breaking the bad news to BJ Penn; Oliveira was scheduled to face Takanori Gomi on the event’s main card, in what would have been the most high-profile (and, we’d assume, well-paying) fight of his career by a wide margin. Now he’s back to square one, and swallowing his sadness. Tough break, man.

But hope remains in the BJ Penn camp…

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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?

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It’s Time to Play: “Who Wants to Fight Fedor on a Week’s Notice!?”

Vitor Belfort and Mike Tyson
(All right guys, just flip a coin for it.  Loser fights Fedor.  Winner gets an ice cream sandwich.)

Remember when the fun trend among MMA fighters was to declare their desire and willingness to fight Fedor Emelianenko, despite not being in the same organization or even weight class?  Well, somebody better go call all those bastards up, because Fedor needs a replacement opponent in a hurry.  With Josh Barnett getting the no-go from the California State Athletic Commission, Affliction is said to be looking at four possible replacements, which range from unlikely to damn near impossible to not that credible of a challenger even if they did agree to it. 

But why stop with the merely implausible or ill-advised possibilities?  Clearly, this is a total shit-show of a problem that requires a total shit-show of a solution.  Allow us to examine the possibilities…

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Exclusive: Jay Hieron on Affliction’s Future, Xtreme Couture’s Reputation, and Where He Might Fight Next


(Hieron vs. Jason High at Affliction: DoR. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long.)

Xtreme Couture welterweight Jay Hieron takes on Paul "Semtex" Daley on the August 1st Affliction: Trilogy card (which is, as far as we know at this point, still happening) and we checked in with him to see how his preparation is coming, what he thinks of the recent disparaging remarks made about his gym, and what he’ll do if there isn’t an Affliction: Tetralogy show in the somewhat near future.

The fight’s a little over a week away.  How are you feeling?

Great, man.  Training’s been great.  I’m in tremendous shape.  I just have to get through this last hard week and then let my body heal up and I’m ready to fight.

Have you done much scouting on Paul Daley?

Yeah, I’ve seen a few of his fights.  I think he’s a good striker.  He’s explosive.  But I’m definitely more well-rounded and that’s what MMA is all about.

You’re an Xtreme Couture fighter so I assume you heard Kit Cope’s recent comments about your gym.  He said it’s a place where guys who are already good can get a workout, but that it doesn’t actually make fighters.  What do you think of that?

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Well, at Least We Still Have Babalu vs. Mousasi…


(Props: youtube.com/afflictionvideos via MMA Fanhouse)

It’s a small comfort in light of the canceled main event, but at least Affliction: Trilogy (if it is indeed still happening) will feature an important light-heavyweight bout between Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Gegard Mousasi. The above video promo paints the two fighters as polar opposites: Sobral is the hardy veteran who’s fought everybody and seen it all; the dangerous grappler who’s just as interesting outside of the ring. Mousasi is the young and confident striker who responds to every interview question with a deadpan shrug. It’s a clash of styles that will either solidify Sobral’s status as one of the best 205-pounders in the world, or prove that Mousasi can be dominant in a new weight class. "I’m the guy who wants to hurt him," Mousasi says, "[Sobral] only wants to submit me." Babalu responds with some of his trademark craziness: "If he talks shit, he gonna pee in the ring. If he doesn’t, he’s gonna pee anyway." Yikes. Gegard’s Bladder, you’ve just been put on notice…

After the jump: A preview of the middleweight bout that might not happen anymore — Vitor Belfort vs. Jorge Santiago.

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CSAC Refuses to License Josh Barnett; Bout With Emelianenko Off for ‘Affliction: Trilogy’


("Mostly-natural, baby!" Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)

Bad news for MMA fans — and disastrous news for Affliction’s MMA promotion. Sherdog is reporting that the California State Athletic Commission will not license Josh Barnett for his fight against Fedor Emelianenko at next Saturday’s Affliction: Trilogy event due to a "positive test result." We’re assuming that means steroids and not Hep B or something, though the CSAC promises to release a detailed statement today. Barnett, who was stripped of his UFC heavyweight title in 2002 for anabolic steroid use, was surprised by the news: 

“I took my test three weeks ago. I would have thought I would have heard something by now…No matter what happens with this, I can assure you I will clear my name. This will not be something that I am defined by.”
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Videos: Affliction “Trilogy” Hype, + Cro Cop Goes to the Bathroom and Is Therefore Beatable

So here’s a little taste of how Affliction is hyping their third (but totally not final) event.  Basically, it’s W-A-M-M-A champ Fedor Emelianenko against Josh Barnett, and yeah, some other dudes will be fighting on the “stacked” undercard.  So stacked, in fact, they can’t even get into it on this brief ad.  Just take their word for it, okay?

After the jump, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic talks about his motivation for coming back to the UFC (proving jerks like us wrong), and Mostapha Al-Turk employs some logically consequential thinking to come to the conclusion that since all men who go to the bathroom are beatable, and Cro Cop is a man who goes to the bathroom, therefore Cro Cop is beatable.  Yeah, son!  Now that’s how you hype a fight!!!!

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Don’t Get Excited About Seeing Gomi in Affliction Just Yet


(Gomi’s contract stipulates that he is allowed to start a post-fight melee at a time of his choosing, but he agrees to provide his own confused Asian kid.)

Earlier today MMA Weekly reported that a 165-pound catchweight bout between former Pride star Takanori Gomi and IFL/Affliction up-and-comer Brett Cooper was “in advanced negotiations” for Affliction “Trilogy.”  Awesome, right?  Now Ariel Helwani comes along and destroys our hopes of seeing “The Fireball Kid” on American soil again by going and talking to Affliction VP Tom Atencio, who says it ain’t happening.  Damn.  We barely had time to get excited, and already we’re disappointed.

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Affliction COO Says “Trilogy” Isn’t the End, Has No Idea Where You Got That Notion

Fedor and Josh Barnett
(‘So how about if, like, at first I’ll let you beat me up some, then I start to come back, but I go for an elbow off the top rope and miss, right?  And then at the end, well, I haven’t decided who should win yet, but we’ll figure it out. Just saying though, it’d be more of a shock if it was me.’)

Affliction COO Michael Cohen contacted Fanhouse’s Ariel Helwani (and you know the situation is dire when people are actually calling Ariel rather than the other way around) to let us all know that there is absolutely no truth to the persistent rumor that Affliction III will be the organization’s last MMA event.  The fact that they’ve named it “Trilogy”?  Nah son, you shouldn’t read too much into that, says Cohen: “Trilogy just means that this is the third. This is the third of the series.”

Yeah, that’s the standard use of the word ‘trilogy.’  It refers to the third installment in a long and profitable series that continues to pump out new editions several times a year.  Like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Godfather” trilogy.  Oh, wait.

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