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Tag: Andrei Arlovski

Pedro Rizzo-Ben Rothwell for Affliction: Day of Reckoning?

Fresh off their respective losses at Affliction: Banned, Ben Rothwell and Pedro Rizzo will square off at the next Affliction event in Las Vegas on October 11, according to MMA Mania. If true, this goes against Monte Cox’s claim that Rothwell would sit this one out. It would also add another interesting match-up to a fight card that’s already brimming with them.

Rothwell-Rizzo is a good match for finding out exactly where both these guys stand in their careers. A Rothwell victory would confirm the sneaking suspicion that he should be taken seriously in the heavyweight division, while a loss to Rizzo would likely mean his removal from the top ten until further notice.

For Rizzo, a win means he can make a compelling case to keep fighting and a loss means he can’t. As great as “The Rock” was in his time and as deserving as he is of a spot among MMA’s forefathers, he can’t hang around forever. A knockout loss to Josh Barnett is nothing to be ashamed of, nor would a loss to Rothwell necessarily be a career-ender. But at Rizzo’s age (34), it would hardly be encouraging.

- In slightly related news, fellow ex-IFL fighter and Quad Cities Silverbacks team member Bart Palaszewski has signed with Zuffa to compete in the WEC. “Bartimus” (laziest nickname ever?) reportedly signed a six-fight deal and plans to be ready for action in September.


Kelly Kobold Confirms Gina Carano Bout, WAMMA Confirms “Elimination Fight”

(They grow ‘em sturdy in Minnesota.)

On this week’s edition of MMA Rated Radio Ariel Helwani and I talk with female MMA fighter Kelly Kobold, who confirmed that she will be facing Gina Carano in Elite XC on CBS in October. This, despite the fact that Kobold is coming off two straight losses and “Cyborg” Santos waits in the wings after her downright frightening performance at “Unfinished Business”. Perhaps it helps that Kobold has been openly critical of Carano’s inability to make weight. She even refers to interviews where Gina has been asked about it and instead of answering, “evaded the question and went on to spout some patriotic crap.” We also discuss UFC 87, Affliction’s newest signings, and other stuff. Check it out here.

In other news, WAMMA sent out a press release today announcing the Josh Barnett-Andrei Arlovski match as an “elimination fight” with the winner taking on Fedor Emelianenko for the WAMMA heavyweight title. I guess they’re assuming that Fedor won’t defect to the UFC with their title in order to face Randy Couture.

In case you’re wondering, Barnett is ranked third by WAMMA and Arlovski moved up to fourth with his win over Ben Rothwell. You can probably guess who number two is (hint: he’s in the Rob Schneider clip below, and it isn’t Bob Sapp or Don Frye).


It’s Official: Barnett vs. Arlovski @ “Day of Reckoning”

Affliction MMA Barnett Arlovski Day of Reckoning
(Mmmm, apocalyptic…)

After a Long Beach Press-Telegram article confirmed that Affliction’s next event would be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Josh Barnett (23-5) and Andrei Arlovski (13-5), the t-shirt company put up a home page for the October 11th card — named “Day of Reckoning” — which will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. An exclusive ticket presale for “Affliction customers” begins Wednesday; tickets can be bought here.

Besides that reported bout between Matt Lindland and Vitor Belfort, the only thing we know about the lineup at this point is that Fedor won’t be on it. Though the absence of Affliction’s best fighter is unfortunate, Emelianenko still isn’t a proven pay-per-view draw in the U.S., and if Affliction can quickly get their hands on someone who is — Tito Ortiz, in a best-case scenario — then “Reckoning” should be able to out-perform “Banned.” We’ll keep you updated as the card comes together.

But speaking of Fedor, you wanna hear something totally freakin’ wild?


No Fedor for Affliction 2?

Fedor Emelianenko shrugged off his injured thumb following his thirty-six second demolition of Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned, but now a hand injury has his next Affliction bout against Andrei Arlovski in doubt. Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Fedor is off the October 11 card and that instead we’ll see Josh Barnett step in to take his place.

Barnett made a ripple in the MMA news pond earlier this week when he said he would not take a pay cut for his next Affliction bout, as VP Tom Atencio hinted that he may ask the fighters to do. If Barnett is going to be the main event savior for Affliction, you can bet he’s going to insist on being paid like one, especially now that he knows Tim Sylvia is walking around with $800,000 in his pocket.

Losing Fedor for their second show could turn out to be an interesting test for Affliction. If they can still draw without their main attraction, the organization might have some legs. If they can’t, the outlook becomes grim. Very grim.


Fedor vs. Arlovski at Affliction 2 (Oct. 11, Las Vegas)

Fedor Emelianenko MMA Affliction
(The Last Emperor knows how to rock a Canadian Tuxedo.)

Yahoo! Sports passes along the big news: Affliction will be having its second event on October 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, featuring a main event heavyweight brawl between Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski. No other matches are announced at this time.

Emelianenko has fought at the Thomas & Mack before, submitting Mark Coleman at PRIDE 32, which was held at the arena in October 2006. Without a doubt it will chap the ass of Dana White for Affliction to be holding an event in his backyard, and a counter-programming show would seem to be out of the question as well, as the UFC already has events planned on October 18th (UFC 89) and October 25th (UFC 90).

As suggested before, Affliction following up its debut event in less than three months is crucial to its momentum, and the timing in relation to the UFC’s events is perfect. You couldn’t ask for a better main event, though I’m a little surprised that Josh Barnett isn’t being thrown at Fedor first; from a marketing standpoint, American vs. Russian beats Russian vs. Belarusian, and MMA fans have been begging for a Barnett/Emelianenko showdown since their tenures in PRIDE.

More details to come…


Affliction’s Fighter Salaries Are Absolutely Ridiculous

Affliction Banned salaries MMA
(Fighter salaries for Affliction: Banned, from via MMA Mania. Click for larger image.)

One major caveat before we get started — there’s no way that Fedor Emelianenko made a half-million less than Tim Sylvia to be on this card. Either he was given a large signing bonus, or he’s getting a cut of the PPV, or both. No, I don’t have a source on that; you’ll just have to trust me.

Now that that’s out of the way, HOLY CRAP. There’s a difference between paying well and guaranteeing that your promotion will be a money-loser. When they left the UFC, Andrei Arlovski was making $105,000 to show with a $65,000 win bonus, and Tim Sylvia was making $100,000/$100,000. Atencio & Co. could have very generously offered these guys double what they were making, with the promise that contracts could be renegotiated when Affliction’s MMA promotion gets on its feet, financially speaking. In its infinite wisdom, Affliction quintupled and octupled Arlovski and Sylvia’s previous base salaries right off the freakin’ bat. Dana White is seeing these numbers and laughing his pale ass off.


Josh Barnett: “How’s Taste My Big Pee-Pee?”

This is officially an MMA catch phrase now. Thanks, Andrei Arlovski (via MMA Rated). Whether you knew what you were saying or not, you have indeed given us a wonderful gift. Even Josh Barnett’s saying it. He’s also talking about how much he loves British metal band Bolt Thrower, which he likens to “being surrounded by an army of guitars and having your skull crushed.” Sweet.


“Affliction: Banned” — Blow by Motherf**king Blow

Andrei Arlovski MMA Affliction
(“What’s up, Anaheim! I just gotta know one thing…HOW’S! TASTE! MY PEE-PEE-PEEEEEEEEEE!!!”)

Can a t-shirt company put together an MMA card that outclasses the UFC? Will Fedor Emelianenko prove he’s still the #1 heavyweight in the world? Will Megadeth play “Symphony of Destruction”? So many questions, and they’ll all be answered tonight, folks. After the jump you’ll find results for Affliction: Banned’s undercard (spoiler alert, obvi), and a full-on play-by-play of the pay-per-view broadcast beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh your browser every few minutes for all the latest, and give us your own thoughts in the comments section. Skulls and wings, baby; skulls and wings…


What’s So Great About Boxing Coaches, Anyway?

In the lead-up to Affliction’s Andrei Arlovski-Ben Rothwell fight I’ve heard the same question from MMA fans and analysts again and again: how much of a difference will Freddie Roach make for Andrei Arlovski? For those of you unfamiliar with Roach, he’s a former pro boxer and world-renowned boxing trainer who has recently begun working with Arlovski and who will corner “The Pitbull” on Saturday night. Naturally, it’s got to be a help to have someone like that working with you on your striking, but is it really the difference-maker many people think it is?

In order to get on board with that thinking you have to go along with two basic assumptions: 1) MMA fighters are generally far behind boxers in their technical striking ability, and 2) what a boxing trainer knows about striking is relevant and translatable for an MMA fight.

The first point is mostly valid. Because boxers only use their fists and only fight using a limited array of options, they’re probably going to be better at using them, if for no other reason than the fact that they can afford to spend more time on it. Just like a decathlete can do a lot of things well, he still can’t throw a discus better than the guys who do nothing else.

But it’s the transition to the second point that gets me. Boxing is a different sport. Some of the conventional wisdom in boxing — even basic fundamentals regarding stance, hand positioning, and defense — don’t necessarily work for MMA because of the threat of takedowns, kicks and knees, and the size difference in the gloves. So why is it necessarily so great to be coached by a boxing trainer?


Ben vs. Ben: The UFC/Affliction Argument

(One more Ben never hurt anything.)

At Wednesday’s press conference in Los Angeles every single Affliction employee made sure to refer to their event as “the biggest event in MMA history.” That may be a blatant exaggeration, but this coming weekend is still a monumental one for our sport, not to mention a great one for those of us who love it. With that in mind, we bring you another edition of Ben vs. Ben, where Cage Potato’s similarly named editors battle it out. This time it’s personal.

Which underdog has the best chance of scoring an upset this weekend?

Fowlkes: There are underdogs and then there are underdogs. By that I mean there are the guys who are betting underdogs and the guys who are mostly just perceived to be underdogs, even if the line on them doesn’t really reflect it.

For the latter I like Ben Rothwell. It might only be a mild upset for him to beat Andrei Arlovski, but it would go a long way toward silencing the Rothwell haters who still think his thirteen-fight win streak was all IFL hype. Some of it was, sure, but Rothwell is a monster. He can do everything Arlovski does, only better. He’s also matured and become a real workhorse in the gym since leaving the IFL, whereas a lot of guys might have slacked off with no fights on the horizon.

As for real betting underdogs, at +400 Reese Andy’s my man (okay, so the old IFL loyalties are starting to show, I admit it). It’s not that he’s so much better than Brandon Vera, but I just don’t believe Vera’s head is really in this fight. He’s still dwelling on the Werdum fight, still feeling like he ought to be a heavyweight, and now Andy’s going to come in, take him down, and grind away at his face for a decision victory. It’s definitely not out of the question.

Goldstein: Wow. You should have prefaced that response with “Caution: Extreme Nuthugging Ahead.” I like Rothwell too, but to say that he does everything Arlovski does, only better — well, it’s a statement that can only be proved by the fight itself. Still, I have to agree that Rothwell has a good shot at surprising a lot of people. Arlovski vs. Rothwell is the only fight on the Affliction main card that isn’t completely lopsided, and Big Ben has the tools to win.