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Tag: Roy Nelson

Ben vs. Ben: Elite XC ‘Heat’ Edition

Kimbo knockout
(Different crumpled body, same end result on Saturday night?)

It’s Friday, there’s an event tomorrow (which we’ll be liveblogging, of course), and questions abound as to Elite XC’s long term viability and Ken Shamrock’s short term punchability, so that means one thing…it’s Ben vs. Ben time. In this edition, we talk Kimbo Slice, underdogs, co-promotions, and other stuff. We argue, we call each other names, we reconcile, we hug (just playin’, we don’t hug…anyone…ever), and in the end we arrive at few, if any, conclusions. But it’s about the journey, man. Not the destination. So without further ado…

Assuming we agree that Kimbo Slice will be victorious over Ken Shamrock, how and when will it happen? What’s next for Ferg?

Fowlkes: If this were five years ago I’d take Shamrock over this strange Kimbo character and I wouldn’t think twice about it. But it’s not five years ago, alas, so Shamrock is in for yet another disappointing performance in a career that has seen too many of them lately.

In his more lucid moments, Shamrock knows he needs to get this to the ground in a hurry. He should also know that his forty-four-year-old legs don’t have too many explosive shots left in them, so he has to be smart and make his takedown attempts count. That’s why he’ll try and trap Kimbo against the cage in a clinch and look for a throw or leg sweep – something that won’t sap too much precious energy. Kimbo will circle away from him and tee off. Shamrock will try again with similar results, but eventually a punch will clip him and he’ll go down. Then the ref will step in and Shamrock will be protesting the stoppage before he’s even back on his feet. It won’t get out of the first round or even past the four-minute mark. Thank you, Florida, and good night.

This fight will prove nothing for Kimbo’s credibility. Even Elite XC has to see that. After this they’ll load up for one big pay-per-view with Kimbo vs. Brett Rogers as the main event, figuring it’s time to go all-in. They have no choice. Antonio Silva is dealing with his steroid charges, Justin Eilers is damaged goods, and Sean Gannon wants too much money. Rogers is the only guy people will pay to see Kimbo fight. If Elite XC is smart they’ll realize they can leverage Kimbo’s stardom into a big push for Rogers, who might actually have the skills to justify the hype in the long run.

Goldstein: Dude, Ken hasn’t made it to the four-minute mark in a fight since 2002, and he’s not about to start now. I’m going to bring your estimate down 90 seconds and say The Miami Pound Machine finishes The World’s Most Glassiest Chin within the first 2:30. It’ll start with Kimbo knocking Shamrock down after about a minute-and-a-half. (No more than one shot will be attempted by Ken during that time.) The ref won’t stop it right away. Kimbo will get on top of Shamrock and punch him out on the ground. People will say “wooooo!” And the broadcast will immediately end because they’ll already be over their timeslot by like a half-hour.


What’s Really Going On, Josh Barnett?

(Don’t go getting soft on us, Babyface.)

For a guy who seems like he’s getting screwed by his employer, Josh Barnett sure is keeping cool about it. First he had his fight with Andrei Arlovski put in jeopardy when Affliction decided they couldn’t pull off their October “Day of Reckoning” event in Las Vegas. Then, a few weeks later, they announce that Arlovski will be fighting on this Saturday’s Elite XC card (and will be paid well to do it), but he’ll face Roy Nelson instead of Barnett. And why? Barnett says he never turned the fight down, but Atencio says he “couldn’t get a hold of him.”

Barnett was cagey while telling his side of the story to MMA Weekly, but it sounds as if there’s something else going on here than just a simple case of miscommunication:

“I was disappointed, yes. That was supposed to be my fight. We talked about it at some point prior to going to Japan, and I found out that I didn’t get the fight while in Japan. I continued to work on some business there, especially after I found out I wasn’t getting the fight.”

Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t sound like a guy who just missed a phone call. It could be that Nelson comes a lot cheaper than “The Baby-Faced Assassin”, who has said repeatedly that he is not interested in fighting at a discounted rate.

In any event, whatever is going on between Barnett and Affliction seems to have implications beyond just this Elite XC co-promotion, as Barnett confirmed in no uncertain terms that he won’t be fighting Fedor in January.


Affliction Woes: Fedor-Barnett Downgraded to Unlikely, Arlovski Comes at a Heavy Cost

Josh Barnett
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Life in the Affliction offices must be a little like being married to an alcoholic. They seem to be making progress, taking steps in the right direction, and then you look out the window and see them passed out naked in the neighbor’s yard and realize it was all just a pleasant illusion. Affliction’s latest setback has to do with the main event for their second offering, which is maybe on January 24 or maybe not, depending on who you talk to.

While new acquisition Gegard Mousasi claimed it would be Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett in Affliction II, Barnett’s manager tells USA Today, “It is unlikely that Josh and Fedor will fight within the next few months.”

Affliction VP Tom Atencio also said that no fights have been confirmed for the event. It could be that they’re waiting to see how Andrei Arlovski does against Roy Nelson in his big network TV moment on Saturday night. If Arlovski steals the spotlight on Elite XC: Heat, it would make sense for Affliction to put him in the main event against Fedor right away to try and capitalize on that increased exposure.

They’ve got to figure out some way to make it pay, because according to Dave Meltzer Arlovski is poised to haul in seven figures if he beats Nelson this weekend, and Affliction is footing the bill. It’s great for Affliction to get their stuff on CBS, but Arlovski better be wearing several layers of Affliction t-shirts to make this little venture seem worthwhile.


Gambling Addiction Enabler: Elite XC ‘Heat’

(What, no odds on whether Gina will make weight?)

If betting odds are any indication of how competitive MMA bouts will turn out to be, expect a lot of one-sided blowouts on Elite XC’s CBS offering this Saturday night. Not that it’s any surprise, really. In fact, with five fights crammed into a two-hour time slot CBS is going to need some quick beatdowns if they don’t want to run way over and have to cut into precious local news time. In any event, Best Fight Odds supplies the most gambler-friendly betting lines for ‘Elite XC: Heat,’ and they break down like this:

Kimbo Slice (-325) vs. Ken Shamrock (+329)
Jake Shields (-550) vs. Paul Daley (+524)
Gina Carano (-550) vs. Kelly Kobald (+525)
Ninja Rua (-196) vs. Benji Radach (+210)
Andrei Arlovski (-428) vs. Roy Nelson (+385)

Some thoughts…


Why Nelson vs. Arlovski Could Be the Best or Worst Thing For Elite XC on Saturday Night

(You ready for this, America?)

I almost couldn’t believe it when I first heard the news: Elite XC had added a legitimately interesting big time bout to their next CBS show. No disrespect to “Ninja” Rua and Benji Radach or Jake Shields and Paul Daley. Those are fights worth tuning in for, even if Elite XC seems content to treat them as background scenery.

And Gina Carano fighting an opponent who’s coming off two straight losses while the opponent who really makes sense for her fights someone else on the same card? Sure, that’s cool too. And of course there’s the obligatory ‘Kimbo Slice beats up handpicked opponent’ fight that we’ve come to expect.

But Andrei Arlovski-Roy Nelson? Now that’s intriguing, Elite XC. I have to admit, I’m impressed. I wonder, however, if you’ve thought through all the potential ramifications.

On one hand, it’s brilliant. Elite XC links up with another struggling organization to see if they can’t form like Voltron and make something happen. This fight adds hardcore credibility to a card severely lacking in it. The fact that Elite had to go outside their own stable of fighters to find that credibility is something we’ll ignore for the moment. Fact is, they showed the “willingness to work with other organizations” that we always hear about but seldom see put to such good use. Bravo.

But here’s what I’m wondering: what happens if Arlovski/Nelson turns out to be a solid, technical, exciting MMA bout, as we all know it very well could be?


Affliction VP Atencio: “Fedor is Definitely Not Fighting on New Year’s Eve”

(Sorry, bro. Not this year.)

Poor Fedor. All he wants to do is fight some weird, mostly meaningless bout on New Year’s Eve every year. But all these damn contracts keep getting in the way. It’s almost as if people want the world’s top-ranked heavyweight to only fight top-ranked contenders. Fascists.

Affliction VP Tom Atencio told me yesterday that he has good reason to believe that all the talk about Fedor fighting in Japan this NYE is just idle chatter. Said Atencio:

He is not going to [fight on New Year's Eve]. We have a contract with Fedor. We have a great relationship with Fedor. I just spoke with the guys from M-1 Global and they assured me that he’s not fighting so wherever that came from is beyond me. There are a lot of rumors in this industry and a lot of speculation, but I was told through the partnership that we have that Fedor is definitely not fighting on New Year’s Eve.

Where it came from, obviously, was Fedor’s comments at Dream.6. But Atencio seems certain that the next time “The Russian Last Emperor” gets in the ring, it will be under the Affliction banner. As for when that might be, the details there are a little hazier.


Exclusive: Roy Nelson Talks Arlovski Fight, Being “the Fat Guy,” and More

Former IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson went from having a fight with Paul Buentello in Affliction, to having that fight cancelled, to signing a deal to face Andrei Arlovski on CBS, all in a matter of weeks. Now “Big Country” talks about the unpredictable nature of the fight game, who’s signing his paychecks, and more in this exclusive CagePotato interview. Thanks for talking with me, Roy. I imagine it’s been an exciting week for you. When did you first hear about this offer?

Wednesday morning.

Really? That late?

Yeah. I got the news about three hours before Sherdog did. Talk about the last minute.

So what was going through your mind when they offered it to you?

You know, to fight Andrei is a big step in my career, so of course I was game. And what better stage than CBS, where you’ll get maybe 8 million viewers watching. Of course that’s something that I wanted to do.


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:


Arlovski-Nelson to Be Added to Elite XC on CBS: Now Who’s Got the ‘Heat’?

(Network TV exposure makes Andrei feel like singing.)

Don’t look now, but Elite XC’s next offering on CBS is threatening to turn into a legitimately big time MMA event. Andrei Arlovski and Roy “Big Country” Nelson have reportedly been offered a bout against one another at Elite XC: Heat next Saturday. The fight will be an Affliction/Elite XC co-promotion. Like they say, the enemy of my enemy is my tentative friend as long as they’ll let me promote my t-shirt line.

If this sounds like late notice to be throwing a bout like this together, remember that both Nelson and Arlovski were prepping for bouts on Affliction: Day of Reckoning, which was set for October 11 until recently, so it’s reasonable to think that both guys are in fighting condition. However, while Arlovski was preparing for Josh Barnett, Nelson was getting ready to face Paul Buentello. Nothing against “The Headhunter” here, but he’s no Arlovski.

Needless to say, you can expect to see Arlovski-Nelson on the CBS portion of the card on October 4, but the bigger question is, what will this mean for the relationship between Affliction and Elite XC moving forward? Funny we should ask, because MMA Rated spoke with Jared Shaw about the deal, and he had this to say:

This is just one fight. This is a co-promoted fight and it’s the first time out and it’s the beginning of a working relationship, there’s nothing else in place. We hope that Roy Nelson vs. Andrei Arlovski is the beginning of a great budding relationship between Donald Trump’s Affliction and EliteXC.

Shaw says the two-hour CBS broadcast will now feature five fights, and had no problem saying that this news “hits Dana White hard.” We’ll see. One thing we know about Dana White is when you hit him, he usually hits back.


First Lehman Brothers, Now the IFL

(Just level with me here: does this mean no Hex?)

Well, it’s finally happened. The IFL has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Something tells me a government bailout isn’t coming any time soon. Anyone want to buy a Quad Cities Silverbacks t-shirt? It’s a collectible. Seriously, I’ve got about seven of them. I’m entertaining all offers, including interesting trades. Seems to me like we wouldn’t be in this financial mess to begin with if we hadn’t abandoned the barter system.

As a former employee of the IFL, it’s possible that I’m the only one who cares about this news. It’s also possible that the ones who are really to blame here are the fans. In other words, you. The fans the IFL didn’t have. If you didn’t love gay foreplay so much, the IFL might be thriving and AIG would still be financially viable. You just won’t be happy until you destroy everything, will you?

In a last gasp of IFL news, Lithuanian lightweight Deividas Taurosevicius has signed with Affliction, joining other IFL refugees like Roy Nelson, Chris Horodecki, and Jay Hieron. Hope they can box.

Because we may never again have cause to mention the IFL, I’ll leave you with this.