MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Roy Nelson

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.

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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…

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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?

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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.

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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.

CagePotato.com: 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.

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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.

Josh

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:

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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.

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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.

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Weekend Quote Roundup: Assassin, Predator, Hellboy + More

Anderson Silva James Irvin UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

“It was interesting…karma comes around. Honestly what I thought of it was that Karma’s a bitch with a red dress.” — Houston Alexander on James Irvin’s loss to Anderson Silva. Alexander also told TheMMANews that he’s renewed his UFC contract for an additional four fights.

“Joe Silva was telling me to lose some weight and gain some muscle. He said I need the UFC look.” — Roy Nelson on the UFC’s “No Fatties” policy. Luckily, Affliction is a judgment-free zone.

“We know how to beat Anderson Silva. The only way to beat him is to push the pace. Go forward all the time. You can’t let him get confident and comfortable in the centre of the Octagon. You have to push the pace for five minutes every round. If I do that, I can catch him. I’ll take care of him.” — Famous last words from Patrick Cote.

“I would fight any one of the UFC lightweights, but the problem is that I will never put my foot in the octagon after they (UFC) tried to be funny. I would rather have bleeding hemorrhoids than fight for the UFC. The Japanese MMA audience is the best in the world. They make magic! I would rather have one true Japanese MMA supporter than one million fake mainstream supporters that will turn their back on you as soon as you lose a fight. I don’t care about things that are mainstream.” — Joachim Hansen, who was offered half his contracted salary by the UFC after Zuffa bought PRIDE.

“I think that shot pretty much changed the whole dynamic of the fight. I sure would like to know what would have happened if it hadn’t landed. Once that right hand landed it was like I was fighting half blind, or pretty much blind at that point. It was all pretty much downhill from there. I just tried to come back and mount some type of offense. Unfortunately, I was never able to mount anything that significant…After getting rocked with a shot like that, and not being able to see, you’re more in survival mode.” — Heath Herring on the fight-opening punch from Brock Lesnar that sent him ass-over-teakettle.

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Affliction Signs Horodecki, Announces Nelson-Buentello, But Where’s Tito Ortiz?


(That’s the kind of youthful exuberance Affliction needs!)

Today’s Affliction press conference managed to temporarily steal some of the media spotlight away from UFC 87, as the organization announced that they had signed former IFL lightweight Chris Horodecki, and revealed a planned bout between IFL heavyweight champ Roy “Big Country” Nelson and Paul Buentello at their next in event in Vegas on October 11. That’s right, Nelson will not face Xtreme Couture’s Jay White in a pump-up squash match, as was previously rumored. Instead he’ll get something closer to a real test when he takes on the revitalized Buentello, who is fresh off a decision victory over Gary Goodridge at Affliction: Banned.

Affliction VP Tom Atencio said he was “really excited” about signing Horodecki and added that “everything is falling into place for Las Vegas.”

What Affliction didn’t announce at the press conference was the official signing of Tito Ortiz, who was said to be close to a “ground-breaking record contract” with the organization. According to Michael Cohen, Affliction’s COO (also Special Counsel to Donald Trump, see how that works?) there’s nothing to get excited about just yet:

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