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Tag: Roy Nelson

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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Quick Hits: IFL Fighters to Affliction, Great MMA Book Reviews, and Dana White’s Net Worth


(‘Who has the nachos? Don’t act like I don’t know nachos when I smell ‘em!’)

After reports that Zuffa was buying the video library and at least some of the IFL’s fighter contracts, we kept expecting the flood of stories about all the ex-IFL’ers making the jump to either the UFC or WEC. So far news has been relatively light on that front, but it looks like Affliction has swooped in to pick off a couple of top prospects for themselves.

MMANews.com reports that Roy Nelson will face Xtreme Couture’s Jay White at Affliction: DoR (the abbreviations have already begun, deal with it) in October. Nelson was the IFL’s only official heavyweight champ, and White is…2-5. Wonder which of these guys is being groomed for a big future in the stacked Affliction heavyweight division?

Meanwhile, Sherdog is passing along info that a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been offered to IFL light heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko. Vladdy beat Little Nog via decision in 2002, and he never faced much of a test during his unbeaten run in the IFL. Matyushenko would make an excellent addition to the growing 205-pound ranks in Affliction, which should soon include Tito Ortiz, who Matyushenko lost a decision to in 2001.

In other news…

- Fightlinker has enlisted the services of Matthew Polly — author of this hilarious and highly recommended book — to review several of the MMA “memoirs” that have hit the shelves in recent months. Polly does to their sense of narrative and craft (and their ghostwriters’ sense of exactly how much work they’d have to do to get paid) what these same fighters would likely do to the face of anyone who uses words like narrative and craft. Fun times. Check out his review of “Iceman: My Fighting Life” and you’ll see what we mean.

- Ever wondered how rich Dana White really is? Well, rich. But Wall Street Fighter tries to nail down a solid figure. It’s actually harder than it sounds, although their photoshop of the UFC Prez is just adorable.

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UFC Could Be Close to Acquiring the IFL

Dana White
(It ain’t personal, baby. It’s strictly business.)

Despite Dana White’s love of criticizing every aspect of the IFL and citing them as a cautionary tale for MMA startups, it seems fighter contracts and an extensive video library are just too attractive for him to pass up. According to a report on MMA Payout, Zuffa is very close to buying the IFL.

The deal isn’t finalized, says Sam Caplan, but this is the most credible report thus far regarding the potential purchase of the IFL. The company was said to be on the market for around $1 million, but the UFC is believed to be getting it for less than that. Sources within the IFL could only confirm for us that the talks have been under way for some time now and the UFC is the leading suitor.

In case you’re wondering why the UFC would buy the company they spent so much time badmouthing, a clue could lie within Saturday’s “Silva vs. Irvin” fight card. The event features three former IFL fighters — Reese Andy, Rory Markham, and Brad Blackburn — whose entry into the Octagon was hastened by the UFC’s decision to put together an event to rival Affliction’s.

The UFC may be hoping to pick up some of the IFL’s better known stars, along with the video library to help promote them, in order to shore up their fighter roster before the likes of Jay Hieron, Chris Horodecki, Ryan Schultz, Jim Miller, and Roy Nelson (to name just a few) get snapped up by competitors like Affliction and Elite XC.

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IFL Shoulder-Tattoo Roundup

Matt Horwich IFL tattoos

As many of you are probably unaware, there’s an IFL event going down tonight in Uncasville, CT, which will feature Roy Nelson defending his heavyweight title against Brad Imes, and Ryan Schultz defending his lightweight belt against Deividas Taurosevicius. (You can watch the action live on HDNet beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.) And here’s something you might not know about the IFL: They require all their fighters to get shitty tattoos on their shoulders. Honestly — the photos from the weigh-ins prove it. My favorite is Matt Horwich‘s (above left), which is a screaming pencil with musical notes coming out of its eraser. More insane ink after the jump.

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Nelson, Schultz & McGivern Defending in May


(Ryan McGivern, on his back, will defend his title for the first time in May.)

The IFL‘s next event is this weekend, but the organization is already rolling out the card for its May event. The show is to go down on May 16th and mark a return to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The fights will, of course, be live on HDNet, as always. Staying true to their word of multiple title fights at every event, the IFL has scheduled three title defenses — heavyweight champion Roy Nelson, newly-crowned middleweight champ Ryan McGivern, and lightweight title holder Ryan Schultz. This will be the second defense for Nelson and Schultz.

Two new camps are also joining the action — The Bomb Squad and Team Prodigy. The Bomb Squad is a Northeast-based camp that will do battle with Mario Sperry’s World Class Fight Center (Vegas). Team Prodigy is based in Ohio and will take on Matt Lindland’s Team Quest (Portland).

For the title fights, here’s a snip from the press release:

In the title bouts, Nelson will defend his heavyweight belt against UFC veteran Branden Lee Hinkle (Weirton, W. Va.). Nelson won the title in December at Mohegan Sun with a knockout of Antoine Jaoude, then defended with a decisive first-round TKO over Fabiano Scherner in Las Vegas in February. Schultz will battle Deividas Taurosevicius (Lithuania) for the lightweight crown. Schultz also won his title in his last visit to Mohegan Sun in December, bouncing Chris Horodecki from the ranks of the unbeaten, then earned a decision win over John Gunderson in Las Vegas in February to defend. McGivern, one of the most improved fighters in the IFL, took the middleweight belt from Matt Horwich in February and has won three of his past four bouts.

Team Quest’s three fighters will find out their Team Prodigy opponents soon, but we do know that Zac George, Matt Horwich, and Aaron Stark will be representing Lindland’s group. The Bomb Squad’s John Howard — a Boston fighter — will fight Mario Sperry’s Marcello Salazar, and WCFC’s Danillo Villefort will take on BS’s Mike Massenzio in other camp action.

Here’s the card so far:

World Class Fight Center vs. Bomb Squad
170 lbs: Marcello Salazar (7-1-2) vs. John Howard (8-3)
185 lbs: Danillo Villefort (6-2) vs. Mike Massenzio (10-1)
155 lbs: TBD vs. TBD

Team Prodigy vs. Team Quest
155 lbs: TBD vs. Zac George (12-2)
185 lbs: TBD vs. Matt Horwich (21-10-1)
205 lbs: TBD vs. Aaron Stark (5-4)

Championship Bouts
265 lbs: Roy Nelson (12-2) vs. Branden Lee Hinkle (13-9)
185 lbs:Ryan McGivern (12-5) vs. Dan Miller (7-1)
155 lbs:Ryan Schultz (19-9-1) vs. Deividas Taurosevicius (9-2)

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