Josh Barnett

More Affliction Banned photos at

Remember the whole discrepancy between Affliction and Josh Barnett that prevented Barnett from fighting Andrei Arlovski on EliteXC’s CBS card? You know, the one where Tom Atencio said they couldn’t finalize a deal with him, leading many to believe he refused to take a pay cut, and Barnett said he was never even offered the fight. Yeah, strange, huh? Well, in Ben Fowlkes latest article, it looks like Atencio has rephrased what happened to something just a tad bit different.

“He was offered the fight. I couldn’t get a hold of him. He was out of the country and it was just how it worked out that it ended up being Roy Nelson and Arlovski. It’s a good matchup either way, but now it makes it so that the winner of this fight is in contention to fight Fedor [Emelianenko].”

He couldn’t get a hold of him. Seriously??? Both parties said these talks started 10 days before they were announced and Roy Nelson only found out three hours before the news broke. You mean to tell me in 10 whole days, in the day and age when you can text your mistress in Sweden while eating dinner with your wife in New York (I swear I don’t do that, I’m not even married), and shoot a f*cking movie on your cell phone and five minutes later a million people have watched it on YouTube, you couldn’t get a hold of him??? Isn’t that what agents and managers are for? Hell, you could have sent and received a message by pigeon in 10 days.

Don’t get my wrong, I’m not going to complain about the Arlovski/Nelson fight, but when you know what could have been on primetime network television, it stings a little. Then you add in that the winner gets a shot at Fedor, and you come to the realization that if the post-Tim Sylvia KO UFC “Pitbull” shows up, there’s a chance Nelson may pull out the upset, and once again, no Barnett-Fedor or Arlovski-Fedor fight. No offense to Roy, but when Fedor was fighting the winner of the Arlovski-Barnett fight, no matter what happened, we were going to get to see Fedor fight one of the world’s elite heavyweights. And right now, I just don’t have a desire to see Fedor fight Roy Nelson.

While we’re on the topic of Atencio and Affliction, there’s something semi-related I want to address. I like Tom, I do. He seems like a hell of a nice guy, but he’s also mentioned in past interviews that he still has all his responsibilities with the clothing line, you know, the one that actually makes them money. Running a promotion on a national scale is not a part-time job. Dana White’s video blogs offered clear evidence of that. Maybe, just maybe they should consider hiring someone who can run the promotion full-time and be the face of it. I can’t keep count of the number of times major Affliction news has broke and the next thing you know there’s Atencio in one article saying one thing, and Michael D. Cohen in the next completely contradicting him. Hell, even Atencio contradicts himself half the time. I would imagine this happens because both have full-time jobs outside of running this promotion. It would do them a world of good, and people would take them a lot more seriously if they had one face delivering a clear and consistent message.

Affliction, just a suggestion.