Something definitely didn’t seem right when Gegard Mousasi said his Red Devil teammate, Fedor Emelianenko, would be fighting Josh Barnett at the Affliction event in January. Today, Sergio Non confirmed my suspicions when he spoke to Barnett’s representative, Shannon Hooper.
But no fights have been confirmed for the January show, Tom Atencio, vice president for Affliction, told me this week. And in an e-mail message, Barnett’s representative, Shannon Hooper, cast doubt on his prospects of fighting Emelianenko in the near future: “It is unlikely that Josh and Fedor will fight within the next few months.”
If Fedor does skip NYE in Japan, I expect he’ll end up fighting Arlovski assuming he wins on Saturday, as Atecio stated he would. If Nelson wins, hopefully Tom will contradict himself again, and book the Fedor-Barnett fight.
In the meantime, Barnett was reportedly fighting on the Nov. 1 Sengoku card, however, that’s not even a done deal.
“Josh has never been scheduled to fight on the Sengoku Nov. 1st card. I’m not sure why some of the press was reporting otherwise. However, we’d like to see him fight again in the near future and the Sengoku card is one possibility.”
In other Affliction news, it looks like the question of who is paying for Arlovski vs. Nelson and how much has been answered.
It’s an expensive commercial for Affliction because they are paying for the fight and Arlovski will be earning in the range of seven figures if he wins.
Expensive indeed. As Fightlinker already said, it might not be a bad deal for them though. Advertising spots on network television aren’t cheap and usually only last 30 seconds a pop. Plus, you have to consider that not everyone is going to see the commercial since people often change the channel, go the bathroom, etc. With this, they essentially have an in-program ad that’s going to last much longer that everyone will be paying attention to. It’s a lot of money, but at the very least, it’s a much better use of their money than the NASCAR sponsorship was.
[UPDATE 10/02/08 8:02PM ET] – Looks the possibility of Fedor-Barnett in January has been downgraded from “unlikely” to “not happening.” Barnett spoke with MMA Weekly about the whole CBS ordeal and Fedor, and he doesn’t sound too happy.
“I was disappointed, yes. That was supposed to be my fight [on CBS against Arlovski]. 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.”
“[Fighting Fedor in January] would be (logical) for the fans, but the fans don’t understand contracts or the way things have been put down on the back end in terms of the business aspect of it. Or the details between both of the fighters. So, it’s not really that we want to rob the fans of something, it’s just that I don’t think it’s possible.”
“There’s just some times it’s better to keep your mouth shut and just not really talk too much about things. I’m not trying to make anybody look bad or talk about the details of it, but it’s just not a fight that’s going to happen in January. And I think that the feeling is actually mutual.”
“There’s a lot of factors that go into this one. It’s not so simple.”
This whole situation reeks of money disputes from every angle. Barnett made a disclosed $300,000 with no win bonus at “Banned,” while Arlovski made $500,000 and a $250,000 win bonus, and it’s believed Fedor made well over a million. According to the report above, Arlovski could make seven figures with a win Saturday night. I’m sure none of that has sat well with Barnett.