Josh Barnett on Affliction return, rumored pay cuts
Despite being passed up for a shot at WAMMA heavyweight title-holder Fedor Emelianenko, and amid rumors of a possible pay-reduction request from the company's front office, heavyweight Josh Barnett (23-5) is preparing himself for a rumored October Affliction card.
Barnett discussed his possible return while a guest on "The Lights Out Show" on the TAGG Radio Network (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I've got a pro wrestling match Aug. 15 in Tokyo, Japan," Barnett said. "After that, I guess I'll be fighting someone Oct. 11. I don't know who yet."
Despite no official announcement from Affliction, Barnett feels confident the rumored show will come to fruition.
"I'm training for it," Barnett said.
Barnett, who has fought in several organizations throughout his 11-year career (including the UFC and PRIDE), said he enjoyed his first experience with the debuting Affliction promotion. The proximity of the Anaheim, Calif. show to the southern California resident's home was one reason Barnett was pleased.
"It was nice to be able to just hang out in my own house (and) drive down to the arena (and to) have all my friends and family be able to come and see me that live here in the States," Barnett said.
There was another simpler, yet important, reason Barnett hopes to return to the Affliction ring.
"I think [Affliction] is doing a pretty good job," Barnett said. "PRIDE owes me money. And the check from Affliction went through just fine. They're certainly a step up there."
After Affliction's first show, many believed a Barnett vs. Emelianenko bout would be the next logical step for both fighters. The prevailing belief at this point, however, is that Emelianenko will be paired with Belarusian heavyweight and former UFC title-holder Andrei Arlovski.
Barnett said he was unconcerned with Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio's choice of opponent.
"It's not about chasing down fights or fighters, particularly," Barnett said. "The fights will come. And I'm going to be standing on top."
Although official announcements regarding a future Affliction show have yet to be made, Barnett encouraged fans to contact the organization if a fight between "The Babyface Assassin" and "The Last Emperor" was something they wanted to see on an upcoming card.
"If people really want to see this fight, then they need to say something," Barnett said. "Write Affliction or whoever. Let it be known. If that's the fight you want to see, then say so."
With rumors swirling that Affliction may ask its fighters to take an alleged 50 percent pay decrease in the future, the possibility of a Barnett vs. Emelianenko bout may prove doubtful. But Barnett wanted everyone to know he's not opposed to the proposition.
"I know I've got a lot of great fans here, and I'm not here to let them down or sleight them," Barnett said. "There's nobody I wouldn't fight."
To hear the full interview, in which Barnett discusses other possible opponents as well as his extensive career in Japan, download Thursday's edition of "The Lights Out Show," available for free in the TAGG Radio Network archives.
Drew McFedries vs. Mike Massenzio at UFC Fight Night 15
Hard-hitting Drew McFedries (7-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will meet UFC newcomer and former IFL fighter Mike Massenzio (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 15 in September.
The fight, first reported by fiveouncesofpain.com, has since been confirmed by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The bout is likely to end up on the night's un-televised preliminary card.
UFC Fight Night 15, which takes place at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb., features co-main events of Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer and Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida.
McFedries, a Team Miletich fighter, most recently defeated Marvin Eastman at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale. Like his other UFC victories -- over Jordan Radev and Alessio Sakara -- the win came via first-round knockout. His only losses in the UFC are to middleweight contenders Martin Kampmann and Patrick Cote.
Massenzio fought just once in the IFL and suffered a first-round submission loss to Danillo Villefort. The defeat snapped his nine-fight win streak, which included four-consecutive submission victories prior to his IFL debut. He fought primarily in the Reality Fighting and Ring of Combat organizations. According to fiveouncesofpain.com, the former collegiate wrestler signed a four-fight deal with the UFC.
MORE POSITIVE DRUG TEST RESULTS APPEAR LIKELY
Though the California State Athletic Commission has already released partial drug test results from Affliction’s debut mixed martial arts event on July 19 and EliteXC’s second edition of CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on July 26 with only one positive result, neither promotion can plan on clear sailing as the remaining results come in.
Of the first eight fighters returning drug test results from Affliction, only Justin Levens tested positive, that being for oxymorphone, a pain reliever related to morphine.
None of the results for the first eight fighters tested for EliteXC returned a positive result.
The initial test results for the remaining fighters on each show, however, indicate that there are more positive results forthcoming. CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas told MMAWeekly.com that, “Both cards are not out of the woods yet.”
He would not identify any of the individuals involved, nor would he indicate how many individuals were involved, but did indicate that initial testing of the remaining fighters’ “A” samples returned more positive results.
Each fighter has an “A” sample and a “B” sample for the drug testing procedure. The “A” sample is sent to Quest Diagnostics, Inc. and tested twice to confirm results. The “B” sample is sent to a World Anti-doping Agency approved lab in Montreal for the same sort of procedure in an effort to independently confirm or deny the initial results.
Frank Mir: ‘I dont have Fedor being in the top’ P4P MMA rankings
“I don’t have Fedor being in the top … I don’t have him above B.J. Penn, St. Pierre. I think that if all those guys weighed 155 pounds, that Fedor can’t beat B.J., he can’t beat Georges St. Pierre, and that’s what pound for pound means. It means that if they were exactly the same size. I think that some people are a little misunderstanding of that whole idea.”
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir takes exception to the pound-for-pound ranking of Fedor Emelianenko on the recent top 10 list released by ESPN (fan votes were responsible for the order). He argues that the term is often misunderstood among those who attempt to create such lists. For example, Mir feels that a fighter such as WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres — who can compete at several different weight classes and likely be successful — should be top two or three. UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva received 49 percent of the votes to take the top spot and Fedor — who came in second — tallied 40 percent of first place nominations.
The Florian Report – Week Four
We’re in cruise control now. The hard work is done, so it’s about keeping the weapons sharp, continuing to do what we’ve been doing, and staying mentally focused for this fight.
‘El Matador’s March to UFC 87 – Week Four
We’re getting close to fight week, and my mom and some other friends have been a little bit more nervous than I have for this fight. So I kinda sat back and told everyone ‘It’s all right, we’ve done this rodeo before. We’ve been here and done this. This fight is like any other fight. The only difference is the hype behind it.’ That’s the way I feel. To me, it’s just like any of my other fights, but at the same time it’s the most important fight of my life because it’s happening right now. All my other fights were just as important as this one because if I didn’t win them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. My job’s on the line every time I step in there.
Carlos Condit – Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat
If you looked at Carlos Condit moments before his title defense against Carlo Prater in February, you wouldn’t have been out of line for assuming that it was just another day in the office for the WEC welterweight champion.
Putting a price on fame
Would Anderson Silva be jumping for joy if he knew the UFC controlled his merchandising rights -- even after he left the organization?
In a fast-growing sport where fighters can generate ever-larger sums through endorsements, licensing and usage of their image, a struggle is under way over control and ownership of those rights in mixed martial arts' biggest organization. The battle between Zuffa LLC, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and UFC fighters to control these intellectual properties has become a topic of contentious debate.
Couture's Legal Battles Continue
The legal chess match between UFC parent company Zuffa LLC and three-time heavyweight champion Randy Couture (Pictures) shows no sign of imminent resolution, as neither side appears willing to budge.
Front kicks look different these days in MMA
If you watched Amir Sadollah go from a relatively unknown amateur fighter to TUF 7 Champion then you were likely impressed with several things he did. First, by defeating Steve Byrnes, Gerald Harris, Matt Brown, and C.B. Dollaway twice by stoppage on the way to the crown, the sheer difficulty factor he overcame en-route to taking the six- figure contract on the show was high. Second, he was losing almost every one of those matches before coming back to win; thus, Sadollah’s heart could not be questioned. But on top of that there was this stand up technique Sadollah kept going back to; something that proved highly effective for him.
Fuel The Fighter: Lean and Mean with Creatine?
Learn the Benefits and Risks
The rising popularity of MMA has increased the demand for elite and talented competitors. Both amateur and professional fighters are always on the lookout for an edge to intensify their skills. Athletes often search for nutritional supplements like creatine to enhance performance. Before you decide to see if creatine supplements boost your training, you should know how creatine works, how it will help, and what risks it carries.
UFC Newcomer Jon Jones Is Humble, Focused, Unafraid
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with new UFC signee Jon Jones (6-0), and the unbeaten 205lb. prospect had plenty to say about his future, and more importantly his upcoming fight with Andre Gusmao at UFC 87.
When asked about his start in the sport of MMA, Jones said "I was a pretty serious wrestler in high school and I won the State Championship my senior year. Then I went off to college and won the Junior College National Championship (JUCO) in 2006, from there I had a full scholarship to wrestle at Iowa State, and then I decided I wanted to go into MMA."
'Ninja' Rua Likely to Fight at EliteXC’s October Show
Former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua will likely be competing on the promotion’s next scheduled event to be televised on CBS, which will take place on October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
A source close to Rua has told MMANews.com that while there is still a possibility he could fight on EliteXC’s September 20th event on Showtime, it’s more likely now that he will be back in action at the October event instead and his camp is now waiting for confirmation to make his return date official.
Undefeated John Franchi added to WEC featherweight division
World Extreme Cagefighting has been very active as of late when it comes to signing new talent and FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that undefeated featherweight prospect John Franchi is the latest to be added to the WEC roster.
Franchi has signed a five fight deal with the promotion, according to Gary Marino of GVM Sports Management, speaking to Five Ounces of Pain.
Trained by his co-manager, Ryan Ciotoli of Bomb Squad MMA in New York, Franchi will make his WEC debut on Sept. 10 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. against Jose Aldo.
Part I of interview with new ProElite Chairman Chuck Champion
Already the CEO of ProElite since February, Charles F. Champion added the title and duties of Chairman of the Board last week after former Chairman Douglas DeLuca submitted his resignation to the company.
While Champion has been involved with the company for several months, the MMA media is just now starting to become more aware of his presence. But just who is Chuck Champion and is he the right man to navigate ProElite and EliteXC through the rough financial waters of the MMA industry?
While Champion did not have a prior background in MMA before joining ProElite, he had earned a strong reputation in the business community as a turnaround specialist. He initially made a name for himself in the newspaper industry, helping several papers in major markets gain market share on their competitors. Champion rose to even greater prominence after entering the technology sector in 2002 upon joining YouBet.com as its eventual Chairman.
The rating game: DREAM perhaps on life support, UFC turning Japanese and more
Now Japan’s DREAM (or PRIDE II, as some fans see it) is finding itself in the same murky waters. Dismal ratings have left many officials banking on its September 23 event as make-or-break for the company.
And that hardship couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for the UFC, who not coincidentally has just signed a new pay-per-view contract with Japan’s WOWOW PPV company.
Here’s an excerpt from Kamipro.com explaining the partnership:
“We finally signed a contract with the UFC on July 11. I knew this news had been rumored before we officially announced it. We used to air the UFC. We wanted to maintain our contract, but unfortunately the negotiations were broken off and we stopped broadcasting after the UFC 70 in April, 2007. They approached us again in 2008. We were planning to show the UFC in HD starting April of 2007; although the UFC terminated the contact. I remember we were very surprised and disappointed. We are basically going to show all numbering events. Their PPV packages are 3 hours. We will condense into 2 hours by picking up 5 to 6 fights.”