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Josh Barnett refutes reports he declined CBS fight vs. Arlovski

Just hours after news had broken that Affliction and EliteXC had reached an accord that would allow a heavyweight attraction between former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and former IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson to be added to the Oct. 4 telecast of CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights” came word from several outlets that Josh Barnett was initially proposed as Arlovski’s opponent.

Both Arlovski and Barnett had been scheduled to headline Affliction’s now-postponed Oct. 11 “Day of Reckoning” show in Las Vegas so some were surprised to learn that Nelson was going to face Arlovski instead of Barnett.

According to the unsubstantiated reports, Barnett had turned down a chance to fight Arlovski on CBS because he had allegedly been asked to accept a cut in pay.’s attempted to contact Barnett for comment in response to the report but our voicemail was not returned. However, Barnett felt compelled to response to the reports by issuing a statement via his official MySpace account.

“I read somewhere that I had declined the fight because I would have had to take a pay cut,” wrote Barnett. “I suppose others may also formulate some story about me declining the fight for other reasons.

“I never (declined) 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.”

  • detroit_fan says:

    AA v. Barnett would have been a great fight. Too bad we get Roy instead.

  • David Andrest says:

    Big Country is a very dangerous guy. He’s going to one day surprise the crap out of someone… I don’t think AA is that guy.

  • ragefightingwear says:

    hopefully AA doesn’t get KO’d

  • saerbarnet says:

    I guess they wanted to save Arlovski vs Barnett for their own event? Unless one of them actually fights Fedor next

  • Newport says:

    How f*cked up would that be, if Barnett v Arlovski was on the UNDERCARD of Kimbo v Shamrock.

  • Robert says:

    I really did not believe he turned down this fight because of a cut in pay .Barnett is going to be fighting for Sengoku on Nov.1st.Arlovski get’s a better match up here with Roy Nelson because he would have been submitted by Barnett who is the 2nd best heavyweight in the world after Fedor it’s NOT Randy Couture.

  • Derek Jones says:

    This is a question that has been on any serious mma fan’s mind for awhile. “What is it going to take for Josh Barnett to get over in America?” He should have fought Arlovski already instead of Rizzo. Barnett is only getting better and is having a harder and harder time fighting, WHY? Somebody enlighten me please

  • Powers says:

    Roy Nelson is a better fighter than josh barnett.

  • King James says:

    The real question is why is Fedor ducking Barnett. Barnett is the only guy even in pride that was at the top but didnt get a shot at him. And now for some reason he has to fight Rizzo and AA. You know Barnett will whoop dat ass. Quit protecting Fedor.

  • ctownhood says:

    Powers, are you related to Roy or what? A better fighter? Dude might be a better bowler, beat Josh in a hot dog eating contest, or be more likely to be mistaken for a Yeti…but, he’s not a better fighter.

  • KTru says:

    wow, wow, wow…….

    AA is going to get submitted by Barnett (clear cut #2 HW?)
    Nelson is a better fighter than Barnett?
    Fedor is ducking Barnett?

    I am going back to bed

  • KTru says:

    Btw Derek
    Barnett wanted to avenge his loss to Pedro
    Affliction needs to spread out their top tier fights

  • I know Josh personally and if he said he wasn’t asked to fight then he wasn’t asked to fight. As far as Roy Nelson being a better fighter than Josh.That’s a pretty lame statement considering Josh’s rankings.



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