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Affliction’s Atencio says Arlovski and Barnett both being considered as Fedor’s next opponent

New York, NY — Despite the presence of Donald Trump and the revelation that he will be backing M-1 Global and Affliction’s proposed Fighting Fedor reality television show, the topic of Affliction’s next show was one that reporters in attendance at today’s press conference brought to the forefront once Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio was brought to the podium.

While much of the focus was on Trump and the television project, the press conference was also called to announce an extension of Fedor Emelianenko’s contract with Affliction.

Atencio was very vague about many details pertaining to the next show, going so far as to only say that the next event will “take place in the first quarter of ’09” without even committing to the month. When asked by why he’s hesitant to give out a date, he stated that a deal with a proposed venue simply isn’t official yet.

“I haven’t finalized or signed the papers yet, and until I sign the papers with the venue and everything else, I just don’t want to have to re-schedule again,” Atencio told Five Ounces of Pain. “I don’t want to have to do that to the fans.”

Atencio was able to confirm that Emelianenko will headline the next show against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. He stated that Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett are both being considered. The mentioning of Barnett was interesting considering the fact that he’s stated publicly that he isn’t interested in fighting Fedor on the next Affliction show due to contract particulars.

Atencio also stated that with the promotion’s decision to extend Emelianenko’s contract he will be precluded from competing on New Year’s Eve in Japan this year. He acknowledged that it was something Emelianenko expressed a desire doing but that a Dec. 31 fight in Japan involving Fedor will have to wait until 2010.

Outside of Fedor fighting Arlovski or Barnett, Atencio said no other fighters for the show have been finalized and indicated that rumored fights involving DREAM middleweight Grand Prix winner Gegard Mousasi vs. Vitor Belfort and Matt Lindland vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral are far from concrete.

“There are a lot of rumors,” Atencio acknowledged. “I did sponsor Mousasi for his event (in Japan). As you probably saw, he was wearing Affliction. We have a relationship and if he comes and fights for us, absolutely, he’d be a great asset to the company. But everything is a rumor until I finalize it. Until you hear it from me, it’s a rumor and it’s as easy as that.”

Atencio also shot down a rumor that suggested Affliction’s next event will be airing on CBS. For the time being, the promotion remains committed to pay-per-view.

“(The plan) is still pay-per-view right now,” Atencio responded when asked about which platform the next show will air on. “As far as the undercard, it will be on HDNet and the main fights will air on pay-per-view.”

While the next event will be a PPV, Atencio did not rule out the possibility of a presence on network television in the future.

“We’re talking to different networks,” he said. “A lot of people are excited about what we’re doing. The strategic alliance that we brought together is great for everybody, so I think that eventually you will see us on network television.”

  • joe blow says:

    This guy is really starting to get on my nerves. I’m all for competition, but Atencio seems like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Somehow, I see Vadim coming out on top in this relationship. Affliction will go under and M-1 will be left standing.

  • jdavis says:

    Atencio is really becoming an expert at doing a heck of a lot of talking without ever actually telling anyone anything at all.

  • Robert says:

    I really think Atencio has no idea what to do. Maybe he’s being guided by M-1 management and maybe Donald Trump is helping him out somewhat but I really think Atencio is lost.

  • dpk says:

    As much as I hate the leadership of Elite, at least they put on shows. The best thing for Affliction would be to just fold after this next show, and let the fighters go to organizations that actually put on fights.

  • mburtoni says:

    Well, I for one would rather see Barnet vs. Fedor. He is more of a threat to Fedor than Arlovski. I also think Barnett vs Fedor is more interesting than Randy vs. Fedor.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Maybe,just maybe if Fedor’s Affliction fight gets pushed back far enough,arrangements will be made to have him fight on NYE after all.

  • jj says:

    I think Atencio is scared to set a date for a show for fear of the UFC countering the show. If that is the case then maybe Atencio shouldn’t be in the business of putting together shows and stick to selling t-shirts. And yes, the Barnet vs. Fedor fight would be much better than Arlovski vs. Fedor. Arlovski looked a little lost when Big Country had him on the ground. Luckily for Arlovski the ref stood them back so he could get back to his striking capabilities.

  • Simon Cason says:

    “But everything is a rumor until I finalize it. Until you hear it from me, it’s a rumor and it’s as easy as that.”

    Yeah. Where have we heard this before? Everytime this douchebag opens his indecisive mouth, he sounds more retarded than the last. Just shut up, schedule the damn card, pick which shitty ex-UFC rejects you want us to see, and stop bullshitting everybody with your rip-off-everything-UFC-has-tried crap. This guy is really getting on my nerves. How much longer are you going to make us wait just to see 1 or 2 good-not-great fights before you fold in this econimic downturn America is going thru? At least the UFC has a stable business model and probablly wont take that big of a hit during this downfall. I dont see Affliction coming out of this “recession/depression” alive. He should have just bit the bullet and put on their 2nd card in Oct. like they said they would, get counter-programmed with the GSP/Fitch card. Instead, he now has to deal with the fact that he will most likely get C.P.ed with 1 of these 3 UFC cards(which will be the best of this year) 1. Lesnar/Couture 2. New years eve. or 3. GSP/Penn or even the Superbowl weekend card if AFF keeps putting this card off.

    And one more thing. Didn’t Tom keep saying when he first started this farce of a org. that he wants the best for the fighters and only wants to keep them happy and highly paid? So by putting off only your 2nd card several times and not being very clear as to who’s going to fight who, while asking several big names to take a pay cut, hows that making your roster happy and active?

  • ihateemo says:

    The headline should be something like “Atencio calls press conference, doesn’t announce anything”.

    This story reads like something from The Onion.

  • Pedro says:

    all i really know is that I dont really care, not one bit! I dont let some duchebag waste my time talking in circles.. this has been going on for months now and the only thing they are doing is trying to keep theirname out there. Attencio is swimming for business partners so he can make a go of his new promotion. Putting up all of afflictionsmoney isnt an option anymore it appears.. so Glodenboy, Trump and M1… lets see how much money these guys are ready to lose on behalf of attenciios school boy fantasies of competing with the UFC..

    what a joke

  • Unquestioned Answers says:

    I’d vote for Pedro…

  • nate says:

    nice, i want to see both fight Fedor anyway

  • Shatner says:

    This was more of Atencio’s propaganda Barnett said he was’nt going to be fighting Fedor. Atencio says he and Arlovski were both being considered, looks like Barnett was telling the truth.I think this is good for Affliction because their hitching everything to the Fedor #1 fighter in the world bandwagon (which i agree with) and I think Barnett has a much better chance of beating Fedor than Arlovski.If Fedor get’s Arlovski in the same dominant position Big Country did the fight is over.


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