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Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers possible for Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning”

Multiple sources have informed within the last 24 hours that Affliction Entertainment officials are currently attempting to secure EliteXC-contracted heavyweight Brett Rogers for a possible Jan. 24 clash with Josh Barnett.

Affliction’s Jan. 24 show, titled “Day of Reckoning,” will air on Showtime pay-per-view and will emanate from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The event will be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko defending the WAMMA heavyweight title vs. former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.

Barnett has been advertised for the event but no opponent has been announced. While a deal is not yet in place with Rogers, sources indicate that the promotion’s preferrence is to sign the 8-0 Minnesota native.

Barnett is a former UFC heavyweight champion and is ranked as a top ten heavyweight by MMA Weekly, Sherdog, and the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA).

Nicknamed the “Babyface Assassin,” Barnett has not competed since a second round knockout over former UFC heavyweight title contender Pedro Rizzo during Affliction’s debut event, “Banned,” on July 19.

The former PRIDE superstar is 23-5 during a professional fighting career that began in 1997. In that time, Barnett has recorded notable victories over Randy Couture, Dan Severn, Semmy Schilt, Hidehiko Yoshida, Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt, and current interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Rogers, a member of Team Bison MMA in St. Paul, is still under contract to EliteXC. Despite not being a free agent, he would be allowed to compete at the Jan. 24 event as ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC, is giving permission to many of its fighters to sign one-off deals with other promotions while it helps to reorganize.

The 6’5” bruiser is 3-0 while competing under the EliteXC banner. Rogers made his debut for the promotion during the undercard of its “Renegade” event last November, where he submitted Ralph Kelly via punches at 1:43 of round 1.

Following the Kelly victiory, he returned to the cage during EliteXC’s “Street Certified” event and he improved to 2-0 in EliteXC following a first round knockout over James Thompson in Showtime’s televised opener of the event.

From there, Rogers became one of two men to compete in the first-ever mixed martial arts bout to be televised live on primetime network television on May 31. Matched up against former Syracuse linebacker Jon Murphy during the opener of EliteXC and CBS’ first-ever telecast of “Saturday Night Fights,” the former tire technician improved to 8-0 overall with a first round knockout.

Rogers has not competed since the win over Murphy but had been scheduled to return to competition on Nov. 8. He was set to fight Paul Buentello during EliteXC’s ill-fated Reno event that was canceled after Showtime pulled a financial commitment. Incidentally, Buentello is also scheduled for the Jan. 24 show in a bout vs. Fedor Emelianenko-protege, Kiril “Baby Fedor” Sidelnikov.

  • Nick says:

    BIG step up in competition for rogers…..but i’m hoping barnett beats him silly, i can’t stand rogers’ victory dance

  • Cash says:

    Would an Athletic commission review and approve this match up?? I’m not certain if Rodgers belongs on the undercard of a Barnett fight.

  • truth says:


  • Jay K. says:

    This is so lopsided for Barnett in my mind that it’s not even funny!

    Barnett in the first round via slugfest or GnP.

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    Barnett via sub in the first.

    This “fight” is horrible matchmaking and just an excuse to get Barnett on the card.

  • mburtoni says:

    Barnett constantly fights top-flight competition. I would have preferred to see him fight Fabricio Werdum. Unless Rogers gets off a lucky punch, Barnett by first round, first minute sub.

  • Kung Foo says:

    Should be a good fight

  • bcolflesh says:

    Talk about a senseless fight – I guess anything can happen, but if Rogers doesn’t get subbed in the first round, I’ll really suspect that Josh carried him.

  • the Levi says:

    huge step up in competition for theGrim Brett Rogers.He will have a punchers chance,because the dude hits hard.I will be cheering for him though.
    go GRIM

  • HexRei says:

    If Barnett wants this to end in a sub, it will, Rogers’ only chance is to keep it standing since he does have brutal KO power. But I don’t see why Barnett would do that. I mean Rizzo actually has good BJJ and sprawl and Barnett had a KO to avenge so that somewhat made sense, but I see him taking Rogers down for the tap.

  • ACK! says:

    Hey, you can call it a mismatch all you want, but I’d love to see Brett Rogers get the chance to show whether he’s a legit contender or just another scary-looking heavyweight who hits like a bison, but lacks the skillset to compete with the best.

    On paper, he may have nothing more than a puncher’s chance, but Rogers has never really been tested by the middling competiton he’s faced. And if Barnett’s ego gets the best of him and he wants to prove he can slug it out… Watch out.

  • Robert says:

    I think Roger’s has potential to be a very good heavyweight and it’s good that he’s no longer fighting the Jon Murphy’s of MMA, but he’s going to get submitted in this fight Barnett is the 2nd best heavyweight in the world.

  • dpk says:

    It says that this is probably a one fight deal with Affliction, so Brett Rogers has very little to lose here. If he loses to Barnett, a top 5 HW, then he has done what everyone expected to happen. He can go back to smaller promotions and get a few wins under his belt before he gets another shot at the big time. If he pulls the upset, like dos Santos v Werdum, then he becomes a big time name, who when his eliteXC contract finally gets dissolved, will be a big money free agent.

    having said that, I’ll take Barnett by 1st rd sub.

  • cornerman says:

    Rogers is no slouch, he’s yet to be tested so here’s his test.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    A waste of time for Barnett imo, but maybe he needs to pay some bills while Arlovski and Fedor determine his next opponent, which realistically, will be Fedor.

  • Rich S. says:

    Barnett via what ever the hell he wants.. 1st round…

    i’ve yet to be impressed by Rogers..

    what has he done?

    knocked out some overweight freefighters at house shows?

    knocked out James Thompson? join the club..

    am i supposed to be impressed by his bout with Jon Murphy? psh.. more like embarrassed..

    there’s probably only one reason he won that fight.. Murphy simply LET him punch him in the face.. over and over until he fell down.. bottom line.. one of the worst gameplans i’ve seen to date..

    Barnett is a top 10 HW.. and as far as i’m concerned, Brett is just some dude that gets a whole lot of coverage for some weird reason..

    Brett has KO’s..
    but his striking is sloppy.. big time..
    if Barnett doesn’t knock him out, i guess we’ll see a submission victory in 3 minutes or so..

  • jj says:

    best of luck josh! not like you need it in this fight though lol.


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