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. FiveOuncesOfPain.com’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.”