By Zach Arnold | July 23, 2009
If you missed yesterday’s Affliction conference call (the promotion didn’t provide audio but it’s available on a couple of web sites), you should listen to it. You could just hear the frustration in Tom Atencio’s voice. A mixture of chaos, frustration, sadness, and overall miserableness. And that was just yesterday.
I have a new article going over what Atencio has been dealing with since the news broke from the California State Athletic Commission that Josh Barnett failed a drug test and that he allegedly tested positive for drostanolone.
Here’s a snippet from the article, but I encourage you to read it in full.
Right after you find out that you lost Barnett, you realize, “Oh crap, I have two conference calls over two days with the press.” You know what kind of media onslaught is coming towards you. Questions about the failed drug test by Josh. Questions about whether or not you will remain friendly with him. Questions about who you are replacing Barnett with on the card. Questions about Affliction’s future. Being on that conference call is the last place in the world you want to be, but you know that you need the media on your side more than ever so you have to suck it up, you have to be polite and yet careful in how you answer anything so you don’t make false promises.
After you read my new article, here are comments from Fedor & M-1 on the Barnett situation. They all but admit that Vitor Belfort is who Fedor will fight on 8/1, but that they really want Brett Rogers.
As for what happens to Josh next… Sengoku has a big show on 11/5 in Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan and that is when Satoshi Ishii is supposed to make his debut. If the situation in California turns out as bad as it looks for Barnett, then he can fight on that show. Remember, Antonio Silva fought in Japan during his CSAC suspension and it doesn’t look like he paid a price for it. Outside of the November 5th Sengoku date? IGF has a major show on 8/9 in Tokyo at Ariake Colosseum. Given that he’s off the Affliction show now, that no doubt becomes a big booking date for him.