Affliction holds its final press conference tomorrow to preview the Affliction 2 fight card in Anaheim. There's no doubt that Josh Barnett will again be answering questions about his opponent Gilbert Yvel getting a chance to fight in the U.S. in spite of several previous altercations with referees and rules violations. The line of questioning is beginning to irk Barnett who sees athletes in the NFL getting second, third and fourth chances:
"Nobody is writing massive articles and blog comments on the NFL allowing Pacman Jones to play football for them," Barnett told Cage Writer during a recent phone interview. "That guy's a dirtbag. He throws a bunch of money on stage, of course when a girl goes to pick it up, he slams her head into the stage. You can't do that. You can't be laying hands on women."
Barnett feels like someone has to stand-up for Yvel and has no issue with Affliction VP Tom Atencio speaking on behalf of the outlaw fighter:
"Coaches will go in front of a camera and vouch for (Pacman) as if he really deserves a second chance. That guy should be in jail."
Barnett then reversed course saying that mentioning Yvel and Jones in the same breath is a stretch:
"Gilbert Yvel hasn't ended anyone's career or paralyzed people or had anybody shot. I'd easily give Gilbert a chance, one chance, to fight agan. Pacman i'd throw that guy in prison."
Click below to hear Part One of Cage Writer's conversation with Barnett (ESPNRadio1100 w/Cofield):
He says that mixed martial arts is actually very tame in terms of athlete transgressions as compared to some of the other major sports:
"If that's most extreme case that we can come across with all these fighters all throughout the world it says something about MMA. You pull crap in this business but chances are you're going to get the living crap kicked out of you."
Barnett addressed the fact that he has had to carry much of the media blitz for the show because Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski don't speak enough English to carry the load. He also made a point of addressing "the sources" online that constantly report that he has turned down a fight with Fedor and several other opponents.
Photo via MMAWeekly.com
Cage Writer will be ringside/cageside with live updates at both Affliction 2 on Saturday and WEC 38 on Sunday.