Atencio details Affliction’s final hours

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TOM ATENCIO DETAILS AFFLICTION’S FINAL HOURS

“We were scrambling looking for a fighter, quite a few guys stepped up to the plate who were wanting the fight. Guys were doing it for a reasonable amount of money, too, which was cool, but just after talking to Showtime, after talking to everybody involved, it just, we couldn’t have done it,” Atencio commented. “It was a bummer, probably one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me.”

While much of the MMA world immediately pointed the finger at Barnett for the positive test, Atencio says at the end of the day, it’s just business and he holds no ill will towards the former UFC heavyweight champion.

“Could things have been handled differently? Yeah, for sure, but it wasn’t and it is what it is. I just move on. I don’t look at the past. I only look at the future,” Atencio said about the Barnett situation. “Now it’s time to turn this around and start sponsoring fighters and get back to what I was doing. I think it’s good. We sponsor a lot of great fighters, and a lot of fighters were bummed out when we left the arena and now we’re back.”

The head of the Affliction fight promotion also says that he has spoken with Barnett about the situation since the event was canceled, and all in all he chalks it up to bad timing for everything.

“I’ve spoken with (Josh) since and he apologized and, like I said, I even told him it would have been nice to have known ahead of time so I could have at least prepared. So I could have at least said when I found out I have no one to blame but myself now, but the bottom line was I had no clue,” Atencio stated. “I had no idea.”

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