Andrei Arlovski. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Despite various rumors circulating that Andrei Arlovski could very well be International Fight League veteran Ben Rothwell’s opponent at Affliction’s “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, it seems that the Belarusian may not be able to sign with the popular California-based clothing company until May 19th.
The news comes from Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated. Gross speculates that Arlovski will not be able to officially get out of his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship until next week when he successfully completes all remaining fights on his contract and waits out an exclusive negotiating period.
At the same time, the UFC will still have the ability to match whatever Affliction offers Arlovski. However, with the offer reported to be somewhere in the six-figure, three non-exclusive bout range, it seems very unlikely that Dana White will do so, especially after his comments to Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole earlier this week.
“It’s funny you should ask me that,” White said when asked about Arlovski by Iole. “We were just talking about Arlovski. We want to sign him. It’s our intention to sign him. But I don’t know. We’re, well, I don’t know. We want to. Whether we will or not, I have no idea. We like Andrei and I know the fans like Andrei. I hope we can do something.”
Arlovski’s camp has offered no comment except to say that they are still in ongoing negotiations with the UFC, but all signs as of right now point to Arlovski being introduced at Affliction’s first-ever event-related press conference next Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Another thing interesting of note that Gross brought up in his column today - FOX Sports’ George Greenberg is expected to be in attendance at the press conference as well, potentially signaling that at least part of Affliction’s inaugural event may be televised on FSN in some capacity, also further confirming that any kind of relationship between the promotion and HDNet is rocky to say the least at this point.
HT: Cage Potato
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