Affliction Card - Incredible Fight Card and will take place in the ring

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ufc88
5/10/08 4:42:55AM
Profile - USATODAY.com

Big names, big gamble: Don't accuse Affliction of lacking ambition.

The clothing company made a splash in mixed martial arts by sponsoring several MMA stars, including at least six current or former major champions. But the company wants to go beyond just selling T-shirts and jewelry to MMA and heavy ****l fans.

Affliction made waves last month when it announced a July 19 show, to be headlined by Pride FC's last heavyweight champion, Fedor Emelianenko, against two-time UFC title-holder Tim Sylvia. Affliction has since signed several more fights, bringing the tally of confirmed bouts to eight:
• Fedor Emelianenko - Sylvia
• Josh Barnett - Pedro Rizzo
• Renato Sobral - Mike Whitehead
• Matt Lindland - Fabio Nascimento

Non-pay-per-view fights:
• Savant Young - Mark Hominick
• Justin Levens - Ray Lazama
• J.J. Ambrose - Patrick Speight
• Mike Pyle - Brett Cooper

Ben Rothwell, who became a star in the International Fight League before signing with Adrenaline MMA, is also scheduled to fight on the pay-per-view card, though an opponent hasn't been found yet, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio told me Friday.

The event also reportedly includes Strikeforce heavyweight contender and UFC veteran Paul Buentello against Fedor's brother, Alexander Emelianenko. But Affliction is still waiting to get back signed contracts from them, Atencio said.

If everything comes through, Affliction's inaugural show can boast of a heavyweight card whose depth rivals the best Pride FC tournaments of yesteryear.

Adding to the Pride echoes will be the fighting surface itself. Instead of a cage, Affliction will use a traditional ring, which should suit both competitors in the main event — Fedor has spent most of his career fighting in rings; Sylvia could welcome a chance to pin someone in a corner and tee off with his long jabs and heavy hands.

All things considered, the July a show that could leave longtime fans of mixed martial arts drooling, but it remains an enormous risk for a newcomer to MMA promotion.

The decision to stage its own shows has alienated UFC and EliteXC, effectively shutting off the biggest TV marketing vehicles for Affliction's core products. Affliction has responded by using the titled "Banned" for the July 19 show, but Atencio insists he doesn't threaten other fight promoters.

"We're not looking to compete with anybody," he said. "We're in the entertainment business. ... It's a lifestyle, it's a culture with us."

But it's hard to see how Affliction isn't competition for other MMA promoters, because few people can afford to buy every event. Most fans have to be selective, and it's still an open question whether they will choose Affliction.

Despite the talent-laden roster, Sylvia remains the only fighter on the card who has been in the main event for a pay-per-view that hit a six-figure buy rate. Fedor didn't draw well last year for BodogFight — another company that portrayed MMA promotion as part of its "lifestyle" business — and many casual U.S. fans wouldn't even know his name if not for Randy Couture's dogged pursuit of a fight with the Russian star. Meanwhile, Barnett and Rizzo have had great fights, but their UFC primes came before Zuffa's glory days.

And their drawing power could be moot point if Affliction doesn't settle its TV situation.

The company is still negotiating with HDNet, Atencio said, despite earlier reports that talks have collapsed. The marquee fights will be on pay-per-view, for about the same price that UFC costs — typically $45 to $50 in the United States, depending on the cable or satellite provider — but Affliction wants to air the undercard live on a non-PPV outlet as a teaser. The entire show would be replayed several days later on a non-pay outlet.

Atencio did confirm reports that the show will take place at The Pond, in Anaheim, Calif., though the company also considered San Jose or Chicago. Tickets go on sale May 20.

Affliction has plans for at least three shows, Atencio said. The next one would be in October, with the winners of Fedor-Sylvia and Barnett-Rizzo meeting in the main event, he said.
xAcidburNx
5/10/08 5:17:35AM
omg can you say drool. if everything goes well we could finally see fedor vs barnett. ive wanted to see it for years im really liking the new fight promos comin out and i hope they dont flop like m1 and bodog
juanez13
5/10/08 8:44:46AM
Great Card. But IMO i dont know how well it will do on PPV, for Hardcore fans this is a dream card, but thats hardcore fans. Im gonna say it will be around 150,000 to 200,000 buys.guys like Fedor, rizzo, Linland, whitehead, and even Barnett dont have a name in the US. and Sylvia IMO is incapable of carrying a card by himself like Chuck Or randy. Im thinking they will loose alot of money, especially with what they are paying the fighters (fedor 1.5 Mil, Sylvia 800k, etc...)

anyways great Card. Should be very good fights.
kevietre
5/10/08 10:37:46AM


Not a lot of casual MMA fans know a lot of fighters outside of the UFC or IFL because their not on TV. If they do the promoting right then it could turn out to be successful. They need to market Fedor and build up his reputation of the being the best heavyweight in the world vs. former UFC heavyweight champion and they could market the rematch between Rizzo and Barnett becasue Barnett got owned in that fight. I can't wait though this is a stacked card.
slappywhite
5/10/08 11:47:19AM
this is far from a dream card for hardcore fans
cmill21
5/10/08 11:55:14AM

Posted by slappywhite

this is far from a dream card for hardcore fans



Why? Bunch of top 5's isn't good enough for you? I think the ring will favour Fedor though. I didn't have time to read the article but does it mention if elbows will be allowed?
IriShame
5/10/08 12:45:24PM
What? I'm more excited about this card than I have been for a UFC event since Chuck vs. Wandy. I'm certainly anticipating in more than any upcoming UFC card. I understand the concerns over marketability but i don't care. As long as they get through the three events they have planned we get to see a ton of great match ups I thought would never happen. If it sinks after that, well, let's just say it wasn't the first and it won't be the last.
JimiMak
5/10/08 1:11:37PM
I'll be a little bit surprised if this card happens, tho i hope it does cuz it'll be killer. I'll be really surprised if any other events happen, they're gonna lose way too much on this.
D0wnUnd6e6r
5/10/08 1:34:03PM
not incredible or anthing. It's a pretty cool card yeah but nothing worth going crazy over.
Darnok
5/10/08 1:36:14PM
I agree this is a good card, but also agree that they probably will lose money like crazy. Even if they promote they hell out of it most casual fans are gonna say "who the hell are these guys". Or "i'm not paying that kind of money for a show that isn't UFC".
mrsmiley
5/10/08 2:35:22PM
looks like a damn good card to me.Hope the Alexander and Buentello fight goes through!
Bemin
5/10/08 2:47:38PM
They said on Inside MMA yesterday that they were going to have a band playing at the show too. He couldn't say who yet, but they do sponsor people like Ozzy and Korn. They are sure trying to make a great first impression, but I doubt they they will get the PPV buys that they need to avoid loosing a truckload of cash.
mrsmiley
5/10/08 2:53:07PM

Posted by Bemin

They said on Inside MMA yesterday that they were going to have a band playing at the show too. He couldn't say who yet, but they do sponsor people like Ozzy and Korn. They are sure trying to make a great first impression, but I doubt they they will get the PPV buys that they need to avoid loosing a truckload of cash.



Yeah I agree.

Plus I don't want to see big music acts at MMA events.I want to see fights!
prozacnation1978
5/10/08 4:47:47PM
question is will the fan shell out 45 dollars twice in a month for ufc and afflication?? i doubt it, i think the ufc might be rethinking theri fight card and might throwdown a marquee name to go with the main event, cause of right now they don't have a co main event,
maybe a hendo vs franklin
gonzaga vs kongo or herring
F--K_Luck_AuH2O
5/10/08 6:02:52PM
Heres to hoping EliteXC goes out of business fue to sporadic booking, and Affliction buys them out.
Trench777
5/11/08 3:28:41AM
I'd have to agree that this isnt a "dream card". It looks like it will be good & entertaining, but any event that headlines with Tim Sylvia vs. <insert name here> is not a dream card for this fan.

On the flipside, any event that headlines with Fedor vs <insert name here> is going to get watched by me.

So, while it isnt a dream card, it is definately a must-see (for me, at least)

T777

P.S. I REALLY wish they were using a cage instead of a ring...even just a 4 sided cage instead of those damn ropes. Resets are the suck.
bls1919
5/11/08 10:18:24AM
Affliction definatly needs to hype this to the max if they want to make money on this card. I will be adding to the PPV buy count for sure. Cant wait to see Fedor kill Timmahh
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