Affliction Sets Plans For Two Future Shows
Since the announcement of the Affliction promotion a few months ago, everyone from fans to fighters to other promoters have been watching the new organization with great interest as to their business plan for the mixed martial arts industry.
Bobby Lashley Training With AKA, H.I.T Squad and others for MMA Debut
LEXINGTON, Ky. - MMA promoters have long targeted professional wrestling fans as potential ticket-buyers for their own events. Now, those same promoters are targeting professional wrestling's athletes as potential stars.
Pro wrestling's latest export, recently signed American Fight League fighter Bobby Lashley, recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he doesn't want to be viewed as just another wrestler.
"I'm putting it all together," Lashley said. "I'm going into this thing not with just overpowering my own style with [wrestling]. I'm actually learning everything else. I'm learning the jiu-jitsu; I'm taking it from the basics. I'm learning my kickboxing, my boxing. I'm getting the whole game tied together. So when I debut, it's not going to be a wrestler trying to do MMA. It's going to be a fighter."
Eddie Alvarez anxious for DREAM challenge
With nearly a month remaining before the finals of DREAM's inaugural lightweight tournament, rising star Eddie Alvarez (14-1) has begun preparations for what will be the most formidable test of his young career.
Alvarez is slated to face the highly respected Tatsuya Kawajiri in the July 21 semifinal bout in Osaka, Japan. A victory would mean returning later that evening to take on the winner of the night's other semifinal bout between submission ace Shinya Aoki and longtime veteran Caol Uno.
Alvarez discussed the task at hand while a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"Well that's why we fight, right?" Alvarez asked. "To see how good we are, and go and compete against the best. When I hired (agent) Monte Cox at the beginning of the year, I told him that there's two things that I wanted to do for 2008. I wanted to fight a lot more because I'm young. I'm 24, and I wanted to get the ring time in, the experience. And I wanted to fight top-notch guys. He's done that for me."
The young Philadelphia native will certainly get a chance to test himself against the sport's best, as Kawajiri and Aoki are both generally considered among the top 10 lightweights in the world. Add in the possibility of fighting 30 minutes in one night, and the challenge becomes even greater.
Alvarez, however, welcomes the opportunity and feels conditioning will be the deciding factor in the end.
"I think a key factor in the finals of this fight is going to be conditioning," Alvarez said. "I think me and Kawajiri present a lot of the same strengths. And I think what he's good at, I'm either equal or a little bit better. So I think what it's going to come down to is more heart and mind and conditioning than skill set. ... I think it's just going to be who prepares properly and who controls the pace of the fight."
Alvarez has already proven himself worthy of his final-four status through his performance in the first two rounds of the tournament. Alvarez battled back from an early knockdown in his first round match with Andre Amade to win by knockout, and he then fought valiantly in a decision win over Joachim Hansen -- a fight many consider among the year's best.
"It was a flash thing," Alvarez said of the knockdown against Amade. "It was like a quick flash. We were exchanging, and it was right in the middle of an exchange. He came with an overhand right. Honestly, I couldn't even tell you (because) it was so fast. One second I was standing, fighting, and the next second I was on my butt. And I just said, 'I can't stay here. Get up.' And we kept going.
"Joachim, yeah, tough cat. There's not a lot of times when I hit someone and they keep coming at me. He's one of those guys, and I hate those guys. I just like for them to stay down after I hit them and make my job a lot easier. ... Joachim is a hell of a dude. We went out. We had dinner a day after the fight. (We) laughed and joked about the fight. He's a great sport and a great character. I really like Joachim, and I'm sure he'll be back in DREAM with the kind of fights he puts on."
After withstanding two game opponents, Alvarez knows he'll now need to outlast two more. But for now, his focus remains solely on Kawajiri.
"The main thing is to worry about my first-round opponent," Alvarez said. "It's good to scout all of them, but if I don't get past Kawajiri, then I'm not achieving my goal, and that's to win the tournament. I think the main thing is to focus on [Kawajiri], and him mostly. I think the second fight, it really just comes down to your heart and mind."
The task is certainly daunting. A tournament victory would take Alvarez winning his fourth and fifth fight in just six months. But for Alvarez, who plans on finally taking a break to get married in September, there's no other way he'd rather live.
"I love it," Alvarez said. "I've been training for six, seven straight months with no break. I get maybe 14 days off, then I'm back on the horse again training for the next round of the tournament. So I'm glad they're cramming it all in. If I had to do the whole tournament in one night, and go back, I'd do it that way."
Alvarez also discussed how he's been able to stay in good condition throughout this fight-filled year, why he's so popular in Japan, and why this won't be the first time he's had more than one opponent in a night. To hear the full interview, download the June 16 edition of TAGG Radio, available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.
Anyone insistent that mixed martial arts has more in common with boxing than professional wrestling should learn their alphabet: UFC, IFL, WAMMA, etc.
Like the televised clown convention that is the WWE, the UFC has a stable of athletes unavailable for lending -- kind of like those musty reference books at the library.
That stands in sharp contrast to boxing's business model, which tends to acquiesce to fans' demands. Lennox Lewis was an HBO commodity. Mike Tyson was on Showtime's leash. Yet, the two networks understood that remaining contentious was just leaving money on the table.
With $106 million in the till, the Lewis-Tyson fight was the second most profitable pay-per-view of all time.
MMA's current problem is that no one -- fans, media or otherwise -- are demanding promoters to make important bouts before age and ring wear make them obsolete.
What follows is a list of fighters from disparate promotions that should swap leather before it's too late.
Phil Davis Wins First MMA Match ( 41 second KO )
Phil "Mr Wonderful" Davis the national 197 lb wrestling champion from Penn State debuted this Saturday, June 21st at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. After being the last fight on a 31 fight venue that took over 8 hours to complete, Phil Davis knocked out Kevin Wall in 41 seconds with a left hook in the first round. Davis plans on having 1 more local fight over the next 2 months and then going Pro in the early fall. He currently trains with Team LionHeart in State College, PA.
Dan Lauzon Wins Again At WCF
WILMINGTON, Mass.- The young guns came out to put on a show on Friday night at The Shriners Auditorium. UFC veteran Dan Lauzon was dominant in his performance against Brendan Hoxie. Then, in the main event of the night, Sityodtong fighter, Mike Campbell proved to everyone why the hype surrounding him was greatly deserved.
Lauzon came out looking focused and ready to go in a bout many would deem fight of the night. Right off the bat, he came out and threw a spin to a leaping high kick that connected flush on Hoxie’s jaw, dropping him to his knees. Lauzon tried to finish, but his opponent stayed active from his back and avoided punishment. Lauzon motioned for him to stand up and dropped him again shortly after with a crisp punch combination, but still could not finish him on the ground. The rest of the round seemed to go the same as Lauzon dropped Hoxie once more with a punch before the round ended.
Diaz/Sakurai fight off
Nick Diaz will not be fighting Mach Sakurai. At least not in the July Dream card, as EliteXC has decided to not let him fight due to "contractual obligations'. Apparently EliteXC has other plans for Diaz and the July date might conflict with their plans.
Alessio submits Spratt, Couture injured in pro debut during night of free fights
LAS VEGAS - John Alessio choked out fellow UFC veteran Pete Spratt in the night's main event, and Kim Couture was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision in her professional MMA debut, during Friday's "Free for All, A Night of Combat" event.
The fights took place at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas as part of a combination boxing/MMA event.
Approximately 18,000 tickets were distributed for the night of free fights.
After four boxing bouts, the MMA portion of the night kicked off with a five-fight card.
Interview With WAMMA CEO Dave Szady
Wednesday afternoon I was able to sit down for a phone interview with WAMMA's CEO Dave Szady and COO Mike Lynch. I was able to pose a lot of the questions that have been troubling the MMA community as well as allowing them an opportunity to address a lot of the rumors that have been running rampant on message boards and websites. Are sanctioning fees being charged to the fighters and promotions? How is Tim Sylvia involved in a supposedly "undisputed" world title fight with two losses in his last three fights? Are the WAMMA rankings fixed? Read on for the answers and much more:
Affliction Is Counting On The Power Of DVR
“As far as I’m concerned, people are going to Tivo (the UFC show) and watch our fight, and then go back to (watch UFC) later,” he said. “Obviously you’re going to get those people who are going to watch something for free (rather) than pay. … But our card is definitely stacked. I don’t know anybody that can say it’s not a great card.”
that’s a valid strategy as it relates to hardcore fans. We’ll see whether it will work on those people we always hear about who only know the UFC.
Atencio is right when he says the card is stacked, though it’s stacked largely with fighters who appeal to that hardcore fan base and much less so to the casual fan, who may or may not have heard the name Fedor at any time in his life. Their success with this show — particularly with the UFC going up against them on Spike TV — could tell us a lot about the actual interest level in MMA as a sport, rather than simply the UFC as a brand.
AFL expects to sign "20 to 30" female fighters this summer
LEXINGTON, KY. -- The Kentucky-based American Fight League is poised for a major shopping spree and could soon have a stronghold on the world's top female talent.
AFL CEO B.J. Santiago discussed the organization's plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Thursday while overseeing a media session with newly signed AFL fighters Tara LaRosa and Bobby Lashley.
The AFL has been on a free-agent signing spree in recent months, bringing a number of mid-level, though recognizable, fighters into the organization, including Rafael Assuncao, Junior Assuncao, Diego Saraiva, Chilo Gonzalez and Dan Christison. Lashley, a former WWE performer and decorated amateur wrestler, was one of its biggest scores to date.
Affliction Gate Update
Sergio Non at USAToday has an update:
Atencio might sound like a diehard MMA fan gleeful over his upcoming fantasy matchups, but he's not alone — 7,000 to 8,000 tickets have been sold so far, he said. If that figure is correct, it would mean that without any major marketing and with the show still a month away, Affliction: Banned is already close to hitting the live numbers of Elite XC's much-hyped May 31 event, which reported 8,033 paid tickets for a card that had a fraction of the Affliction line-up's cachet.
Megadeth LIVE at Afflicition
Megadeth will be performing live at the Affliction event July 19th.
I was already going to order this event, but now if I can come up with enough money I am making a trip to Anaheim CA. Good luck trying to sabotage this UFC LOL.
I LOVE MEGADETH
Affliction To Use Street Team
Affliction has added another tool to their marketing plan with the introduction of a street team to market their Affliction: Banned PPV. This is generally a low cost, grassroots level method used to get out word of mouth about your product.
This could be an effective tool for Affliction. While the UFC certainly has it legions of fans, there is a certain portion of the MMA audience that embrace the "other", that being anything except UFC. Affliction at this point is an unknown, but one that will be supported sight unseen by some.
The Fight Network And Affliction Announce Partnership
The Fight Network and Affliction will team up in Toronto to announce some big news about the upcoming Affliction Banned event.
To learn more details about The Fight Network's coverage of the historic Affliction Banned MMA event and the All-World Caliber undercard on July 19th, please join us at a News Conference at the MMA Expo on Saturday, June 21st at 2 pm ET hosted by The Fight Network, North America and the UK's only all-combat sports channel, and Affliction, the premier fashion label for men who love hard rock and fast living.
Freddie Roach set to work first MMA Event, Will Corner arlovski in Affliction Fight
Legendary boxing guru Freddie Roach — who has trained a long list of superstars including Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, and James Toney, Manny Pacquiao — will enter the world of mixed martial arts on July 19th, when he’ll be working the corner of Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned. According to Fighthype, Arlovski has been developing his hands at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, in preparation for his bout against Miletich-trained bruiser Ben Rothwell.