Josh Gross of SI.com was able to dig up the dirt on Andrei Arlovski’s status with the UFC and Affliction. It appears Affliction has offered Arlovski a three-fight, non-exclusive deal that would pay him in the low-to-mid six figures for his first fight, presumably against former IFL Heavyweight Champion, Ben Rothwell, at Affliction ‘Banned’.
However, the UFC has the right to match any offer from a competitor until May 19. On that date, unless the UFC matches Affliction’s offer, Andrei will be free to sign with Affliction. Assuming he does sign with Affliction, Arlovski is expected to attend the first Affliction press conference on May 20 in Century City, Calif. with Ben Rothwell to promote their fight.
It will be interesting to see what Dana and the UFC does here. Are they willing to pony up the cash to keep one of their fan favorites? As the sport grows, this situation will inevitably present itself more often as the athletes are offered more lucrative and favorable deals from the competition. Are they willing to sign Arlovski at a higher rate than they normally would and risk setting a precedent for other high profile fighters as they enter free-agency? My guess is no, at least not yet.
FSN has also been thrown into the hat as a rumored a television network to broadcast the July 19 Affliction ‘Banned’ undercard.
The other name that jumped out was George Greenberg from Fox Sports. A longtime supporter of MMA, Greenberg had a hand in putting the UFC on Fox Sports Net’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period, delivering UFC and Pride content, as well as IFL cards.
Greenberg’s presence at the press conference suggests there is something to rumors that the undercard of the July 19 Affliction event would be broadcast live on FSN. Asked to confirm why Greenberg was attending the announcement, Affliction declined to comment.
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