The writing was on the wall with this one, but I certainly didn’t expect it so soon. Perhaps record breaking ratings on CBS were all Donald Trump needed to pull the trigger. A press release was issued today regarding a press conference that will be held Thursday, June 5, to announce a partnership between Affliction and the infamous billionaire real estate developer.
No additional details were provided other than a quick comment from Trump:
I have been a fan of professional sports since childhood, and I am particularly impressed by the athleticism, courage, and strength of these disciplined athletes. This particular sport resembles my business style of being fast paced, strategic, and aggressive … remembering to never give up. I am particularly excited to partner with Affliction and become a major player in promotion of MMA; the youngest and fastest growing sport to emerge in the last century.
While the MMA community, myself included, was wondering how the hell Affliction was going to pay for this card and future shows, Affliction was landing an icon in the business world to presumably back them. Nice move Affliction.
The two most interesting aspects of this partnership are Trump’s ties to Tito Ortiz and NBC.
Trump took a liking to Tito during the latest season of The Apprentice. So much in fact, it would be hard to imagine Trump in the MMA industry without Ortiz closely involved with him.
Donald also has some serious ties with NBC also stemming from the hit show The Apprentice. With the record breaking ratings being released, NBC has to be taking a hard look at airing a MMA event in the future. They already have Strikeforce running late Saturday nights, but it is a straight time buy, and considering the level of talent Affliction has been signing and now Trump’s involvement, Affliction certainly seems more appealing. Of course, you also have to consider that Affliction has yet to run a show, whereas Strikeforce has the track record as a quality promoter, so we’ll see.
It’s important to note, the aforementioned is completely speculation on my part, but the connections are definitely there.
Trump is a highly successful business man but that doesn’t always equate to being a successful promoter. Good luck Donald.
Affliction will run its first MMA event, “Banned,” on July 19 at The Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The event will be available on pay-per-view and will feature the return of Fedor Emelianenko, the number one heavyweight in the world and former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, to the US to face former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Tim Sylvia, in the main event. The star-studded fight card can be found in our fight cards section.
Damn it’s an exciting time to be a MMA fan.
Check out more Affliction “Banned” content on MMAConvert.com.