Why circle around and feel out your opponent when you can just step in and punch them square in the mouth? That’s what Fedor Emelianenko did to Tim Sylvia at Affliction’s debut event, and that’s what Affliction intends to do to the UFC on October 11.
That’s right, Affliction’s next show has been confirmed for October 11, not November 8, and won’t take place in New Jersey as previously speculated. Instead, Affliction will invade the UFC’s home turf, Las Vegas, Nevada, and run their second event where Fedor first fought on American soil—the Thomas & Mack Center. However, this time Fedor won’t be fighting a legend far past his prime. He’ll be defending his brand new WAMMA Heavyweight Championship belt against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski.
An official announcement is expected to come next Tuesday.
With Affliction past their first obstacle (and arguably the biggest one), they now have their sights set on long-term success. Tom Atencio reiterated to MMAJunkie.com that changes would be made to turn Affliction Entertainment into a profitable business.
“I’m going to make some adjustments in the next fight, and we’ll take it from there. If we want this to be a viable business, we have to make some changes.”
“We needed to come out of the gates guns-a-blazing, and that’s what we did. We made a splash. We did something that nobody else has been able to do, and that’s come out in our first show and make ourselves noticed. We did that.”
“I think we were way more than fair (with fighter salaries), and I think that in the next fight, we’ll take it from there. We’ll figure things out.”
And all this time, we thought they were crazy. I believe I remember Josh Barnett saying something like, “Everything isn’t always what it seems.” Hmm…
As we stated in our previous article, the biggest question on everyone’s minds will be what the UFC does to counter them. They already have major events lined up the following two weeks on October 18 and 25. Affliction running in their backyard is obviously not going to sit well with Dana & Co., so you can count on them coming up with something. But will it be a live event? Will it even be possible? UFC 89 is expected to air on Spike TV a week later. Would Spike be willing to carry major UFC events two weeks in a row? I’m not a television guy, so I don’t know. No matter what the UFC comes up with, Affliction certainly isn’t making it easy on them.
Lets also not forget that EliteXC is planning a major CBS event with Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano in October as well. What weekend will they go with? Will they play it safe and run on Oct. 4, or will they try and steal either Affliction’s or the UFC’s thunder on another weekend? What if they went with October 11 as well? Could we seriously have three major MMA events in one night? In all honesty, I hope not. As much as I love this sport, two in one night was more than enough. Best case scenario, EliteXC chooses October 4 and we have four straight weekends of major MMA events to look forward to.
However it goes down, October is looking to be as good as July, if not better. And we can all breathe a little easier now knowing Fedor will be fighting another top ten opponent. I suppose Randy will have to wait till next year.
Yes, Dana, you’re right. It’s a great time to be a mixed martial arts fan.
The latest Affliction II: Fedor vs Arlovski fight card and event info can be found in our fight cards section.
[UPDATE 7/24/08 10:49AM ET] – Sherdog posted an article this morning about Gina Carano fighting on EliteXC/CBS’s Oct. 4 event. Four straight weekends of major MMA events. Can’t beat that. Also, quite a few respected journalists/bloggers have stated they don’t believe it will be feasible for the UFC to counter Affliction on Oct. 11 with a live event. That doesn’t mean they won’t come up with something though.