Late last week, reports surfaced that the UFC and Affliction held talks to form a formal partnership. As the story goes, the UFC made an offer for Affliction to sign on as a major UFC apparel sponsor in exchange for Affliction ceasing their fight operations. Today, Sam Caplan spoke to Tom Atencio about the reports, and while he confirmed a meeting took place on Sept. 26 between the two parties, he claims the UFC never made an offer for them to consider.
“It was just a basic meeting to help get Xtreme Couture on Randy (Couture) since Randy is our partner, so that’s what the meeting was really about,” Atencio initially responded when asked if he could verify reports of the meeting.
The promotion, which is scheduled to hold its second show on Jan. 24 in Anaheim, Calif. expressed that the idea of no longer promoting shows was never taken seriously.
“No, there was no offer made, so why would we give it any consideration?”
According to Caplan’s report, Atencio confirmed the UFC expressed interest in getting Affliction to shut down their fight operations, however, he said talks stopped before an offer was made and details were discussed.
Am I buying this? No, not really. Considering the rumor that Todd Beard and Lorenzo Fertitta got into a cussing match during a conference call a couple weeks following the initial meeting, and the comments the unknown Affliction guy (contrary to numerous reports, not Todd Beard according to Dana White) made on Scott Ferrall’s radio show about the UFC, White, and Fertitta that would seem to support that rumor, it certainly doesn’t sounds like it was a cut and dry as Atencio makes it sound.
Whatever happened, it doesn’t look like the UFC and Affliction will be working together again anytime soon.
[UPDATE 10/28/08 3:37PM ET] – Atencio may be a little more politically correct than the unknown Affliction guy from the Ferrall show, but he’s not refuting the claims that person made on the radio about the Fertitta’s Station Casinos Empire going out of business in early next year. Atencio via MMARated.com.
“They want to talk about us being done by January. Well, I will guarantee you that their Statino Casinos will be out of business by February…I have all the proof I need.”
Nice, they’ve now entered into a pissing match about who will lose everything first. This business is so damn cutthroat.