Apparently, Affliction really is going to go head-to-head with UFC 100 on July 11, or at least MMA Weekly seems to think so.
The plan, like Five Oz. reported earlier this week, is to put the event on non-premium cable television, however it doesn’t sound like anything is solid at this point.
Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett are both expected to fight on the card, but the kicker is they won’t be fighting each other (here we go again, maybe Vitor will get his wish after all). Apparently, booking that fight would be too expensive for cable. This is just speculation, but I’m guessing this means Barnett has a Fedor clause in his contract like Arlovski where he would get a higher purse for fighting the heavyweight king. Also, the rumored Tim Sylvia-Paul Buentello bout is still a possibility.
As for the rumor that this will be Affliction’s last show, MMA Weekly’s sources did back up Michael D. Cohen’s statements to Ariel Helwani, so even if this is Affliction’s last hurrah, they don’t want anybody to know about it.
I’ve pretty much said everything I have to say about this already, however there are a few interesting theories floating around on why Affliction is doing this. Is it a publicity stunt? The cheapest way for Affliction to honor their contracts and exit the fight promotion business?
I’m not sure, but one thing does strike me as clear. If Affliction is actually going through with this, they aren’t planning on coming back for round four. Even they can’t be stupid enough to think this would be a smart strategy for growth.
[UPDATE 3/21/09 6:05PM ET] – Five Oz. has more on the possible location and potential broadcast partner for the undercard.
Sources have also informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Affliction’s third event could be held in Dallas, Texas, home of HDNet founder Mark Cuban. It’s possible that Cuban could provide the venue for the event at little to no cost in exchange for rights to televise the undercard.
Caplan still says this will be the final show unless they secure more investors.