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Atencio Talks Trilogy’s Cancellation And Affliction’s Demise

Tom Atencio & Fedor Emelianenko

It was fun while it lasted.

It’s been about a month or so since Affliction Entertainment started to come unraveled. Apparently, that was enough time to heal the stinging wounds of putting a failed business venture to rest because Tom Atencio is finally starting open up about Affliction Entertainment’s final days.

While Josh Barnett’s positive steroid test was certainly the catalyst that led to the cancellation of their third event, “Trilogy,” Atencio claims he has no hard feelings towards Josh. Tom has spoken to him since and said Josh apologized, he just wishes he would have known sooner so they would have had time to re-market the show. Atencio says ultimately that’s why they decided to cancel the event, not because Showtime, the pay-per-view provider, forced them to shut it down because of inadequate replacement options for Barnett as previously rumored.

“We just did not have the time to re-market whoever was coming up. We could not have changed the commercials for all the pay-per-view providers. We couldn’t have changed any billboards or put up anything saying main event changed or anything like that,” said Atencio. “We could not have risked the fact that somebody ordered it thinking that Barnett vs. Fedor was the main event.”

Once the decision was made to scrap the event altogether, Affliction quickly made the decision to get out, and contacted the UFC to make a deal. They did, and Tom says they’re happy to be back where they were sponsoring fighters.

One unanswered question that was quickly forgotten in all the Fedor mess was whether or not the fighters who were supposed to fight on August 1 would be compensated. The good news is the majority of them were.

“It’s my understanding that everybody was pretty much taken care of as far as where they’re going. As far as me taking care of everybody, 90-whatever percent of the guys I’ve taken care of. There’s always a few guys no matter what you do it’s not good enough, or no matter what you do they’re not going to be happy and that’s just life unfortunately,” stated Atencio. “The vast majority of the guys have been taken care of, they’re happy, and we have a continued relationship like I always try to do.”

Affliction put on solid two events with some greats fights, but ultimately, they’ll just be a footnote in the sport’s history. It’s probably for the best though. Their fighters deserved a stable working environment, and that’s something Affliction just couldn’t provide. They’ll go back to making t-shirts, paying fighters through sponsorships, and start making back some of the money they lost.

As they say, all’s well that ends well.

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