Affliction VP, Tom Atencio, appears in tonight’s edition of Inside MMA on HDNet. To clear up any doubts, Atencio, confirmed that Affliction ‘Banned’ is a done deal for July 19 at The Honda Center, also known as The Pond, in Anaheim, California. The event will be on PPV, with any further coverage still in negotiations. In addition to the Fedor Emelianenko/Tim Sylvia and Josh Barnett/Pedro Rizzo fights, Atencio confirmed the participation of Ben Rothwell, Mike Whitehead and Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral, and the fight between Matt Lindland and Fabio Negao. There was no mention of Andre Arlovski, who has been rumored to participate as well. They are looking to have 10 fights total on the card.
I just breathed a huge sigh of relief. Perhaps more details will come out tonight in the full episode.
Josh Gross of SI.com brings us back down to earth and reminds us there are still obstacles to clear before this becomes official. Since the event is being held in California, everything has to be approved through the CSAC first.
“Hopefully I can put everybody in the same room together really, really soon,” said CSAC executive officer Armando Garcia. “I’ve been down this road this before.”
With Affliction wanting to attach itself to the license of Southern California club boxing and MMA promoter Roy Engelbrecht, Garcia said there are numerous steps to be taken before the company could officially announce a venue or begin ticket sales.
After a similar situation arose when Fight Entertainment Group held an event at the Los Angeles Coliseum last June, Garcia now requires a bond that covers twice the fighters’ costs. Though Atencio denied rumors of a $6 million fight purse (he claims that Emelianenko’s reported $1.5 million and Sylvia’s $800,000 are inflated by public discussion), he said Affliction would have no issue covering the bond.
Should this be a big deal? It shouldn’t as long as they have the money, but they wouldn’t be the first promoters to have troubles with the CSAC. Anyone remember when the CSAC pulled the plug on the WCO event at the last minute back in January? Granted, Affliction should be on a whole other level in terms of financial stature, the CSAC is notorious for causing fits for promotions and fighters, so there’s always that chance something could go awry.
Gross also confirmed Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and Mike Whitehead would be facing each other. Ben Rothwell does not yet have a confirmed opponent, but it sounds like Andre Arlovski is still an option among others.
The undercard will consist of Savant Young vs. Mark Hominick, Ray Lamaza vs. Justin Levens, J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight and Brett Cooper vs. Mike Pyle. Negotiations are still ongoing to broadcast the undercard on live television.
Back to crossing my fingers and holding my breath.
Check out more Affliction “Banned” content on MMAConvert.com.