Ariel Helwani of MMARated.com was hard at it again covering the Trump/Affiction Press Conference that took place earlier today. As reported yesterday, Andrei Arlovski was announced as a major signing for the upstart promotion, and will face Ben Rothwell on July 19 at Affliction “Banned.”
If you’re wondering if Affliction & Trump are just shooting to be the number two promotion behind the UFC, well they’re not. In an interview with BloodyElbow.com, Special Counsel to Mr. Trump, Michael Cohen revealed they’re planning to unseat the number one MMA promotion.
I think you have no choice but to go head to head with the UFC. I believe that the UFC right now is the only game in town. So the answer is any company that enters into the arena of mixed martial arts certainly is going up against the UFC. The UFC has the longest track record and they have certainly been the premier company. We anticipate that will change. And that it will change very quickly.
When the news first hit the internet, I speculated that Trump would use his connections with NBC to try and get the promotion on network television. It appears I wasn’t far off base.
Luke Thomas: Obviously he’s had many seasons of “The Apprentice” on NBC, but they currently carry Strikeforce, a rival but different promotion. Does Mr. Trump plans to use his business leverage to get Affliction beyond the Pay-Per-View landscape?
Michael Cohen: Certainly one of the benefits of having Donald Trump as your partner is all of the individuals he has access to via his rolodex, which is immense. So the answer is it’s something that’s being considered. We certainly do believe that mixed martial arts has a place on primetime television. As you know, he certainly has strong ties and connections to NBC. He was the number one show with “The Apprentice”. It is something that is being considered.
This is definitely going to get interesting.
Video interviews with Michael Cohen, Affliction VP Tom Atencio, and Mauro Ranallo after the jump.
Check out more Affliction “Banned” content on MMAConvert.com.