Fedor Emelianenko & Tim Sylvia at Affliction Press Conference

Photo courtesy of Sherdog.com

With Affliction’s MMA debut only nine days away, many are still wondering where the big marketing push is. Advertising, for the most part, has been limited to the internet. The only “major” advertising seen thus far has been a giant billboard in Times Square. So how exactly is Affliction expecting to draw pay-per-view buys and ticket sales? How about good old fashioned word of mouth? Well, at least that what it seems, and more importantly it looks like it could be working.

According to Affliction VP, Tom Atencio, the hardcore fan base isn’t the only place Affliction is drawing interest from.

Tickets are going really well. I’m getting a huge interest from celebrities. I’ve got a lot of boxers showing up, which I’m real happy about. Because that means that boxers and the boxing community are taking notice as well. Which I want. I want people, the die hard fans and the boxing fans, to start getting interested in MMA too. So everything is going really well. Tickets are selling continuously. I think we’re definitely going to make ourselves noticed.

What type of celebrities remain to be seen. Are we talking Brad Pitt and Will Smith? Or Bret Michaels and Kid Rock? Whichever it turns out to be, having recognizable faces at your event certainly can’t hurt. They all attract attention, some just more than others.

More importantly, the quality of the card seems to be drumming up a ton of media interest as well.

Traditional marketing is still powerful. I’m not saying you don’t need to push what you’re selling, but this card is stacked, and the media seems to be fixated. Affliction might be right after all — this thing might just sell itself.

As of right now, according to the press release, more than 250 media passes have already been requested from numerous media outlets in different countries, including Russia, Japan, Korea, Germany, England, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

It seems the UFC isn’t the only show in town trying to take this sport global.

This all sounds great for Affliction, but will it translate into a sold out event and a couple hundred thousand buys? Probably not, but it would be pretty damn awesome if they did and proved everybody wrong. There are more eyes on this sport than ever. Crazier things have happened.

Now if they could just land some airtime on ESPN between now and then…