This is one of those reports I really hope isn’t true.
Sam Caplan of Five Oz. is reporting that there is a possibility Affliction is going to hold their third event on July 11 with the intention of going head-to-head with UFC 100.
Sources have informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Affliction Entertainment is currently engaged in preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of promoting its third-ever event on Saturday, July 11. Such a booking would put the promotion in direct competition with the UFC’s historic UFC 100 pay-per-view event.
Several fighters and managers have contacted FiveOuncesOfPain.com in recent days informing the site that they have been approached by Affliction officials about the possibility of accepting restructured contracts in order to compete on the show.
According to the sources, Affliction wants to reduce it overhead for a potential third event so that it could host it on a network or basic cable television platform, as it would be next to impossible to convince PPV distributors to promote an event that would be in direct competition with the UFC.
Sources made it a point to caution Five Ounces of Pain that the possibility of Affliction counter-programming UFC 100 was still only in preliminary stages. Additionally, several insiders we spoke with expressed pessimism about Affliction being able to pull off the July 11 date.
Caplan also mentioned that one source indicated this may be Affliction’s last event and they want to “go out with a bang.” Apparently, Tom Atencio will neither confirm nor deny the report, but considering Atencio pretty much denies everything, even what his so-called partners say publicly, it seems like there might be some truth behind this rumor.
My question is, why?
I’ve always been a proponent for legitimate competition to the UFC. I believe, ultimately, we, the fans, get better fights, better cards, and perhaps more importantly, the fighters get better treatment and fairer deals, well, at least in most cases. However, this seems to a case where fierce competition ends up doing more harm than good for the fans. Maybe it’s just me, but I want to watch both UFC 100 and Affliction III live, and I don’t want to have to do it by switching between channels or dividing my attention between two TV’s.
Then, of course, in terms of Affliction’s own best interests, you have to wonder, what the hell are they thinking? When it comes to their entertainment division, no one’s ever accused them of being geniuses, and this decision all but assures that they never will be. It seems pretty clear at this point that Affliction Entertaiment is at a crossroads. They can either shut it down, and cut their losses, or attempt to make fundamental changes to their business plan with the hope of moving towards profitability. Assuming this is true, it appears Affliction is opting for neither, and would rather go out in a giant blaze of glory that no one but them will recognize as such. It’s become increasingly clearer that Affliction bases their decisions off emotion and ego rather than sound business sense.
Sure, Affliction will take a few dollars out of the UFC’s pocket, I’m not sure how much or how significant, but whatever it is, the UFC will still be standing strong on Sunday. I don’t think the same can be said for Affliction. Free or not, intentionally going head-to-head with the UFC is going to hurt themselves a lot more than it’s going to hurt the UFC. Not to mention, if the bridge isn’t already burned, this pretty much assures the UFC will never allow Affliction back in as a sponsor again. If you haven’t noticed, Dana and Co. tend to hold a bit of grudge.
All that said, I will actually be quite surprised if this even comes to fruition. What television network in their right minds is going to pay Affliction any sort of significant rights fee to broadcast their event on the same night arguably the biggest mixed martial event in history is taking place? Any television exec with half a brain should instantly recognize the ratings would be abysmal at best.
Affliction may think they’re going to go out with a bang, but in reality, no matter how stacked their card is, its going to be more like a pop, somewhere along the lines of those little snaps you threw at your brother or sister on the fourth of July when you were young.
Apparently, Affliction keeps forgetting that the only people who know or give a damn about them are the few of us who spend half of everyday talking about MMA on the internet.
But hey, if throwing money in a roaring fire is your idea of a good time, who the hell am I to tell you, you shouldn’t?