With Affliction’s debut promotion a week away, their Executive Vice President, Donald Trump, speaks out on about the successes that they have already experienced, as well as how the UFC might be feeling about Affliction’s July 19th arrival.
At this week’s press conference, Affliction Vice President, Tom Atencio, announced that they will be abiding by the same MMA rules as the UFC. This will create less confusion for fans, as many of the rival organizations in the United States have tweaked their rules, at times creating confusion for their fans.
He also added that as of a couple of weeks ago, they have sold approximately 8,500 of the 13,000 tickets available at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Affliction:Banned has been gaining much hype and momentum as July 19th approaches. It will be a historic day for not just the company, but the industry leader as well.
The UFC, possibly feeling the pressure of Affliction, put together a last minute, free event (UFC Fight Night 14), which will be airing at the same time on the same day as Affliction: Banned’s Pay-Per-View event.
“I think it’s probably not great for the sport, although a lot of people will be watching, and I have a feeling we’re going to top them (the UFC) because we have the better fighters,” Trump stated. “I don’t know if it’s a good business strategy. … I wouldn’t do it. I don’t think I’d go about it that way.”
When the other MMA promotions such as; IFL, EliteXC and Strikefore, made their debuts, the UFC didn’t bat an eye. However, once Trump and his billion dollar empire joined forces with Affliction, the UFC took notice and responded quickly. This will mark the first time the UFC has put on a promotion on the same night as their competition.
“It shows that they’re taking [Affliction] very seriously,” Trump said. “Obviously, they consider this a threat and they take it seriously, but you know, again, [we’re] a group of people with a lot of money who like this particular sport, and I can see someone wanting to [counter us].”
“We have very good fighters, and we’re getting … more and more,” Trump added. “All the fighters want to sign with us, so [UFC executives] are taking it very seriously.”
The primary differences between Affliction and some of the other MMA rivals that have tried to go up against the UFC is that they didn’t have anyone with the marketability and finances of Trump. That is why many are struggling to survive. Even though he has little MMA experience, Trump knows what he brings to the table.
“This first fight has been amazingly successful; I hope it’s going to be a great evening of fights, and I think it will,” Trump said. “We’ll continue to go along, and I’d predict that (Affliction will) get bigger and bigger and better and better. Again, it’s a very strong group of people in terms of the finances, so that’s never going to be a problem.”
Trump, who has never been one to be shy from stirring up controversy or getting himself into heated disagreements, was nothing but respectful when speaking about the UFC and its president, Dana White.
“Dana’s been very respectful of me and very nice to me, and I always will be to him. I think he’s done a terrific job,” exulted Trump.
Let the competition begin!