Saturday July 19th will be a landmark day in the world of MMA. It will be the first time ever that two major organizations will be promoting their own fight cards on the same night. One will be for free, the other will be for an affordable MMA Pay-Per-View price of $39.95. A brand new organization will be taking on the industry leader head on, and they are not even batting an eye. The UFC will feature their best fighter and Affliction will feature the best fighter in the world. How is a fan to choose?History:
This entire “war” can be traced back to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture’s dispute with UFC President Dana White. The UFC Hall of Famer was highly popular during his time with the UFC and was able to parlay that popularity with the fastest growing clothing line in MMA, “Affliction.”
When Affliction decided to approach Couture about giving him his own line with the company, “Xtreme Couture,” he jumped at the chance. Xtreme Couture was in essence operated as its own business. They were able to sign their own fighters and none of their clothing had the name Affliction on it. It is a similar situation that Nike did with the Jordan brand.
Last year, Couture decided to leave the UFC in his hopes of seeking out a fight against consensus #1 heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, because the UFC was unable to land the coveted fighter. This caused a war of words between he and White, which spurred White to ban all of their fighters from wearing any Affliction or Extreme Couture clothing on their cards.
White thought that this would be a good way to hurt Couture financially, without the most popular fighters in MMA promoting the brand, sales were sure to plummet for the clothing line. This forced Affliction to think outside of the box and explore other ways of generating profits.
It seems as though White’s decision has come back to bite him in the end. Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio has even stated that if not for the UFC’s ban of their clothing line at their events, it is highly likely that Affliction would have ever even considered entering the MMA arena.
At first, White and the UFC went on business as usual. However, the arrival of a certain real estate mogul changed things significantly. Two months ago, Affliction named Donald Trump, and his billions of dollars, their Executive Vice President. That opened many eyes, including the UFC’s, and that is when Affliction really started gaining momentum.
Come July 19th, MMA fans will be in for a real treat. Two major promotions putting on solid events. As far as which one to choose, I would say that most of the casual fans will watch the free Fight Night 14 and the hard core fans will order the Afflcition:Banned PPV and use their DVRs to record UFC.
Here’s how a day in MMA history breaks down:
UFC (9PM EST on Spike TV)
Dale Hartt vs Shannon Gugherty
James Giboo vs. Brad Blackburn
Nate Loughran vs. Johnny Rees
Rory Markham vs. Brodie Farber
Cale Yarbrough vs. Tim Credeur
Jesse Taylor vs. C.B. Dollaway
Jake O’Brien vs. Cain Velasquez
Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns
Hermes Franca vs. Frankie Edgar
Reese Andy vs. Brandon Vera
James Irvin vs. Anderson Silva
Off Air Bouts (Most likely won’t be televised):
Savant Young vs. Mark Hominick
J.J. Ambrose vs. Mike Pyle
Patrick Speight vs. Justin Levens
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Edwin Dewees
Preliminary Bouts (Airing free LIVE on Fox Sports Net at 8PM EST – “Affliction LIVE”):
Terry Martin vs. Vetor Belfort
Paul Buentello vs. Aleksander Emelianenko
Main Bouts (Airing LIVE on PPV at 9PM EST – “Affliction: Banned”):
Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead
Fabio Negao vs. Matt Lindland
Pedro Rizzo vs. Josh Barnett
Ben Rothwell vs. Andrei Arlovski
Tim Sylvia vs. Fedor Emelianenko