Leaving Las Vegas

Written by Tom Ngo
September 11th, 2008

When Affliction Entertainment Vice President Tom Atencio announced yesterday that the organization was no longer going to be holding their second ever MMA event on October 11th, he wanted to make it absolutely clear that they were just “rescheduling” the event, not cancelling or postponing it. The latter two give off negative connotations, where as “rescheduling” still makes the event a certainty.

“We’re not canceling it, we’re not postponing it, we’re rescheduling it completely,” Atencio told MMAWeekly.com about the new January 17th date. “It doesn’t make sense to not do it where we wanted to do it; it’s a positive.”

The date is not the only thing that changed. It is being reported that the event will now be taking place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, the site of their debut event “Banned.”  The event was initially slated to take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

There are rumors swirling as to why they are “rescheduling” the event, the primary one has to do with the lack of ticket sales. They were able to achieve great success in their debut event in July due to the fact that they had big names, including consensus #1 ranked Fedor Emelianenko, on the card. However, with their poster boy forced to sit the sidelines due to a medical suspension, this event has lost a lot of its luster. 

“Of course,” he said about the disappointing ticket sales being a reason for the “rescheduling.” “It was a business decision. We came out strong, and we want to continue with that momentum and continue strong. We don’t want to come out and be weak and have to give tickets away. We want to continue to be a force in this industry.

“From a business standpoint, we don’t want to lose money. We want to be here long term. It’s a wise choice. This is definitely a positive.”

By pushing their second promotion back a few months, it gives Emelianenko time to fully recover from his right thumb injury, allowing them to put the popular Russian back on their card. Atencio declined to comment on whether Emelianenko would headline their January 17th card, however it is clear that his presence will be absolutely necessary for Affliction to have a successful encore.

Atencio stated that he will be making a big announcement this weekend at the MGM Grand, where Golden Boy Promotions will be hosting the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Joel Casamayor Pay-Per-View bout. Reports are surfacing that Affliction, Golden Boy and possibly HBO are on the cusp of announcing some sort of partnership deal.

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