At this week’s Affliction/M-1 Global’s press conference, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio was very forthcoming about the potential that their new partnership with the Russian MMA organization has. Unfortunately for MMA fans, that was about all he was willing to share regarding Affliction’s immediate future. He even backtracked on previous statements regarding the promotion’s second MMA event, such as its venue, date and who company golden boy Fedor Emelianenko would be facing.
Affliction initially scheduled their “Day of Reckoning” event for October 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. However due to the lack of star power their ticket sales were more than disappointing, and they rescheduled the event to January 17th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
When the UFC caught wind of Affliction’s plans, they immediately put together a last minute card, UFC 93, to throw a wrench into their plans. Atencio went on to state,“It doesn’t make any sense for us to go head to head with them,” as he head back to the drawing board.
A few weeks later, he then announced that the event would most likely be held on January 24th at the Honda Center. However, Atencio told a different story at today’s press conference.
“I haven’t finalized or signed the papers yet, and until I sign the papers with the venue and everything else, I just don’t want to have to re-schedule again,” Atencio stated. “I don’t want to have to do that to the fans.”
Just one week ago, Atencio confirmed Emelianenko would most likely be facing former UFC champion Andre Arlovski on the card. They initially wanted to pit Josh Barnett against Fedor, however Barnett turned the fight down because the financial numbers were not working in his favor.
However, Atencio once again opened the door for Barnett today, as he stated that they are still considering both Arlovski or Barnett to face the WAMMA champion at their next event.
Two weeks ago, Dream Grand Prix Middleweight winner, Gegard Mousasi, stated that Affliction offered him a fight against Vetor Belfort on the card, and he accepted. Once again, Atencio had a different take on Mousasi’s participation on the event.
“There are a lot of rumors,” Atencio acknowledged. “I did sponsor Mousasi for his event (in Japan). As you probably saw, he was wearing Affliction. We have a relationship and if he comes and fights for us, absolutely, he’d be a great asset to the company. But everything is a rumor until I finalize it. Until you hear it from me, it’s a rumor and it’s as easy as that.”
It seems that EVERYTHING is a rumor, REGARDLESS, and it IS a lot more COMPLICATED than that. We will ALL continue to stand by…