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Atencio: "[Kimbo] Needs to Prove Himself"

Written by Tom Ngo
June 8th, 2009
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Lost in the hoopla of street fighting legend Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson joining the “TUF 10” cast, Affliction Entertainment went on a bi-coastal tour to promote their recently announced “Affliction: Trilogy” event. VP Tom Atencio chatted exclusively with 5thRound.com regarding their highly anticipated show, as well as the YouTube sensation.

“I think it’s good, it’s great for Kimbo and honestly, it’s great for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ too,” Atencio told 5thRound.com about Kimbo’s recent career move. “That’s going to get a huge following for them. It’s just up to Kimbo now to prove himself. I think that’s what it comes down to. He needs to prove himself as a legitimate, ‘real’ fighter, not a backstreet brawler.”

“He’s a legitimate backstreet brawler, but, obviously it was proven that he wasn’t a polished, great MMA fighter. So I think it’s good for him and it’s good for them.”

With access to the world’s two best heavyweights, including top-dog and WAMMA heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko, Atencio never really considered hopping aboard the Kimbo Express.

“No, we didn’t try to make a run [at signing the free-style fighter],” Atencio told us. “It was a thought, but I know Kimbo. I met him before. I don’t know. For the fighters that we have, the caliber of fighters made it really not an option at this point.”

On to more important matters, Affliction is aggressively pushing a fight that doesn’t really need it. They hosted their second presser in as many days after they stopped by the Trump Towers in NYC for a brief minute yesterday.

But let’s be real. Emelianenko vs. Barnett in a 5Round title scrap?

Long overdue, but much appreciated that it has arrived.

“This is the fight the world has been wanting to see. Anybody that knows MMA knows that this is the ultimate match-up,” Atencio told us in closing. “Both are fantastic mixed martial artists, as well as friends, so it’s going to be an exciting night.

“So this is the pinnacle, we are reaching Mount Everest.”

The night that Atencio is referring to is August 1st as Affliction:Trilogy will be jumping off inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, Cali. Once again, Atencio and Co. are hooking MMA fans up with LIVE coverage the entire evening.

You can catch all of the preliminary bouts LIVE on HDNet for the economical price of $Free.99, however you gotta pay for the good stuff beginning at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.

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