Is There Room for Two at the Top?

Mark HoppsCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2009

The recent Affliction: Day of Reckoning event was, let's face it, a pretty exciting event. It was well produced, had excellent fights, and a Stella atmosphere.

Perhaps what made it look even better was a less than perfect show from the UFC the previous week.

Which ever way you look at it, Affliction is chomping at the heels of the UFC if not financially, certainly with the quality of its events.

Affliction has top-ranked fighters, the fights seem to be made with the interest of the sport firmly at the heart of the match up rather than an urge to sell tickets by putting on a freak show.

The partnerships Affliction has made seem to be solid and although the wages paid to fighters do still seem a little steep. With trump behind them maybe it wont be as financially catastrophic as first thought.

Trump Jr. seems to actually have a genuine interest in the sport which can do nothing but help the partnership and Oscar De La Hoya adds a great deal of experience and credibility to the proceedings in the eyes of the press.

They have made a very smart move in the UK where the popularity of the sport continues to grow at a rapid pace (the UFC's UK poster Boy Mike Bisping was recently voted "coolest man in Britain" by popular Men's Magazine "Nuts") and have taken over the UFC's old spot on Bravo TV.

Bravo lost the UFC contract to a Pay to View Sports Channel called Setanta sports but now Bravo have Affliction it makes it essentially whole lot more accessible to watch Affliction over the UFC for casual fans.

So is there room for two at the top?

I hope so, at the moment the UFC remains the undisputed heavyweight champ but having two front-runners to bring us our fix of MMA sounds like a good thing to me.

There will always be conflict between the two organisations, unless drastic changes in attitudes (and dare I say, presidents!) are made but they will have to co-exist.

There may be some pushing and shoving, but the UFC just might have to move over and make room for someone else at the top of the pile.