As many of you know, the recently rumoured fight for "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" (ie: Affliction 2), featuring Andrei Arlvoski fighting Fedor Emilianenko, has been cancelled. What few are still aware of, is that Emilianenko did not back out of the fight due to contract disputes, but rather a hand injury. Another, even lesser known fact is that Josh Barnett vs Andrei Arlovski will be the new headliner.
This is a blessing in disguise for WAMMA, as well as Affliction. If they can get Tito Ortiz to fight, and that's what the current rumor seems to be, then I see no reason why PPV buys for this event won't skyrocket. Secondly, this gives credibility to the WAMMA Heavyweight championship belt. This fight, regardless of who wins or loses, will create a dream match-up for the Heavyweight belt. Either Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski beats the man long debated to be Fedor's biggest challenge, or Josh "The Baby-Faced Assassin" Barnett earns the title shot that MMA fans have long been dreaming of. Forget Randy Couture, the winner of this fight is the second-best Heavyweight fighter in the world. And if the winner of the Arlovski Barnett fight happens to be Barnett, expect massive amounts of coverage in Japan, which means more money for Affliction.
Also, we could likely see the winner of "Ortiz vs Sobral" fight the winner of "Nogueira vs Matyushenko" for the WAMMA Light Heavyweight belt. This fight card would be too good to pass up for any fan, casual or hardcore.
And with the constant pressure for UFC to increase wages, something's gotta give. Either we'll see the UFC raise fighter salaries to combat that of Affliction, or fighters will begin to leave the biggest organization in MMA. It's impossible to predict what fighters will leave the UFC for the greener grass in other pastures, but let's hope that they're some good ones.
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