Enough Talk of Affliction Headed for the Graveyard

chad prescottContributor ISeptember 12, 2008

I'm reading a lot of negativity on here on Affliction due to the fact it's moving a slow-selling October event—one that did not have the world's top fighter (sorry, Dana, it's not Silva)—to January. Fedor will be fighting on the card at Honda Center in California—yeah for me, 15 minutes up the road; boo for Japan, first time Fedor will miss a NYE show for his fans there.

Let's put this impending doom of Affliction into another light. There's more to MMA than the two American heavyweights. Affliction does have money in Trump and its own cash. And, rumor has it by its own VP, Golden Boy Promotions, Boxing's top dog whom also permeates cash, will be joining forces with North America's No. 2 and jumping into the MMA market.

What does this mean on a worldwide scale? A couple of things.

My favorite show of late, Dream, is mustering a dismal TV rating. It's believed to be the off-shoot of Pride that makes it still leave a bad taste in the Japanese fans' mouths. Dream's production and fighters, however, are top-notch; its tournaments are something American MMA lacks; and the level of lower weight class talent is rich.

Many believe Dream may not make it past the New Year, leaving many of the world's 145-to-185-pound top tier talent, many of which the American market does not know, readily available to be picked up.

The UFC, fresh from a roster cut of its own, is gearing up for a worldwide push in marketing, leaving the door wide open for the TV deal Affliction/Golden Boy venture in place with HBO-HDNET ready to pick up a lot of that talent. 

Another reason to be pretty happy to be in Affliction's shoes is it has the Pro Elite XC fold. The biggest bust in MMA's history.

It has CBS, knowing it needs huge numbers just to survive the New Year, doing little-to-no promotion for the upcoming fight, assuring nowhere near the first fight's numbers. For the second bout, which had three title fights, Elite XC gave half the tickets away.

This will leave much of the top talent, guys like Nick Diaz, Jake Sheilds, and Eddie Alvarez (who went into a Dream LW tourney unranked, and now is No. 3 in the world—one of the most exciting fighters you will ever see, with both ground and standup, a modern-day Rocky Balboa, straight outta Philly) wide open.

So you see, there is a plethora of talent for Affliction to build upon, both in the worldwide market and here stateside; couple that with Golden Boy and the TV deals it has with HBO and Affliction's own with HDNET, I do not see any problem with Affliction filling up the lower weight classes and becoming a viable competitor to UFC. I welcome it!