(Say something about the pants. I wish you would.)
The relationship between Affliction and the MMA organization/Fedor Emelianenko rental company known as M-1 has always been somewhat sketchy. M-1 gets to make pointless speeches at Affliction pressers with no explanation as to why, they put their ads all over the arena during Afflicton’s July event, and generally seemed to have a hand in anything Fedor-related that Affliction even attempted. Now, apparently, the partnership is official:
“We’re basically just solidifying our relationship,” Affliction vice president Tom Atencio told MMAWeekly.com of the Russian promotion. “We work well with them. They’re one of the few companies we’ve worked with that if they say they’re going to do something, they do it. They’ve stood behind us, especially with negotiations with the UFC.”
This is part of what Affliction is planning to announce at tomorrow’s Trump Tower press conference in NYC. Another part is their involvement in the “Fighting Fedor” reality series. When will this show air, on what channel, and will there be anyone remotely credible in the running to fight Fedor? Hopefully that will all be answered at tomorrow’s press conference, though we can tell you right now that the answer to the last question is no.
The new deal between Affliction and M-1, however, should finally put to rest any notion of Fedor fighting Randy Couture in the near future. M-1′s Raimond Joost said there was no real possibility of Fedor signing a deal with the UFC, and as long as the UFC has Couture (which should be a healthy portion of his remaining shelf life as a fighter) you know they aren’t about to loan him out to the competition. So basically, take whatever remaining hope you had of ever seeing that fight and bury it somewhere deep inside yourself along with your suppressed rage and childhood dreams of happiness.
Joost also said that the January 24 Affliction show would be a “joint venture” with M-1, and said he expects another in the spring of 2009 featuring Josh Barnett and Aleks Emelianenko. Joost apparently thinks licensing won’t be a problem for Aleks, despite the California commission’s uncommonly strong words to the contrary. Accroding to Joost:
“There have been medical issues [ed note: just a little bit, yeah], but the nice thing about medical issues is that they can be resolved,” he said.
You have to admire the man’s optimism.
Slightly Related: Barnett Confronts Aleks Re: Shit-Talking