The dispute between the UFC and Randy Couture may be over, but the one between the UFC and Affliction still rages on. After telling reporters that he would be “fucking horrified” to see Affliction still in business in 2009, Dana White may be trying to speed their demise as Affliction heads to Las Vegas for its October 11 event. According to VP Tom Atencio, Affliction is being hindered by the UFC in their Sin City efforts:
“They’ve been messing with me every step of the way,” Atencio said. “There have been issues that I’ve been dealing with. So I can’t say it’s them, but there’s been things we’ve been dealing with that have never happened before, so I guess that’s why.”
Atencio didn’t specifically list how the UFC was messing with him, but when the IFL attempted to break into the Vegas market, they faced radio stations that wouldn’t air their ads and marketing groups who refused to work with them. The rumor was that the UFC had threatened any ad networks or radio stations who cooperated with their competition, suggesting that they’d lose out on much greater business in the future from the UFC.
Affliction could be facing some of those same problems, or worse, as they try to drum up interest in their live event. Ticket sales were a major boon for their first show, but if they can’t get that same level of fan support for this effort they’ll be forced to rely on pay-per-view revenue, which could very well be weaker than their first show due to the lack of Fedor Emelianenko‘s star power. That may be why they’re shelling out the dough for a Times Square billboard, hoping that PPV buys will save them even if no one shows up to the live event.
(Props: Steve Cofield)