(Whaddaya say, best buds again?)
So after this morning’s news that Affliction: Trilogy was being canceled altogether you might be asking, ‘Sup Affliction? You going to promote any more shows ever? You going to give any money to those fighters you just screwed? And what does this do to your relationship with Strikeforce and the UFC? Judging by recent developments, Affliction’s answer to all those questions would probably be, ‘Shit, man, I don’t know. Can you just take me home?’
Basically, it’s a mess right now. The stories are coming in from all sides and some of them are changing by the hour. Allow us to try and make sense of it:
- First Yahoo’s Kevin Iole reported that an Affliction attorney had flown to Las Vegas a few days after UFC 100 (and presumably before the Josh Barnett steroid fiasco) and offered to fold up shop if the UFC would let Affliction sponsor fighters at events once again. To this, Dana White is said to have replied:
‘I hope you idiots stay in business,’ ” White said. “We had a record year in 2007. We had a record year in 2008. And we’re going to have an even bigger record year in 2009. I said, ‘I hope you … stay around in 2010 and burn every dollar you have.’ What they do is of no concern to me.”
- Then Iole completely deleted that from his story and replaced it with this:
Later on Friday, Affliction opted to get out of the promoting business and, in a joint statement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, announced it would become a sponsor of the UFC. The fate of the fighters under contract with Affliction is not known yet.
So one thing happened, and then the complete opposite thing happened. Iole reported them both, without so much as acknowledging the conflict. Also, no joint statement has actually been made at this time, but one is expected shortly.
Long story short, Affliction and the UFC had themselves a quarrel and, like so many Roman civil wars, they’ve agreed to be friends and brothers again as if the whole thing never happened. But that’s not all.
- As previously noted, fighters were personally informed by Tom Atencio that the fight was off, but he supposedly promised to give them “something” for their trouble. All we know at this point is, if that something turns out to be back rubs there’s going to be trouble.
- As for where those fighters might actually be able to make some money with their fists now that Affliction is gone, some of them seem headed for M-1 Global’s August 28 event in L.A., and at least one or two will probably help fill out Strikeforce’s August 15 card. Sounding like an obstinate high school student, Gegard Mousasi said, “Fuck it…Maybe I’ll go to the UFC.” That’s the spirit.