We know, you’re getting sick of all the Affliction news lately. So are we, but this is too good to ignore. Si.com’s Josh Gross is reporting that former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski could sign with Affliction as early as May 19 if the UFC decides not to match the offer. That fits right in with what we’ve been hearing, which is that Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell is all but official.
Gross points out that if this comes to fruition Arlovski will be the third former heavyweight champ to leave the UFC in eight months. He’ll also be the only one to complete all fights on his current contract and wait out the negotiating period. Expect more information on the Arlovski front when Affliction holds their first press conference in Los Angeles next week.
But wait, there’s more. Fox Sports Net executive George Greenberg is also expected to attend the press conference, which suggests the possibility of Affliction having some connection to the cable network that has been particularly friendly to MMA in the past. Could FSN end up airing the non-pay-per-view portion of Affliction’s first event on July 19? Gross seems to think so.
Greenberg was instrumental in getting the IFL and Pride on FSN, as well as making The Best Damn Sports Show one of the first mainstream sports programs to include MMA coverage. If FSN is really cozying up to Affliction, the question then becomes whether they’ll air the event live or revert back to the tape-delay format they used for the IFL.
We voted in favor of “live.” Then we were informed that because we have no connection to FSN, we don’t get a vote. Really bummed us out.