MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Golden Boy Hopes Affliction Will Be Its Key to MMA Fans, HBO “Respectfully Declines” Arlovski-Barnett


(‘How’s taste my co-promotion clusterfuck?’)

The more we hear about the Affliction/Golden Boy partnership, the stranger it begins to sound. First there was the official press release, which seemed to put more emphasis on “signature shirts” and apparel than on fights. It’s almost as if Affliction is looking for a way to retreat with dignity from the money-sucking void of fight promotion and get back to what they do best: selling overpriced, hyper-stylized clothing.

But aside from their own line of skull-themed t-shirts, what does Golden Boy get out of it? According to CEO Richard Schaefer, they hope to siphon off some of MMA’s young fan base and bring them back into the boxing fold:

“We believe Affliction and the relationships they have with that demographic, the identification they have within that demographic group I think will help bring boxing to these people,” said the Golden Boy CEO. “We think as well, many of the mixed martial arts fans are fans of combat sports, and what they’ve seen of boxing is a very exciting sport as well that maybe they will discover their love for the sport of boxing.”

Naturally, Affliction VP Tom Atencio hopes for the same thing in the other direction, which should tell Golden Boy something (as should those Vegas ticket sales) about just how much of an MMA fan base they may have to draw from. But in theory, at least, it sounds like an idea that can work. That is, if you get the right fights in front of the right audiences. Already things are off to a slow start.

ESPN.com reports that Golden Boy tried to sell HBO on the idea of adding the original “Day of Reckoning” main event — Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett — to the Oct. 18 pay-per-view boxing bout between Kelly Pavlik and Bernard Hopkins. HBO “respectfully declined.”

That leaves Affliction and Golden Boy going it alone, albeit together. Their stated plan is to stage four boxing/MMA hybrid pay-per-view events in 2009, splitting the revenue 50/50 between them. But in order for that to prove worthwhile, Affliction needs to show that its brand of MMA can pull a significant share of MMA fans, and Golden Boy has to be ready to offer up some of its big name boxers to help.

Then, of course, we have to start asking what the billing on these cards will actually look like. Bringing in boxers means Affliction needs fewer of its own MMA fighters per show. Judging by the reaction from several of the guys slated for the Oct. 11 show, this is making some fighters in the Affliction stable a tad bit nervous.

Paul Buentello, who was scheduled to take on former IFL heavyweight champ Roy Nelson at “Day of Reckoning” told Sherdog.com:

“It took the wind out of my sails, man. …“I’m just crossing my fingers [that I’ll be on the January card],” Buentello said. “So we’ll see what pans out.”

Sources tell CagePotato.com that Josh Barnett is similarly displeased with the idea of being pushed off the main event — or even the card itself — by this new development.

As of right now, no one seems entirely sure what the first Affliction/Golden Boy card will even look like. Hopefully that’s something they’ll clear up shortly, if for no other reason than to let their fighters know exactly what the hell is going on. Affliction COO Michael Cohen spoke of an impending Trump Towers press conference, and it might be the perfect opportunity to lay out some sort of plan for the future, assuming such a plan really exists.

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Juan for the Road Matt- September 15, 2008 at 12:31 pm
If MMA fans were ignorant, that would make us boxing fans...
Markdog- September 15, 2008 at 2:49 am
@ Matt D.: MMA fans are not ignorant. We actually know what the fuck is going on, and we have seen boxing and know for sure that it sucks! Boxing fans on the other hand are the ignoramuses. They don't have a clue what is going on in MMA, so they say it is too barbaric to be considered a professional sport. Go buy an Everlast T-shirt!
Anonymous- September 15, 2008 at 2:49 am
@ Matt D.: MMA fans are not ignorant. We actually know what the fuck is going on, and we have seen boxing and know for sure that it sucks! Boxing fans on the other hand are the ignoramuses. They don't have a clue what is going on in MMA, so they say it is too barbaric to be considered a professional sport. Go buy an Everlast T-shirt!
UFC fan- September 15, 2008 at 12:01 am
"# Matt D. Says:
September 15th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

I think this will work out great. Boxing fans and MMA fans in general seem to be the same. They are both completely ignorant fools who refuse to actually give the other sport a chance. “Forcing” fans of one sport to watch the other will be good for both sports."

and you are which one of those 2 fools?
because here you are on a MMA forum, so IM gonna guess that makes you an MMA ignorant fool....right? according to your very own words, thats what YOU are.

Assfliction was a uber-fail from the first day, this deal only further proves it, I hope its explodes and takes boxing, and those douchebags from HBO with it.
Canucklechuck- September 14, 2008 at 8:27 pm
It has become clear in the last number of months that HBO is treating MMA as both a fad that will hopefully go away, and as something that has the potential to compete directly with their boxing product. Personally, I will not be buying any PPV that contains even one boxing match. Boxing has been around a long friggin' time. I men, it's not like us MMA fans haven't had an opportunity to see it. We've all taken a look, and for the most part, decided that it wasn't for us. I can't see how cramming it down our throats by coupling it with something that we love is going to help boxing as a sport. If anything, a 8 - 12 rounder sandwiched between MMA fights is going to make me like it even less.
Matt D.- September 14, 2008 at 7:07 pm
I think this will work out great. Boxing fans and MMA fans in general seem to be the same. They are both completely ignorant fools who refuse to actually give the other sport a chance. "Forcing" fans of one sport to watch the other will be good for both sports.
tb- September 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm
HAHAHA EPIC FAIL...

Big John is shitting his pants right now for sure... At least Couture was smart enough to see the writing on the wall and jump ship and get back into the UFC.

God Bless the Almighty Dana White
Anthony Cazares- September 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm
It say's the two companies are splitting the profit 50/50..., But what about the losses? You know Golden Boy ain't goin to split that shit!!!
Armbreaker- September 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm
Am I the only person who is sick of HBO's negative attitude toward MMA? That is one of the reasons, along with Dexter and Inside the NFL, that I cancelled HBO and am subscribing to Showtime.
steve- September 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm
Conspiracy!

And here's why:

I don't think anyone doubts the fact that MMA is far more exciting than Boxing.
Put the two together, and the contrast will be that much more prevalent.

People will see why MMA is far better, and bail out of boxing altogether.
Meanwhile, Affliction, with the anchor that is Golden Boy, will go down fast.

And Dana White kills two birds with 1 stone.

Good work, Mr. White. Genius!
Dana King- September 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm
I for one am really excited about this co-promotion!!!

I can't wait to watch an 3 minutes of an MMA match that ends in a first round KO or submission, then watch an hour-long 12 round boxing match go to a decision before I am able to see the next MMA match. What isn't exciting about that?!

Plus, we have been selling MMA short for years by paying $34.99 and $39.99 for UFC events. Now we have the privelege of paying boxing prices at $59.99 for a PPV event that will likely only be able to feature two boxing matches and two MMA matches in a three hour PPV event.

The best news is for all the fighters that thought this would be a great alternative for them to the UFC. Huge contracts, better treatment, and well... never fighting. If your name isn't Fedor, Arlovski, or... well, that's about it... then don't expect to be shown on the PPV's 2 MMA fights. Sorry Horodecki!

Thank you Tom Atencio for changing our the world of mixed-martial arts in your effort to sell T-shirts.
mayhem420- September 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm
I stopped watching Boxing when I was in HS cause it was boring and stale.
Not to mention the like what 50 titles??? None of the "fights" since Mickey Ward VS Gatti were any good. I just dont want to see 2 big guys hugging each other for 12 rounds and then have to listin to the commentator (sp?) act like its Ali vs Frasier.
Sorry but this is how Affliction begins to die.....
Ever hear a death rattle? This is how it starts!

Again you might hate Dana but the guy knows what he is doing!
Juan Blanco- September 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm
Who wants to buy a hybrid event on PPV? Every boxing PPV (besides Tyson) I have ever watched has sucked.. One main event with 2 or 3 boring pre-lims. If I pay $50 to see MMA, I don't want to be bored with a 12 round, giant glove, dancing with the stars circus act.... A bunch of Boooing MMA fans will be what Affliction has on its hands for every boxing match-up on the card. Boxing alone is BORING!!!!!!!!
MMA is Splendid!!!
bpd- September 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm
This is an awesome idea. Maybe the two sports can learn from each other. Boxing can learn about appealing to people who aren't black, hispanic or sixty. MMA can learn how to shoot hard-won credibility to shit by fixing fights. Everybody uh... wins?

Does anybody really think that this will work? Boxing is boxing and MMA is MMA. That's why they have those different names.
Cody- September 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm
Adding boxing to an MMA event is like whipping out a checkerboard at a chess tournament.
Unless they're going to bring Tyson back for every event, this is doomed to fail. Between this cluster , the state of EliteXC (Hits N Chicks anyone?) and Dream not being able to pay their fighters, the MMA world has Dana White looking like a genius.
Dr.- September 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm
Hahah. Awesome. I mean splendid.
mmmiles- September 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm
What's boxing? Some kind of pugilistic fisticuffs championship?

Splendid, splendid.
Old, Bald and Irish- September 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm
Aw man...this just keeps going from bad to worse.

So where does Fedor fit into all of this?

This just sucks. The first Affliction event was pretty damn good, but this second one looks like a great big "FAIL" waiting to happen.
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