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Tag: Affliction

UFC Picks Up Ben Rothwell vs. Chase Gormley From ‘Trilogy’ — Many More Affliction Fighters to Come?

Ben Rothwell MMA
("Hey Lesnar, I heard you like guns. WELL HOW DO YOU LIKE THESE?!?" Photo courtesy of milwaukeemma.com)

Why let Strikeforce have all the fun in picking over Affliction’s carcass? According to Sherdog, the heavyweight scrap between Ben Rothwell and Chase Gormley that was supposed to be featured on the undercard of "Trilogy" will now happen at UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles). Rothwell has won 14 of his last 15 fights, with notable wins over Roy Nelson, Krzysztof Soszynski (twice), and Ricco Rodriguez, and a sole loss to Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned. Gormley is a promising 6-0 heavyweight from Bodyshop Fitness Team who holds wins over Jon Murphy and Eric Pele.

But that could just be the beginning. InsideFights.com hears that a whopping twenty Affliction fighter contracts have been snapped up by the UFC. The names haven’t been released yet — maybe they’ll be revealed at Friday’s "crazy" press conference — but considering guys like Vitor Belfort, Jorge Santiago, Takanori Gomi, and Paul Daley are still floating in the breeze, Christmas may be coming early for Dana & Co. We’d include Fedor Emelianenko on that list, but as long as M-1 keeps denying that their #1 asset is heading to the Octagon, there’s no reason to keep playing with your emotions.

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Vadim Finkelchtein Would Like to Go Ahead and Complicate This Fedor/UFC Issue If You Don’t Mind

Fedor Emelianenko and Vadim Finkelchtein
(‘It’s quite simple, gentleman. All we require is a suitcase full of money, a crate of automatic rifles, twelve underaged prostitutes, and a helicopter to take us to the airport. Oh, and the helicopter must be painted with the M-1 Global logo. Do we have a deal?’)

Now that Affliction has gone back to being merely the maker of terrible t-shirts and Fedor Emelianenko has lost another home to fight in, this should mean that the way is clear for him to sign with the UFC, right?  Enter Vadim Finkelchtein, also known around the Zuffa offices as Crazy Russian #1.  Yesterday he spoke to the official M-1 Global site about his new plans to profit off Fedor’s success now that Affliction is gone.  Fedor and his people are all in the U.S. and they plan to talk with several different organizations over the next few days, but Finkelchtein isn’t about to make this thing easy on anyone:

“This is the moment of truth that the UFC has talked about. Fedor and I are here in the States. If they want to come out and fly here, we are ready to conduct negotiations. Of course it still doesn’t imply we are ready to accept any conditions they’ll throw at us. We want to talk to the UFC about having Fedor compete against some of their fighters, but only within the framework of co-promotional efforts with M-1 Global.”
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Affliction’s Tom Atencio Talks “Ultimate Chaos” Fight, Doesn’t Give a Damn What the Critics Think

Affliction VP Tom Atencio
(What’s he looking for?  A war.)

I spoke with Affliction VP Tom Atencio for this week’s SI column on his fight with local card dealer Randy Hedderick at tomorrow night’s “Ultimate Chaos” event in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Contrary to my suspicions before our talk, I came away convinced that Atencio isn’t doing this so much as a self-promotional Affliction publicity stunt, but rather because he genuinely wants to.  What makes me think so?  Mostly his reluctance to even talk about the fight, as well as mild surprise that anyone would want to talk about him considering the other fights on the card.

He also offered some insight on his life as a highly-publicized but low-level MMA fighter, as well as his career as a fight promoter.  And naturally he managed to slip in some shots at the UFC…

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Andrei Arlovski Homeless After Affliction Decides Not to Renew His Contract

Andrei Arlovski Brett Rogers MMA Affliction
(Well, you sleep on the job as much as Andrei does and you’re bound to get fired at some point. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Andrei Arlovski’s career options just got even slimmer. After suffering back-to-back first-round knockouts against Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers — both of which were humiliating in their own special ways — Affliction has declined to renew the Belarusian’s fight contract. Affliction VP Tom Atencio did his best to spare Andrei’s feelings:

“His contract has expired and right now we have so many fighters under contract that we are just concentrating on working with them…No, we are not looking at [pursuing a new contract with Arlovski] right now.” 
 
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Affliction’s NFL Invasion Seems Doomed From the Start


(Props: Cage Writer)

Things haven’t exactly panned out for Affliction in the MMA promoting business.  They’re closing in on their third show in a little over a year’s time and they have yet to figure out how to gets fans in the arena without paying ridiculous fighter salaries that almost guarantee they’ll take a loss on the event.  So what do they do to improve the old bottom line?  They go back to what they know best: gaudy, overpriced t-shirts. 

But apparently Affliction feels they’ve accomplished all they can in the field of pro fighting, and they’re now moving on to the NFL.  What you see above there is the Washington Redskins “Affliction Warrior tee.”  Yes, they are seriously trying to sell that for $31.99.  And yes, we realize that’s actually a price cut for Affliction gear.  Are NFL Affliction t-shirts bound to be the next big thing in pro football sports apparel?  We’re going to go out on a limb here and say no.  Here are three good reasons why:

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Bookings News: Aoki, Mousasi, Filho and More All Get Fights

Paulo Filho
(The flannel is coming back, bitches.)

Fresh off this morning’s Dream.9, which we’ll go ahead and call a success in the sense that no one died during the “ridiculously stupendous” freak show portion of the evening, Dream already has some plans for their next event, predictably titled Dream.10.  The organization announced that WAMMA lightweight champion (that’s still a real thing, right?) Shinya Aoki will face Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro in what will be Aoki’s first actual MMA fight since his TKO loss to Hayato “Mach” Sakurai.

Also at Dream.10, Melvin Manhoef will take on mercurial former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho in a fight that could be an awesome clash of styles or a complete mess.  I think we can all agree that Filho stands a good chance if he shows up in shape, focused, and not with one foot in the spirit world, but will get absolutely decapitated if he wigs out like he did against Chael Sonnen in his last fight.  Either way, it’s a strong addition to the July 20th fight card, which also includes the semi-final and final rounds of the Dream welterweight grand prix tournament, and possibly even the return of Kazushi Sakuraba.  Because hey, he’s not dead yet, and he’d prefer that the end come in the ring in front of a silent arena of Japanese fans.

In other bookings news…

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Dana White Responds to Tom Atencio’s Fight Challenge by Calling Him a Loser

Randy Couture Tom Atencio MMA
(They should have used a safe word. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Just because Tom Atencio wants to give up a couple weight classes and fight Dana White doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen. Quote of the day, via Kevin Iole:

"If I were him, I’d want to fight me, too," White said. "I’m the guy who is killing all of his hopes and dreams…Why would I fight this goof? He’s neither a fighter nor a promoter. He’s a [expletive] loser. That’s all he is. Let me tell you something: When I was $44 million in the hole, the last thing I was doing was leaving the office and going out to train for a joke of a fight. I was in the office and trying to find a way to make this thing work. Why would I waste one second of my second of my day worrying about this [expletive] guy? He should be worried about the millions and millions of his bosses, or his partners’ money, whoever it is, that’s he’s burning. That’s a complete joke."
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Affliction’s Tom Atencio Questions Dana White’s Manhood, In So Many Words

Tom Atencio
(Tom wishes a motherf*cker would call him t-shirt guy to his face.)

Affliction VP Tom Atencio saw a rare opening to take a shot at UFC president Dana White during the press conference to promote “Ultimate Chaos” in Biloxi, Miss., and damned if he didn’t make the most of it.  Atencio’s entering into his second MMA bout against Randy Hedderick, who as far as we know does not run either an MMA organization or a t-shirt company.  And while it’s not exactly like fighting for a UFC title, Atencio points out that at least he’s got the balls to do it, unlike some other promoters:

"I’ve been seen in front of the cameras before as far as the business side, but it’s time to fight. I’m doing something Dana White won’t do and that’s fight. He talks like a fighter, so why doesn’t he fight? I’m stepping up to the plate and win, lose or draw I attempted it. I don’t ever think he would fight."

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OMFG: Affliction’s Tom Atencio to Return to the Cage in Lashley/Sapp Undercard

Tom Atencio Dana White MMA Affliction
(He’s not kidding, Dana — tap or nap. Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)

He might be a "t-shirt guy," but Affliction VP Tom Atencio has enough balls to actually compete in the sport that he promotes. According to MMA Fanhouse, Atencio will be fighting on the supporting card of the June 27th MMA event at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi that will be headlined by Bobby Lashley vs. Bob Sapp. Another heavyweight match between Pedro Rizzo and Gilbert Yvel has also been booked. Said Atencio on his decision to get out from behind his desk and strap on the gloves:

"I love this sport and I am not a wannabe. I’ve fought before and I have respect for anyone who steps into the ring win, lose or draw. They’re doing something that most of the world will never do."

No, Atencio’s fight won’t be a celebrity MMA bout against arch-nemesis Dana White (who could smash Ricardo Arona, by the way). He’ll be taking on a yet-unnamed lightweight, probably at a weight of 160 pounds: "Not sure I can make 155 at 42 years old."

While we give huge props to Tom for the effort, we can’t help reading into what this means for Affliction as an MMA promotion. It can’t be a great sign when their main promoter and two of their heavyweights are planning on keeping busy with other endeavors for the month of June. When asked why he wouldn’t be fighting under the Affliction banner, all Atencio would say is "They don’t think it’s right for me to fight for my own event." (They?) Still no word on when/where Affliction’s third event will be held, if they are indeed having one, but we’ll keep you posted.

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Affliction/Dream Co-Promotion Rumor Is So Crazy It’s Almost Sane

Mirko Cro Cop
(‘And what is deal with airline food? Is no good, am I right?’)

Want to hear something totally insane and probably not true?  That was a rhetorical question.  Of course you want to hear this.  According to a Croatian newspaper article translated for us by Robert of betwwx.com, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s next bout will be this July in an Affliction/Dream co-promotional event full of all kinds of fights that only sort of make sense.  

The article quotes Cro Cop as saying that he’d like to fight four times this year (he knows it’s already mid-April and he’s fought zero times so far this year, right?) and five times in 2010, so the credibility of this report seems strained to begin with.  But then the article declares that the “only certainty” is a Cro Cop-Alistair Overeem rematch on a July 20 Affliction/Dream co-promotion in Japan.  Also on that card, according to this report, will be Fedor Emelianenko taking on Jeff Monson and Josh Barnett facing off against Andrei Arlovski.

Whoa, let’s back up a second, Croatian newspaper.  Now who’s this Fedor guy anyway and what has he done to deserve a shot at "The Snowman"?

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