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Tag: Affliction

Larry Merchant Attempts to Explain $5 Million Claim, Makes Himself Seem Kind of Pathetic


(‘Lying is such a negative word.  I prefer to call it efficient storytelling.’)

By all accounts, HBO boxing commentator Larry Merchant’s claim that Oscar De La Hoya was missing the Shane Mosley-Antonio Margarito bout on Saturday because Affliction paid him $5 million to attend their show is straight up false.  The question is, did Merchant know it was untrue when he said it?  According to what Golden Boy CEO Richard Shaefer told Sherdog, the answer is: kind of.

Schaefer says he told Merchant that De La Hoya would be helping to promote the Affliction show because “our partners at Affliction made an over $5 million commitment to the event.”  Merchant took that and twisted it to mean that Golden Boy was paid $5 million by Affliction, which is quite a leap, as even Merchant almost admits:

“The $5 million was the number thrown out,” Merchant told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. “There was not a discussion on how that precisely was allocated or how it was branded. Is it a little bit glib or short-handed to say that Golden Boy got $5 million and Oscar had to be there? Yeah. Yeah. I’m on television and I’m trying to tell a story as tightly as I can.”

That’s obviously a pretty sorry excuse.  Being on TV doesn’t give you license to distort a story just to make it shorter, as Merchant well knows.  The fact is he just doesn’t like MMA, as he freely admits without ever being asked.  Even tacked on to the end of his erroneous $5 million claim was this little zinger: “It would take that much to get me to go to one of those things.”  Now he says he’d go for a mere $100,000, despite the fact that no one in the MMA world wants or needs him there.

But the thing that’s frustrating about Merchant’s disdain for MMA is that it makes no sense coming from a guy whose life has been spent covering the fight game.  Just look at this quote from Merchant about the decline of boxing, taken from Joe Layden’s book about the Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas bout, The Last Great Fight:

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Affliction Looking at July/August for Event #3

Oscar De La Hoya Donald Trump Fedor Emelianenko Tom Atencio Vadim Finkelstein
("Yes, thanks you very much for this commemorative dinner plate.")

Though we enjoyed much hearty debate about how quickly Affliction’s MMA promotion would crash and burn after "Day of Reckoning," the official company line is that a third event will be held this summer, possibly in Anaheim (again) or Atlantic City. As Tom Atencio told FiveOuncesofPain:

"We’re going to have a third event. It’s just a matter of when. Possibly in July, possibly in August. I’m just not really sure. We’re looking and we’re sitting down, trying to figure everything out.”

Atencio, like everyone else, expects Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett to headline this theoretical third show, saying "That’s what I’m hoping for but right now I’ve got to sit down with these guys and figure everything out." Sounds like they’ve got a lot of figuring to do, so we’ll just leave them alone for now. In the meantime, these post-"Day of Affliction" news bits may interest you…

— The paid attendance for Saturday’s event was 8,946 for a live gate take of $1,512,750, though some of those tickets could have been paid for by Affliction itself. If Tom Atencio’s total attendance figure of 13,228 spectators was accurate, then over 4,000 seats were straight-up given away. Affliction’s debut show, "Banned," brought in 14,832 total attendees. On the same night as "Day of Reckoning," 20,820 people packed the Staples Center in nearby Los Angeles to watch Shane Mosley take out Antonio Margarito.

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Videos: Danablog #2 (aka “Pinkberry Makes You Crazy”), Arlovski Thanks “Classy Fans,” + Mosley-Margarito


Dana White’s UFC 94 video blog, episode 2 – Watch more Free Videos

In the second episode of Dana White’s UFC 94 video blog we get a look inside the taping of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and encounter a man identified as Dana White Sr.  Could this really be the father of the UFC prez?  The brief look we get at their relationship seems contentious yet oddly loving enough.  After that it’s off to NYC for more Pinkberry (so no more Men’s Health cover shoots any time soon, then?) and another race through the city streets.  Oh, to be rich and loaded on sugar.  Nothing at all about GSP-Penn in this episode, by the way.

Andrei Arlovski comes home to Chicago and thanks his fans for their support after his loss, which he attributes to a stupid mistake.  His cameraman, playing the role of the enabling sycophant, insists it was just necessary risk-taking, but Andrei knows better.  He also tosses another jab at “pee-pee-pee taster” Tim Sylvia, because that always makes a man feel better when he’s down in the dumps.

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Tito Ortiz: Great Commentator, or Greatest Commentator?


(An enormous head, filled with 12 pounds of cookie dough. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

We just wanted to share these quotes from Tito’s absolutely stunning broadcast debut at "Day of Reckoning," collected from these threads on the UG:

Sobral/Sokoudjou

"Here we are with Seraldo Babalu, you did an awesome job, saw why you’re a black belt in jiu-jitsu, getting an awesome submission there, I want to tell me what you see, let’s go ahead and see by the fight, what you saw, in the ring."

"You showed the dominance by getting the takedown and looking for a choke in that position. We know the weakness that you had, but you actually showed the heart and determination of a champion of how tough of a light heavyweight you really are, here in the Affliction card. What do you think of the future of you, um, future opponents?"

"Yes, and uh, my back will be better in about three months, so I know all the fans would love to see me and you get it on. You know what, you’re an awesome fighter, congratulations tonight. Everybody lets give a hand to Renato Babalu, one of the greatest light heavyweights, of the night."

Belfort/Lindland

"Matt the Lindland Law…The Law Lindland."

"Well, Belfort, we saw you with an astonishing left hand, that’s the left hand that I used to see you knock people out time and time again, we’re gonna go ahead and go over it. Walk me through it, show me exactly what you seen with this."

"Well, like I said, you show your hand-speed time and time again Vitor, 185 pounds, lady and gentlemen, let’s give Vitor Belfort a round of applause, an awesome 105 pounder, you just beat the number two guy in the world, buddy, you’re on top of the world tonight!"

"Wow! That’s all I got to say. Vitor at 185 pounds. I don’t know. I see him beating the, uh, what was it, Anderson Silva. I see him picking him apart because you have two great boxers, and, man, that was amazing. That was the old Vitor Belfort that we all want to see. Him at 131 years old. He’s back for vengeance."

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Freddie Roach Says The Fight Was Too Easy For Arlovski


(Is there any situation not improved by sound effects from Super Mario Bros.?  Props: MMA Scraps.)

Freddie Roach has figured out what went wrong for Andrei Arlovski on Saturday night.  It’s simple really.  Fighting the world’s best heavyweight proved too easy.  This bored Andrei, prompting him to try the flying knee that he was not awake long enough to finish:

"He made a young man’s mistake," Roach told MMAInsider backstage. "It was too easy for him. He was winning the fight handily I thought, controlling the fight like we planned. He got a little cocky, and he tried the flying knee from too far away, no setup, and he paid for it. … But Fedor swings hard, that’s his thing. He probably had his eyes closed, but he just got lucky, I think. If we had followed a more disciplined fight, and kept to the game plan, I think it was going to be easy."

I agree with Roach on one point: Arlovski did make a mistake.  As for the rest of his explanation, it’s just more evidence that Roach doesn’t understand the differences between MMA and boxing.  In the boxing world, a man who wins via one-punch knockout after landing fewer punches than his opponent until that point is almost always the beneficiary of a lucky punch.  Not so in MMA, especially when that man is Fedor.

You can say he got lucky.  You can accuse him of closing his eyes and hoping for the best.  But you can’t explain away his record.  Arlovski may have helped him out with that mental error, but a right hand like Fedor’s sure improves a man’s luck considerably.

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The Potato Index: Affliction Aftermath


(The t-shirt with short shorts hidden underneath is not a good look for anyone, I don’t care who you are.  Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

There was a lot to love and hate about Affliction’s second effort, from the free undercard on HDNet to the painfully moronic antics of  Scott Ferrall and Chuck Zito.  We’ve been crunching the numbers on every aspect of the event since it ended on Saturday night, and here’s what we came up with.

Fedor Emelianenko +312

The tough part about being Fedor is that it’s hard to do anything too impressive at this point.  Just winning isn’t enough.  As if sensing this, he went ahead and finished a top five heavyweight with a one-punch KO in the first round.  Now that’s sufficiently impressive.

Andrei Arlovski  -43

Let’s be honest: right up until he began feeling too good about himself and leapt into unconsciousness, Arlovski looked good.  His striking was sharp and accurate and fast, and he was using his reach well.  For about three minutes, he seemed like the better fighter.  And then…

Josh Barnett +30

Great, he pounded on a guy with no ground game for three rounds until said guy decided to quit.  Big deal.  This is exactly why this was a bad fight for Barnett.  There’s nothing for him to gain at this point by beating a guy like Yvel.  At least it clears the way for a fight with Fedor.  Assuming Affliction can hang around that long.

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Videos: Affliction “Day of Reckoning”

Be honest, when Fedor’s legs went briefly wobbly at around the 0:17 mark, you thought to yourself, ‘Oh shit, Arlovski might actually do it.’  Then Arlovski jumped into one of those "overhand murderballs" that Goldstein warned against, and you remembered, ‘Oh yeah, it’s Fedor in there.’

More videos from last night’s fights after the jump.
 

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Affliction Payouts Are as Ludicrous as You Expect, in More Than One Way

Fedor KO's Arlovski GIF
(Props: Keegan on the UG)

Affliction paid out a little over $3.3 million in disclosed fighter salaries for “Day of Reckoning,” pretty much guaranteeing that they’ll take a financial loss on this event, as we all expected.  Naturally, the payouts include several head-scratchers and jaw-droppers, including $1.5 million to Andrei Arlovski for his 3:14 KO loss to Fedor Emelianenko last night.  At least when you compare it with Tim Sylvia’s $800,000 loss in 0:36, it’s proportional.  Now someone explain to Mark Hunt where his $4 million is.

Here’s how the disclosed salaries broke down:

Fedor Emelianenko $300,000 (no win bonus)
Andre Arlovski $1,500,000 (win bonus would have been $250,000)
Josh Barnett $500,000 (no win bonus)
Gilbert Yvel $30,000 (win bonus would have been $9,300)
Vitor Belfort $200,000 (includes $80,000 win bonus)
Matt Lindland $225,000 (win bonus would have been $75,000)
Renato "Babalu" Sobral $90,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
Thierry Sokoudjou $50,000 (win bonus would have been $50,000)
Paul Buentello $90,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
Kiril Sidelnikov $10,000 (win bonus would have been $25,000)
Dan Lauzon $12,000 (no win bonus)
Bobby Green $4,000 (win bonus would have been $4,000)
Jay Hieron $45,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
Jason High $10,000 (win bonus would have been $5,000)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira $150,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus) def. Vladimir Matyushenko $50,000 (win bonus would have been $30,000)
L.C. Davis $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
Bao Quach $7,000 (win bonus would have been $6,000)
Albert Rios $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Antonio Duarte $3,000 (win bonus would have been $2,000)
Brett Cooper $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Patrick Speight $2,000 (win bonus would have been $3,000)

Thoughts…

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Affliction: Day of Reckoning, Night of Liveblogging

Fedor Emelianenko Andrei Arlovski MMA Affliction Day of Reckoning
("Fedor, you hear of this ‘Stevia’? It melt 40 pounds of fat and six tumors from my uncle Wladimir’s body. I’m just saying." Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Quick prediction for tonight’s main event: During the pre-fight face-off, Fedor and Andrei will say "I must break you" to each other simultaneously, after which Fedor will quickly call "jinx," prohibiting Andrei from speaking until someone says his name, which won’t be until the afterparty. As for the fight itself, you already know how we stand on that. Anyway, the main card for Affliction’s second event is about to pop off. Results from the undercard, and round-by-round updates/commentary for the pay-per-view broadcast await you after the jump. TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL!

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Friday Link Dump


(Andrei looks ripped.  Fedor looks chubby.  Yep, everything went as expected at the Affliction weigh-ins.)

– Oh yeah, Fedor knows how to fight a good striker.  (USA Today)

– Donald Trump Jr. talks Dana White, UFC.  (MMA Payout)

– Mike Chiappetta tells MMA fans, ‘Yes, we can.’  (NBC Sports)

– One last look at Arlovski’s boxing skillz.  (MMA Fanhouse)

– Brit boxers don’t sweat the UFC, or so they say.  (The Sun)

– The New York Times goes from covering to lambasting MMA.  (NYT)

– Foot injury sidelines Mike Swick for at least three months.  (Five Ounces)

– "Fighting Chance" promises to be the oddest MMA movie yet.  (Al.com)

– Top 5 MMA spectator brawls.  (MMA Journalist)

– Who’s afraid of Mark Cuban?  Major League Baseball.  (Scores Report)

– "Notorious" is just aiiiight.  (Bullz-Eye.com)

– Inside the Taco: New Employees.  (Holy Taco)

– 13 insanely horrible local TV ads.  (Screen Junkies)

– Cop knocks protester out cold.  (Nothing Toxic)

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