Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

The AFL Is Financed by Fairy Dust, Gypsy Tears

(Sean McClure, Jon Hatton and B.J. Santiago of the AFL: the dumbasses in question. Photo courtesy of

Okay, you want to talk delusional? Then read this wild-ass profile of William “BJ” Santiago, CEO of the American Fight League, that was recently dug up by MMA Payout. You may remember the AFL as the upstart Kentucky-based fight club that just signed Tara LaRosa to a monumental $500,000+ four-fight deal, as well as ex pro-wrestler Bobby Lashley and possibly Kim Couture. Anyway, Santiago has big, big dreams, and doesn’t foresee any difficulties in paying for them. Witness:

In its first year, the group forecasts revenues between $15 million and $20 million. By 2009, the AFL plans to double those revenues. The group will have events in 12 to 15 states this year. Within two years, there will be an AFL event taking place every week somewhere in the country.

Both Santiago and Hatton attribute this success [Ed. note: you mean *will* attribute this *projected* success?] to the organization’s pursuit of two unique agendas: a minor league or grassroots style professional circuit and a positive public image campaign…

Veteran, credentialed fighters will tour throughout the country in any of the 33 states where fighting is legalized. Rankings, as well as matches, are determined based on earned points, with fighters also competing for a predetermined purse…

Amateurs and pro-rookies are given an opportunity to prove their worth in the grass roots system. This local or “farm” system allows fighters to gain experience and reputation based on a point system. Such a platform allows fighters to move up in the sport, Hatton said.

Let’s skip ahead a bit because the details only get more convoluted from there. Hey guys, how about other revenue streams?

They added Sean McClure, also from Lexington, as director of marketing and athlete liaison. McClure also looks to the merchandising side of the business, which he says will yield about $350,000 the first year, “as we develop the line,” and over $1 million by the second year. Merchandising will be different from the usual hats and t-shirts, including a corporate line of dress shirts and pants, as well as a possible line of jeans. Instructional and workout videos are also in the planning stages.

Does anyone else find it funny that instructional videos are still in the planning stages, but they’ve already got the AFL-brand dress pants thing locked down? Makes sense. To put their numbers in perspective, the IFL made $117,544 in branded merchandise sales last year, while Pro Elite made $184,192 in merchandise, DVDs, and licensing fees. But sure, the AFL is going to light up America to the tune of $350k on the strength of its collared shirts and premium denim. Here’s my little projection: BJ Santiago crying into his beer, Jay Larkin-style, less than 18 months from now.

There’s so much brilliance in this article that I really implore you to read the whole thing, but I’ll leave you with one last excerpt:

In Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights, combatants use a series of martial arts including Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Krav Maga and traditional boxing, Hatton said. Athletes are usually expert in two to four of these arts and switch back and forth from one to another during a fight, he said.

So Krav Maga makes the cut, but not BJJ. Ouch.

Cagepotato Comments

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L Grant- June 25, 2008 at 5:49 pm
"The AFL's goal is to change that, creating a family-friendly image similar to that of NASCAR or the NFL.

To that end, all AFL fighters are required by contract to perform charity work, make hospital visits, or demonstrate other forms of citizenship prior to an event. The AFL donates a portion of proceeds to a variety of charitable causes, ranging from children's charities to cancer."

I believe the grass-roots system already has a name, it's the penal system.
The Zohan trains Krav Maga- June 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm
Don't doubt the power of the AFL and their experts in Krav Maga (and at least two other styles that they seamlessly change between mid-fight). It was this power that broke the jaw of Kim Couture so that they could negotiate better contract terms with her.
mad cow- June 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm
Who knows. I heard they had a big event in Atlanta and are trying to pay the fighters more than anyone else. I personally would have to commend that effect because its hard work to get to pro status.... if they wanna respect that. cool.
FOFAthletics- June 25, 2008 at 12:29 pm
OK, OK... Let me start by saying I am from Lexington, KY and I went to the AFL's 1st show. It was actually a good show, with numerous (amatuer and pro) fights on the card, many of which were entertaining. Given their new-comer status and recently signed fighters, I thought they might really have something.
Then BJ and the rest of the guys in charge apparently lost their minds!!! What in the world have these guys been thinking lately?
I know you gotta do something different to set yourself apart, but stupidity is not a gimick. I hope they come back down to earth, but it may be a crash and burn at this point.
If the AFL has another show here or in the area I will attend, hopefully it will be even better than the last. Rest assured if this stuff keeps up though, I (on behalf of all Cage Potato fans) will walk through their front door (I really have the address) and issue a 'WTF' ultimatium.
Phil Magroin- June 25, 2008 at 12:25 pm
No means no...OMG send Astro Ninja a frickin t-shirt for that one.
Blackleg- June 25, 2008 at 12:01 pm
lol - This isn't a company - it's the publicized intention to commit wire fraud.

Having said that though I can't wait to show up to a staff meeting in my new suit with the AFL logo emblazoned across the back. woooooooooo!
NealTaflinger- June 25, 2008 at 11:16 am
I would like to thank the AFL, the Lexington paper, CP, and the posters above for a much need 'laff.'
Participant- June 25, 2008 at 9:09 am
LOL@Astroninja - No means no!

Good stuff man
Fantasy Land- June 24, 2008 at 11:59 pm
AFL Who?
NipGrip- June 24, 2008 at 9:55 pm
"We are purposefully, in a positive way, trying to disrupt the industry," said William "BJ" Santiago, CEO of the Lexington-based American Fight League (AFL).

Yeah.. Because nothing says positive like having a promo shot of yourself with your two sidekicks dressed all in black with your arms crossed and a stern look on your face with those creepy handlebars under your nose. At least your two underlings are smiling but only because they know two things:

A) Even though this isn't going to last more than a year, they still getting paaaaiiiid.
B) You told them they better fucking smile OR ELSE.

I give the AFL 3-6 months before CP starts posting about their downward spiral.
Phil- June 24, 2008 at 8:56 pm
I wonder what EliteXC's and IFL's revenue projections were in their first year.
Astroninja- June 24, 2008 at 8:37 pm
I hear what he's saying about Krav Maga, though. Half of the TUF finale fights last week ended with a kick to the groin, followed by several stomps to the groin while the victor shouted "No means no!" assertively.
Boneman- June 24, 2008 at 8:24 pm
I wonder if they will let me use "Gun-Fu" & "Ching-Chang-POW"...?

Oh wait...that's what they will use when they are alone in their hotel room after this venture goes belly-up...?

Great idea and format...seriously....but nothing takes off that fast...!
I know nothing- June 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm
Tai-Chi is at least of equal importance as BJJ is in the world of MMA, yet it was not mentioned either. Hmm..... Anyway, with my years of "Ki" training ( ) I will be AFL champ in no time. You will be able to recognize me by my baggy pants track-suit & "Can't Touch This" entrance theme.
Rainbow Belt- June 24, 2008 at 7:53 pm
I have a rainbow belt in Krav Maga and have trained for many years in Pilates. I also have a 10-0 record in Tae-Bo. I was wondering how to secure a contract to fight in the AFL?
Patrick- June 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm
Apparently Muai Thai isn't all that important either.
This company is going to make the Hindenburg look like a fender bender.
gracies suck ass- June 24, 2008 at 7:47 pm
BJJ? what's that bullshit? sounds like Black Junk Juggling...

but seriously? these guys sound more delusional then DW when he said MMA would take over about you stop doing those 80 lines of cocaine every morning, get a new fucking wardrobe so you don't look like a retarded out of work country singer and step onto reality fucking boulevard, these guys are so ass backwards I bet they won't even last 18 months, give it like 6 or so before you see the red..
Ouch! That hurts- June 24, 2008 at 7:33 pm
Well, as we all know, BJJ is not a martial art it's gay foreplay