(One is the loneliest number. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)
With Randy Couture going back to his ex to try and work things out, this has to be a tough time for Affliction. They thought there was a real connection there, maybe a future between them. They even carved ‘Affliction + Randy Couture’ in the big tree out back. You have any idea how long it takes to carve all that with a pocket knife?
Then, out of the blue, Couture is back in the UFC’s arms and they’re as happy as ever. But Affliction VP Tom Atencio isn’t upset that the biggest fight they could possibly make is now impossible any time in the near future:
“Randy needs to do what he needs to do to handle his problems,” Atencio said. “I’m happy for him.”
“I think the biggest problem is people assume everything,” Atencio said. “The bottom line is Randy is our partner with Xtreme Couture. Randy is sponsored by Affliction. He’s been with us and we work with him. Randy needs to handle his legal problems with the UFC and he did so I am happy for him.”
That’s the spirit, stiff upper lip. You’ve still got Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski to put against Fedor. All is not lost. But what about Dana White’s assertion that he would be “fucking horrified” if Affliction is still in the MMA biz in 2009? Them’s fightin’ words!
“Dana has his right to his opinion and he is very open about it and that is completely fine,” Atencio said calmly. “Since day one, I have always handled things this way. I don’t need to bite my tongue because I don’t need to talk shit about people.”
Man, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I almost miss Gary Shaw. At the very least, can’t Atencio have a son who will go flying off the handle from time to time? Is that too much to ask?