Remember the build up to Affliction Banned? Donald Trump proclaiming a sellout at every turn, Tito Ortiz set to announce his allegiance to the Affliction brand, Randy and Fedor a lock for the sequel to Banned.
What happened? Here we are one week away from Affliction’s second attempt – Day of Reckoning – and you hear nothing about it. Sadly, the only rumblings about DoR these days are the lack of ticket sales. With only days leading up to the fights I am going out on a limb and assuming it is not going to be cancelled as was the last DoR attempt. My flight is booked; I’m heading to Anaheim to take it all in. I have a realistic amount of concern that this is the last MMA Affliction event we are going to witness so having a complete set of tickets to both Banned and DoR will make for another addition to my MMA memorabilia collection.
Some tough fights to predict on the card. Sadly, what is not tough to predict is the outcome of Affliction.
There is really only one of two conclusions that will be reached, any debate surrounding its longevity is even tough to find in the most optimistic of blogs:
1. Affliction folds/disbands/disappears
2. Affliction is picked up by the UFC for a bucket of peanuts and assumption of remaining liabilities/contracts
Dana might just let the first option proceed uninterrupted with a grin on his face but the smart business decision for the UFC is likely option two – grab what assets are attractive, line up a Fedor fight with whatever remains on his Affliction contract, make it clear the UFC will not be disturbed by anyone. By pursuing option two, it also helps to keep the perception of robust market conditions alive and well as the UFC continues to try to become a legitimate #4 or #5 pro sport in the mainstream. Affliction folding, IFL folding, EliteXC folding doesn’t exactly send the right message about MMA to media executives around the globe.
I’m not hearing much about Megadeth for this one – I have my fingers crossed for Pantera.