Tom Atencio. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com
Amidst all of the rumors regarding a severe lack of ticket sales for Affliction Entertainment’s upcoming “Day of Reckoning” event on January 24, Affliction figurehead Tom Atencio released an official statement last night on The Underground Forum, stating that the rumors are false and sales are going well:
Just wanted to come on here and respond to all the rumors going around that we have only sold 1200-1500 seats. First of all I have no idea where this information is coming from, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality we are opening up more seating to accommodate the demand for tickets. This event is stacked from top to bottom, and I personally can’t wait to see every fight! For those of you that can’t make it out to the event, be sure to watch the main card live on PPV as well as the complete undercard for free on HDNET.
THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!
Tom Atencio Affliction Entertainment Group
Despite Atencio’s comments, rumors concerning the lack of ticket sales still persist, with fans even claiming that they have been able to purchase multiple group packages of tickets in premium seating sections with no problem at all. However, Atencio also claims that sales are comparable to the organization’s first showing back in July, and that a late boost in sales, which occurred the week of the “Banned” event, is also expected.
Frank Trigg. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
- Former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Frank Trigg revealed through his Facebook account over the weekend that he may be returning to action in February, but declined to mention a potential opponent or hosting organization. “It looks like I will be fighting in Feb but can’t say where yet. Once the deal is done I will let you guys know,” Trigg’s post read. The longtime veteran last fought in October, winning a decision over Falaniko Vitale.
We are now just 15 days from the second Affliction show, aptly named Day of Reckoning. The show will headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs Andre Arlovski for the WAMMA Heavyweight Championship. Sandwiched the weekend between two UFC PPV’s, the show will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
Much ado was made about the fact that Afflicion’s co-promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, was planning on promoting an HBO Boxing telecast featuring Shane Mosley vs Antonio Margarito on the same night, across town in the Staples Center. While no definitive correlation can be made, one can gain some insight into how the ticket sales might be going for these two events.
As of this afternoon, one could log onto the Ticketmaster website and purchase tickets for either event. Affliction’s ticket prices are $50, $100, $200, $300, $450, and $1000 each. While no maximum number of tickets per household is listed per norm, it appears that the maximum you can get are 12. At this point, blocks of twelve tickets are available at all price ranges for Affliction.
Move to the Mosley-Margarito boxing card. The maximum number of tickets available for purchase is 6. The price range is much less expensive, available at $25, $50, $75, $150, and $300. Currently, six ticket blocks are available for the 2 lowest price ranges. Only single seats remain for the $75, $150, and $300 seats. So it looking like the attendance will be pretty good for that event.
Obviously for the Affliction event, they are hoping for large walk up sales similar to what happened for the first show. “Banned” drew 14,832 out of 17,000+ seats, with 11,242 sold and 3,590 given away, a very respectable figure indeed. But that show took place in July before the current economic crisis in the US truly began. The UFC recently had to give away close to a third of the tickets for their stacked UFC 92 card, a figure that was unusually high.
It was just this past October that Affliction was forced to cancel their originally scheduled second show due to poor ticket sales. That cancellation took place a little over three weeks from the event date, so this is a good sign. In the end, it will be interesting to see what the attendance for the Affliction event ends up being as it may go a long way to determining the financial stability of the organization.
Here’s the second episode of Andrei Arlovski’s documentary, “Arlovski 360”, which chronicles his training for his upcoming showdown against perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction Entertainment’s “Day of Reckoning” show on January 24 in Anaheim, California.
Tom Atencio. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com
According to an article by the Long-Beach Press Telegram, which also features some bold quotes from UFC President Dana White about his competition among other things, Affliction Entertainment VP Tom Atencio is planning to return to active MMA competition in February after a three-year hiatus:
“I will fight for somebody else not Affliction,” the 41-year-old Atencio said. “I have been wanted to fight for a long time. I just haven’t had time. I still don’t have time but I want to do it again.”
Atencio said he finds ways from his busy schedule between running the Affliction Clothing company and promoting the upcoming Jan. 24 Affliction fight to prepare for his upcoming bout which will take place in the 170-pound division.
“I have somebody who comes here and trains me in the office and then I train at night as well… I have to make time to train.”
Atencio last fought at Total Combat 7 in January 2005, where he won a decision over David Martinez. At 41 years old, Atencio isn’t expected to make much of a splash with his restarted fighting career to say the least. He’s just doing it for kicks. His decision to fight may not get someone like Dana White to jump in and start training for their debut, but it is pretty cool to see Atencio interested in fighting again.
Affliction Entertainment will be holding a press conference in LA this Wednesday and have sent out a release promoting the fact that former UFC Light Heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz will be in attendance.
In recent days, Tito has been telling various media outlets that he is very close to completing a contract with Affliction. Tito was in a similar position a few months ago when he was quoted as saying a deal with EliteXC was all done except the signing. Mere weeks later, EliteXC closed shop leaving Ortiz as a complete free agent again. As recently as two weeks ago, Tito was actively negotiating for a return to the UFC, but could not come to terms. Thus it appears Ortiz is headed to Affliction after all.
Tito also recently had surgery on his chronically injured back. He has stated that the earliest he would be back to fighting would be the beginning of summer 2009.
Rameau Sokoudjou. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Affliction Entertainment has added a light heavyweight bout to its upcoming “Day of Reckoning” show on January 24 as UFC and PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou will face Renato “Babalu” Sobral on the event’s televised main card.
The bout is currently listed on the event’s official website, however various sources are reporting that Affliction VP Tom Atencio has stated that the bout is not yet official - both fighters have agreed to fight, but bout agreements and additional paperwork have yet to be completed.
Sokoudjou, who currently trains at Team Quest’s Temecula, California location along with Dan Henderson, joins the Affliction stable of fighters following his recent release from the UFC, where he went 1-2 over the past year.
Antonio Silva to fight in Sengoku No Ran
World Victory Road announced Friday that heavyweight Antonio Silva is set to compete on the Sengoku No Ran show on January 4, 2009. His opponent is scheduled to be Yoshihiro Nakao. Silva, the current EliteXC heavyweight title holder, is currently under suspension in the US due to a failed steroid test in California. Silva has disputed the results of the testing and since Japanese promotions are not compelled to honor suspensions in the US, he will compete here. It may have long term effects on his obtaining licensure in the future in the US, but Vitor Belfort may have set a precendent by being allowed to compete after fighting in England while under steroid suspension.
Gurgel, Sokoudjou among recent UFC cuts
Jorge Gurgel and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou are among the recent cuts from the UFC roster. Both were involved in losses in their last fight within the octagon.
Gurgel never fails to give a wild performance, such as the one against Aaron Riley that garnered him Fight of the Night honors at UFC 91. But more often than not, he has come out on the losing end, having lost three of his last 4 fights. He has been widely criticized for not utilizing his BJJ Black Belt skills more and instead choosing to stand and trade with his opponents. Gurgel will not be out of work long as he has already signed an exclusive contract with the Strikeforce promotion. In the end, it would not surprise me if Zuffa didn’t help get him signed right away. His time in the UFC was clearly up and yet he was a real favorite of Dana White’s. A demotion to WEC would be seen as just that while also inadvertantly degrading the WEC’s lightweight class.
Let me start off by apologizing for the lack of updates of late. Its been real crazy around here as well as being temporarily shorthanded. Anyway, onto the world of MMA.
The last few days of seen a flurry of new fights proposed in various organizations. Hopefully free of his EliteXC contract, Eddie Alvarez looks to return to fighting in the US with a proposed match in Extreme Challenge. No opponent has been named, but the fight is set for January 23rd in Atlantic City. Extreme Challenge is run by Monte COx and is generally based in the Midwest. But Alvarez’s strong ties to the East Coast will surely help their foray into Atlantic City
Urijah Faber will look to quickly get back in the win column following his TKO loss to Mike Brown. He’s certainly not taking on a cupcake either, as he will be tangling with former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver in a rematch of their June 1 fight which was a Fight of the Year candidate. The fight is set for WEC 37 on January 25 in San Diego, CA.
The rumor mill is hot and heavy that Chuck Liddell will make his return to the UFC Octagon to face Randy Couture for a fourth time. This one would take place in Germany at UFC 99 and would occur in the heavyweight division.
Golden Boy to compete with Affliction’s Day of Reckoning
Despite all the earlier announcements that Affliction and Golden Boy Promotions were teaming up to put on mega cards featuring both boxing and MMA, GBP has pulled back the reins some. Though they will still be producing and advertising the January 24 Aflliction show, GBP also has announced they will be putting on the Antonio Margarito-Shane Mosely World Title boxing match on HBO that same night. While most believe the boxing and MMA fan bases are separate, there is still some crossover and putting this fight on for free sort of (HBO), can’t help but take some eyes away from the Affliction show.
I also fully expect the UFC to counter program on SpikeTV against the Affliction show. Don’t be surprised to see the UFC 91 card on that night, featuring the Randy Couture vs Brock Lesnar title fight as well as a host of other dynamic fights.