M-1’s Official Statement on Brock Lesnar’s victory
M-1 would like to congratulate Brock Lesnar on his UFC heavyweight title victory as well as acknowledge Randy Couture’s return to active competition after a layoff that lasted over a year.
Couture and WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko had publicly acknowledged a desire to fight each other multiple times over the course of the past year. While M-1 and Fedor remain interested in a match against Couture, we would also like to publicly state for the record that we would welcome a superfight between Fedor and Lesnar that would be held as a co-promoted event between the UFC, M-1, and Affliction Entertainment.
We’ve invited the media to speak with us today to not only make it clear we would welcome a Fedor vs. Lesnar matchup, but to act in a preemptive fashion to address the possibility that UFC officials will try and position Lesnar as the number one heavyweight in the world, much like they have tried to use a marketing ploy to brand Anderson Silfva as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
In the past, UFC president Dana White and Zuffa, LLC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have tried to claim that Fedor was “overrated” and that his “record was irrelevant.” They make these claims in spite of the fact that Fedor holds career victories over UFC champions past and present. While we have tremendous respect for the contributions Mr. Fertitta and Dana have made to this sport, we do not believe they are sincere in their statements.
It is the position of M-1 that the UFC has adopted an anti-Fedor policy because multiple attempts to sign him have not been fruitful. For a company that has tried to market itself as the number one promotion in the world, they are unable to accept the fact that the number one fighter in the world does not reside on its roster of contracted fighters.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow for Affliction Entertainment’s second PPV effort, Day of Reckoning. The fight card will feature Fedor Emelianenko defending his WAMMA Heavyweight Championship against former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Andre “The Pitbull” Arlovski. The event is set to take place on January 24, 2009 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Main Card live on Showtime PPV
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski
Josh Barnett vs. TBA
Matt Lindland vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral
Chris Horodecki vs. Dan Lauzon
Vitor Belfort vs. TBA
Undercard live on HDNet
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Paul Buentello vs. Kiril Sidelnikov
Brett Cooper vs TBA
Albert Rios vs Antonio Duarte
Mark Hominick vs LC Davis
Jay Hieron vs. Jason High
The board of directors of Affliction Inc. announced today that it received and accepted the resignation of Todd Beard as an employee of the company. Mr. Beard is one of the original founders of the clothing company based in Seal Beach, California. The resignation coincides with a public apology for comments made by Mr. Beard and directed toward Randy Couture and his wife Kim Couture regarding their business relationship.
Mr. Beard also disclosed that he will be seeking treatment for anger management and alcohol abuse.
According to Mr. Beard, “I would like to apologize for my comments that may have offended Kim and Randy Couture and Mr. Spira. I had a long-standing relationship with the Coutures and I was deeply and emotionally hurt by some of their recent business decisions. I have only the best of intentions for the success of the Affliction and Xtreme Couture clothing brands and understand that there are personal issues I must address.”
According to the board of directors, “We are delighted Todd has decided to address these issues and wish Randy Couture well.”
The Board of directors of Affliction Inc. also wanted to clarify that Affliction Entertainment Group LLC. (the promotion company) is not controlled by Affliction Inc. Mr. Beard to its knowledge, is nether an officer, director, or a shareholder of Affliction Entertainment Group LLC. as stated in several periodicals.
This was a vital move if Affliction wanted to continue in the MMA. Mr. Beard’s felony past would have been a crucial roadblock in any further dealings with Donald Trump due to gaming license issues.
Kim Couture. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com.
Kim Couture, the wife of current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture, has reportedly filed for, and was granted, a temporary restraining order against Affliction figurehead Todd Beard, who has apparently made threats against the Couture family in the weeks following Randy’s decision to part ways with the clothing brand:
Randy and wife Kim claim Affliction Prez Todd Beard has been on a campaign of terror against them since they asked for an accounting of profits. A Las Vegas judge just issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting Beard from going near Kim, and that includes going near the MGM Grand when Randy fights this Saturday. And Beard can’t go to the hotel during the weigh-in the day before either.
According to Kim Couture’s declaration, Beard has made “a series of threats and acts intended to intimidate me and otherwise coerce me to ‘back off.’”
She goes on: “My fear of Mr. Beard is well-founded given his extensive criminal history. Not only has he been convicted of numerous state and federal felonies relating to fraud ...he has engaged in numerous acts of violence, including violence against women.”
Tito Ortiz. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Months after his release from the UFC, former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz remains a free agent, and has reportedly narrowed his list of potential homes down to two promotions: his former employer or Affliction Entertainment.
Ortiz has claimed multiple times since the summer that he was close to signing a contract with an organization - first Affliction, then EliteXC. However Ortiz is now “guaranteeing” that fans will see him back in action after he recovers from recent back surgery in July:
In an appearance at last weekend’s Rumble in the Park in Fresno (broadcast today on HDNet’s Inside MMA), Ortiz said, “It’s either going to be with the UFC or it’s going to be with Affliction, but guaranteed, you guys will see me fight—no matter what—by July.”
Michael David Smith also points out that Ortiz’s back surgery was the same kind that Nate Quarry had after getting highlight-reeled by Rich Franklin at UFC 56 way back when, and he wasn’t able to return for 15 months. Until Tito actually puts his name to paperwork, his constant claims that he’s getting ready to rock the MMA world with his destination choice are going to start to irk his followers, as if they haven’t already.
Jay Hieron. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
Former IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron will reportedly take on undefeated prospect Jason High in a yet-to-be-announced bout at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event on January 24 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California according to Five Ounces of Pain. Sources close to the fight have stated that the fight has likely been finalized.
Hieron, who currently trains out of Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture, last fought at “Night of Combat II” on October 11, where he defeated last-minute replacement opponent Chris Kennedy via unanimous decision. Hieron had been slated to fight Drew Fickett prior to Affliction’s decision to move the event to early next year.
Like his counterpart, High was also scheduled to be part of Affliction’s second show before it’s postponement, previously signing to fight Mike Pyle. High sports a perfect 6-0 record thus far in his professional career. He most recently submitted Markhaile Wedderburn with a first-round guillotine choke at a Iroquois Mixed Martial Arts Championships event in June.
Tom Atencio. Photo by Esther Lin/CombatLifestyle.com.
When Affliction Entertainment announced a formal partnership with Golden Boy Promotions, one of boxing’s premiere promotional companies, last month, the original thought was that Affliction’s re-scheduled January 24 show would feature both mixed martial arts and boxing matches on the fight card.
Then came the revelation that the show would be MMA-only, fueling speculation that Oscar De La Hoya and company may have had their differences about holding a duel event. It turns out that’s exactly what happened.
From Dan Rafael’s ESPN boxing notebook:
In September, Golden Boy announced with fanfare a deal with fledgling MMA promoter and apparel company Affliction under which it would co-promote pay-per-view events with boxing and MMA matches on the same card. But Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that they’ve had a change of heart and will keep the sports separate. The companies are planning their first MMA-only co-promotion in January.
The idea of both sports on the same card was heavily criticized, which Schaefer acknowledged was part of the decision. “We want to get to know the MMA market better and truly evaluate if there are synergies between the two sports,” he said. “We are planning to do some focus groups where we will ask boxing and MMA fans how they would feel about it. Once we get the results of that, then we’ll be in a much better position to decide which strategy to apply.”
In my opinion, these “focus groups” are going to be a waste of time. The boxing purists are going to say no, the hardcore MMA fans won’t want to see boxing and their sport together, and those in the middle won’t care either way. If Golden Boy and Affliction can put together two separate main events involving fighters that casual fans know very well, the partnership will be a huge success. Anything less won’t achieve a lot.
Vadim Finkelstein. From s00nertp on Flickr.
Vadim Finkelstein, the current president of M-1 Global and longtime manager of Fedor Emelianenko has released an official statement to the media regarding UFC President Dana White’s recent comments stating that “the gates are open for Emelianenko to come to the UFC”:
M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelstein comments another attack of UFC’s Dana White on Fedor Emelianenko.
Dana says UFC’s doors are wide open. Maybe they are. But these doors also shut tightly once the fighter signs with the organization. Randy Couture came back to the UFC and what now? Instead of fighting the best in the promotion he has to fight a young upstart with 2-1 prorecord. Couture might not survive all the three contractual fights. I’m afraid that’s being made in order to finish the star which is Randy and not let him fight Fedor.
I said it many times – we are ready to make this clash happen in any shape of joint event. This bout is the most anticipated event in the world of MMA. But Fedor will not sign to the enslaving terms of the UFC contract while UFC won’t agree to make compromise.
Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
When it comes to other organizations and companies, the Zuffa way of doing business is quite simple: if you’re not with them, you’re against them.
Who can blame them really? After bringing the UFC back from near extinction and originally intending to work together with anyone and everyone to better the sport of mixed martial arts, Dana White and the Brothers Fertitta have seen their investment explode into its own monster. The UFC has become so popular, that to the casual fan, the organization is bigger and more well-known than the actual sport itself.
One-time working partnerships with Japan’s now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships and Fighting and Entertainment Group are now things of the past. Instead, the UFC is claiming victory over their rivals left and right, with both the International Fight League and ProElite folding this year alone. Slowly but surely, the UFC is becoming the only show in town, and with that power comes the ability to control almost everything, and sadly, even fighter sponsorships fall under this category.
Although an official announcement or press release has yet to be made to the media, Affliction Entertaiment today quietly confirmed its already previously rumored main event for their re-scheduled “Day of Reckoning” show on January 24: perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will clash in a battle for the WAMMA heavyweight title in California.
Emelianenko and Arlovski were originally supposed to meet on the event’s previously scheduled date of October 11 but Emelianenko was scratched from the event due to a lingering hand injury. Former UFC and PRIDE standout Josh Barnett was matched up against Arlovski instead but was passed on this time around due to rumored communication issues with Affliction management.