Not much of a very exciting entry but it delivers nonetheless. Sitting in his hotel room after a day-long flight to Chicago from London, Dana White discusses this weekend’s upcoming event, the demise of ProElite and how the fact they are gone is good for the sport, and blasts radio host Scott Ferrall for his negative comments about the UFC during a recent interview with Affliction co-founder Todd Beard.
It’s interesting to note that White admits that the UFC once paid Ferrall to come to their shows and cover their events for his show. Zach Arnold thinks that this admission is bigger than some might think. However Bloody Elbow has found the audio and Ferrall’s bad-mouthing of the UFC is actually almost non-existent. So what gives?
Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
High network television ratings, the financial backing of two media giants, and the greatest amount of visibility for an MMA promotion to date proved to be not enough for ProElite and its figurehead brand, EliteXC, as another organization that attempted to dethrone the Zuffa empire has likely come to a crashing halt.
The news of ProElite’s demise has quickly spread throughout the mixed martial arts community and as expected, so has reaction. However the story of the downfall of one of MMA’s most influential companies is just beginning as facts regarding ProElite’s insurmountable debt, failed sale, and questionable tactics will likely surface within the next few weeks following its expected cessation at the end of this week.
Chris Horodecki. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
A previously signed bout between former IFL lightweight standout Chris Horodecki and UFC veteran Dan Lauzon will reportedly take place at Affliction Entertainment’s “Day of Reckoning” show on January 24 according to MMA Weekly.
Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz stated in the report that his organization attempted to match Horodecki up against Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson on November 21 but the Canadian is now unable to be booked due to his Affliction commitments. Horodecki’s management team at the North County Fight Club has also reportedly confirmed his fight against Lauzon as being official.
Horodecki became a free agent upon asking for his release from the almost-defunct International Fight League earlier this month. He was previously rumored to have been taking on Takanori Gomi at Sengoku IV next weekend but talks eventually broke down. Horodecki last won a unanimous decision over Nate Lamotte in April.
Since losing consecutive Spencer Fisher and Deividas Taurosevicius, Lauzon has racked up six straight wins fighting primarily in the Boston area. He most recently scored a second-round TKO of Brendan Hoxie at a World Championship Fighting event in June.
Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
Today in New York City, Donald Trump and executives from Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global held a press conference officially announcing the production of a new MMA-related reality show titled “Fighting Fedor”, which will pit 16 heavyweight fighters from around the world against each other for a shot at fighting former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.
It will be the first time that Affliction and M-1 have partnered together since co-promoting “Banned on July 19. The concept was originally announced by M-1 Global earlier this year, but very little details were confirmed until this afternoon. Everyone involved, including Vadim Finkelstein, who currently serves as M-1 Global’s active president and Emelianenko’s longtime manager, feels that the project will be nothing short of a success.
“There are many international fighters that [people in] the United States don’t know about,” Finkelstein said at today’s press conference. “They include fighters from different countries and fighters that have very interesting and wonderful styles and are very exciting. We’re now opening the doors [for] the next generation of fighters. We anticipate that this project will be a great success.”
Andrei Arlovski. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will reportedly clash in a bout for the WAMMA heavyweight title that will headline Affliction’s rescheduled “Day of Reckoning” show, which is currently slated for January 24 according to MMARated.com.
Affliction Entertainment Vice President Tom Atencio confirmed the news with the website earlier today. No other details were given except that the card will be comprised strictly of mixed martial arts and not a limited amount of boxing matches as previously expected. An official announcement regarding the event is expected next week.
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.
Gegard Mousasi. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Newly crowned DREAM middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi has told Fighters Only Magazine that Affliction Entertainment is planning on matching him up against Vitor Belfort and Fedor Emelianenko against Josh Barnett at the organization’s next scheduled show in January.
I’m going to train with Fedor in preparation for Affliction in January,” Mousasi said in a recent interview with the magazine. “I think it is Fedor against Josh Barnett and they want me to fight Vitor Belfort.”
Mousasi is currently a member of the Red Devil Fight Club and is also a client of Vadim Finkelstein, the same manager of Emelianenko. He defeated Melvin Manhoef and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at DREAM.6 last weekend to win the promotion’s inaugural middleweight grand prix and be crowned their first middleweight champion.
John has been on me in the past to write some opinion pieces and he’s right. So once a week, I’ll try to comment on some of the happenings in the world of Mixed Martial Arts as I see them in my warped eyes.
News last week that Affliction was loaning Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson to EliteXC to compete on the CBS October 4 Primetime show was really the best news to come out of either promotion in quite a while. Many feel the only way for either group to survive is to join forces. To me, it’s not even about competing with the UFC, it’s more a case of survival. By combining the MMA promotional experience of EliteXC with the roster and deep pockets of Affliction, they could carve out a very nice segment for themselves. Affliction, specifically Tom Atencio and Michael Cohen, have made it clear that this is a one time co-promotion at this point, which is the wise thing to do until they see how it works out. Conversely, EliteXC’s Jared Shaw of course is making veiled threats at the UFC, but that’s nothing new for $kala. Ultimately though, this could be a huge positive for both promotions.
Where is Fedor fighting next?
So will we next see Fedor fighting in Affliction, or in a thus unannounced New year’s Eve show in Japan? Upon hearing Fedor promise to fight in Japan on NYE during the Dream 6 show, Jerry Millen of Fedor’s M-1 Global team issued a statement saying that Fedor is under contract to fight for Affliction on their January show that is being co-promoted with boxing’s Golden Boy Promotions. Affliction has made similar statements. Just last year Monte Cox, fresh off the creation of M-1 Global featuring Fedor, stated Emelianenko would not be fighting on NYE and instead would compete on a January card. A few weeks later, Fedor announces his intention to compete on the inaugural Yarennoka show. This is becoming eerily similar. From all indications, Fedor’s Affliction contract is exclusive to bouts taking place in the US. But since the fight would occur in Japan, they might be powerless to prevent it.
Aleksander Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of MFC M-1.
Despite officials from the California State Athletic Commission stating that Aleksander Emelianenko will never be permitted to fight inside of the United States, the Russian-born fighter claims that he will be fighting at Affliction Entertainment’s next planned show in January.
Emelianenko stated that he will be flying to California in the next few weeks to film promotional videos for the event in a recent interview with Fighters Only Magazine, and that he may be fighting in Japan around New Year’s Eve as well at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” show, which was originally scheduled to take place on October 11.
Emelianenko was slated to take on Paul Buentello at Affliction’s inaugural event on July 19, but was abruptly removed from the card for failing to meet the necessary licensing requirements according to CSAC officials at the time. However in the following weeks, amidst rumors of Emelianenko potentially testing positive for Hepatitis B, CSAC represenative Bill Douglas stated that Emelianenko would never be allowed to fight in the USA again.
“The one thing that I can absolutely say is that he was not and will not be cleared to fight in California.” Douglas said back in August. “He is officially licensed denied and that will stand for all of the United States of America”.
Snapshot courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
LAS VEGAS - Golden Boy Promotions and Affliction Clothing today announced a strategic, multi-level partnership between the two companies that will bring the popular Affliction-brand to the world of boxing and entertainment.
“We have been talking to Affliction over the past several months to figure out a partnership that will take advantage of the expertise of both of our companies,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. “We have found the solution and are extremely excited about starting this partnership immediately.”
“Golden Boy Promotions is the top boxing promoter in the world and we look forward to working with them on future projects,” said Tom Atencio, Vice President, Affliction. “With our companies working together, it gives Affliction another vehicle to deliver our products to our core customers, as well as utilizing Golden Boy’s promotional expertise to further our efforts in Mixed Martial Arts.”
Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
Perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko will reportedly return to action at Affliction Entertainment’s second show, which has now been moved to January 2009 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California according to Mike Chiappetta of NBCSports.com.
Chiappetta confirmed Emelianenko’s participation with Affliction COO Michael Cohen, who stated that he has been confirmed as participating on the show and that an opponent for him is still being decided due to the possibility of the previously planned Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett showdown being broken up.
“It [Fedor’s opponent] is to be determined,” Cohen said in the report. “We are considering changing the combatants. We have not finalized that at this time. That is as a result of the issues to be revealed at the announcement.”
The announcement Cohen refers to will reportedly be made at a planned press conference at the Trump Tower in Manhattan within the next two weeks. According to Cohen, the revelation will be “groundbreaking”.