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UFC could go for a first round knockout against Affliction (UPDATED)

Sherdog.com is reporting this morning that the UFC and Spike TV are considering a live special that would take place Saturday, July19.

Sherdog is citing multiple unnamed sources within the television industry as indicating that the event is a possibility.

If the July 19 date rings a bell, it is because it is the same date as Affliction’s first-ever Mixed Martial Arts event, to take place in Anaheim, Calif. at the Honda Civic Center.

According to the report, Brandon Vera and Wanderlei Silva have been approached about facing each other in the main event of the possible special. The bout would be contested at light heavyweight.

If the UFC moves forward with such a show, it could spell doom for Affliction on pay-per-view. In spite of an impressive lineup, the promotion has not done a good enough job of getting the word out about the event. Die-hard fans are looking forward to the show but there is virtually no buzz amongst the sport’s casual audience.

In order to have any chance to break even on the event, Affliction must entice casual fans to buy the PPV. That task will become insurmountable if there is a free UFC event competing head-to-head in the same time slot.

Update: An official from Spike TV was contacted by Five Ounces of Pain earlier this morning. The representative for Spike would neither confirm or deny Sherdog’s story but stated that the only live UFC events currently on the schedule are this Saturday’s live season finale of “The Ultimate Fighter” and the UFC Fight Night event scheduled for Sept. 17.

48 COMMENTS
  • Evan says:

    Why? Because they can.

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  • Donk says:

    Monopoly

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  • joe says:

    didt vera just fight last week? so, he would have what? 4 weeks to train for the hardest fight of his life and drop down to 205? seems unreasonable and theres no way that fight would happen

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  • DPK says:

    I’m interested, let’s see who else they can get on this card, before I decide if it is enough to skip seeing the all great and elusive Fedor fight some top notch competition.

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  • JJ says:

    Dana White is following the Vince McMahon gameplan. When something poses a large threat, plan an event on the same day and try to undermine their success.

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  • GoofyMonkey says:

    Seems like a shady low blow… But that’s business I guess. I’ll still download the PPV on Sunday morning like I always do so the UFC free card won’t effect me. :)

    (Yes I know… I suck and should pay for the PPV’s to help further the sport blah, blah, blah.)

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  • Jason Brewer says:

    Some day in the future when the UFC has a string of misfortune I am going to remind everyone of the bad karma they have been collecting for quite some time now…

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  • woooburn says:

    the more the merrier. zuffa knows how to run their business. i wonder what they’ll conjure up to run the same night as the couture/fedor fight, if that ever happens.

    unfortunately for me, i’ll be traveling the entire day these two events happen.

    also, i can’t help but think we’re inching ever closer to ufc100. i wonder if they have anything up their sleeves for that? i think it’d be fun if they did something crazy like simultaneous fight cards on different continents (uk, us, brazil maybe?). just a pipe dream i suppose.

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  • Jeremy says:

    I understand the UFC’s philosophy on this, but this seems like a very short amount of time to get an event together. Besides that, I don’t think they really need to put on a show to compete against Affliction. Like Sam mentioned in the article, they haven’t done a good job getting the word out about the show, and their ppv numbers will suffer for it. Attendence for the event will be good, but that’s because of the great California MMA community coming out for it, otherwise I don’t see this event doing very well. Well besides the fact they have great fights for us to watch.

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  • jamo says:

    vera could easy make weight he aint a true heavyweight,and should drop to LH anyway and he could easily be up there with the best!! he didnt take a beating at the hands of werdum so that shouldnt be a problem.wanderli would easily be his toughest fight but think silva is gettin lined up for something big so beating vera could only help and we all know he never turns a fight away…this could happen??

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  • Jackyl says:

    Is this a sign of the UFC fearing the competition a little? I can’t imagine any other reason they would be scrambling for a card at this late date. Of course if Affliction would throw a little money at advertising the way they are throwing money at fighters they might have a good buy rate. TV spots anyone?

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  • Matthew Lenz says:

    yeah because people are going to watch the ufc INSTEAD of watching fedor fight. obviously the ufc hasn’t heard of this thing called a VCR or a DVR. Its IMPOSSIBLE to watch 2 things at the same time. morons.

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  • matt says:

    This is brilliant. And Matthew, what they are doing by putting a Wand fight on the card is make it so you need to choose. They’ll get their ratings numbers and potentially could sink the Affliction card. Besides the hardcores who are the same people who ordered the Pride 32, who is gonna care about Fedor/Sylvia (who wasn’t a draw in the UFC), Barnett/Rizzo, Arlovski/Rothwell? I’ll be surprised if they do 75k.

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  • woooburn says:

    matthew lenz: will you autograph this photo i found of you?
    http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb202/myrna_minx_album/0605_morans.jpg

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  • Evan says:

    They did the same thing to WFA. Business is dirty..its not like Affliciton didn’t poach Arlovski during the “non negotiation” period. Its just the way it goes…businesses do everything they can to screw each other.

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  • darkmetal says:

    Expect this to come to pass; Zuffa executives are too smart to have Randy Couture stomp out on his contract, deride them in the press (untruthfully as well), and then go on and try to COMPETE with them, as such actions are truthfully all out war to take out the UFC.

    Business is business, and half the job of a good business is to keep competition from taking away what is already yours. To do otherwise would be to open a gaping wound in your abdomen, thinking that “A few bacteria can’t hurt”. If you see my point.

    Does the big dog back down when faced? If so, they lose their place in the pack.

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  • johnnyrev says:

    WOW… is all I can say …. brilliant and WOW ….super smart move by the UFC. #7 bad karma ??? I think not … since when is giving fans free fights bad karma ? … since when is trying to win bad karma ? The UFC is not wronging anyone …I mean you talk about karma …. affliction went and basically funded Randy’s breach of contract….because half way through the contract he decides he is not happy about it. That’s bad karma my friend…. bottom line …. the UFC has a ton of stars and they could throw anyone of them on there and it would cut ppv buys substantially

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  • Skwirrl says:

    UFC100 will be a $100 pay-per-view headlined by TUF fighters after Afflicition buys away their real talent. It will still have close to 1 million buys.

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  • Skwirrl says:

    (and the fighter pay will be less than 1/2 of 1% of the gross)

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  • Evan says:

    Skwirrl maybe there is a good reason why the payroll is at it is. Nobody can seem to survive in this game so maybe they are the only ones doing it right? I want these guys to get every dime they can but something isn’t right with the current MMA model.

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  • DougDrex says:

    Goofy Monkey,

    Where do you go to “download” the PPV? Don’t you still pay for it?

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Guys, ixnay on the free download talk. 5 Oz. of Pain does not support illegal downloading or copyright infringement.

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  • Caleb Newby says:

    The UFC is just doing smart business. If Affliction is going to survive it has to be able to overcome hurdles like this. You can’t really be upset at the UFC for trying to keep their brand dominance. Honestly, I hope the UFC ends up putting on a great card here which in turn makes Affliction go into overdrive to promote. Then just let things fall as they may.

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  • tricky dicky says:

    well f***k them either way.

    For them to pull a reasonable card out of their asses would probably be tough.

    I’d rather pay to watch premier fights than watch a pile of dog Sh*t on spike for free. Either way, I’ll be in row 8 on the 19th. Not watching Brandon Vera do his moronic happy dance.

    At least this clears up that they see them as a threat.

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  • Rich B says:

    Not one person who is ripping the UFC for daring to be as competitive as possible would do any differently if they were in charge of the UFC’s future.

    “What? Another upstart is poaching our talent and trying to become a major player in our industry? Well that’s the best news I’ve ever heard. Not only don’t I hope they succeed and eventually usurp my company’s position as the #1 MMA company in the world (a position I’ve worked my ass off to obtain, by the way), I plan on doing absolutely nothing to defend my turf.”

    – the apparent mindset of anyone ripping Dana White and the UFC for contemplating a July 19 UFC card.

    Viva la capitalism.

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  • ufcfan says:

    great move by dana/ufc
    this is business..

    based on what meltzer says affliction was assuming
    they’d do 250-300 buys which is ridiculous.

    if the ufc only holds an event it definitely will hurt.

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  • Ian says:

    I don’t think there’s a single card the UFC could put together that would get me to pass on the Affliction card.

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  • matt says:

    Ian, while the names are the card are huge, the matchups are sub par. As was posted on Sherdog forums the matchups could have been great like

    Lil Nog vs Babalu Great fight
    Arlovski vs Alek E Great fight
    Paul B. Vs Rothwell

    The Lindland fight is a joke and the advertising has been null.

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  • joe says:

    remember when cards were seasonal? now we have 2 cards on the same day! man, is this the silver age of mma or what, great time to be a fan

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  • Evan says:

    I agree with matt. #28

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  • bjjdenver says:

    If the UFC wants to give me free mma, then Hell yeah!!

    But if they think this will put a big chink in the Affliction armor, they may be wrong. I’m sure they will get viewers, because UFC fans will tune in, and most of us mma fans will find a way to record it (DVR for the win!).

    The thing is, Affliction 1 isn’t going to be a huge draw for the casual fans, it is more for the hardcore fans. i doubt if many hardcore fans are going to skip Affliction just for a free UFC card they can watch afterwards.

    A couple of things:

    -I don’t think the Vera/Silva fight would be at 205, it would more likely be at HW, with perhaps an agreement that Vera comes in under 220 or something. It isn’t like Silva walks around at 205. Both guys had relatively simple fights without much drain or injury, so this could easily happen.

    -As for the Banned card, Fedor/Sylvia is a big matchup that many fans find intriguing. As for the rest of the card, they are showcasing fighters we all want to see, but not in the best matchups. I’m sure they are saving those potential barn-burners for future shows.

    -Affliction is expecting to lose money on this show, and I see NO way they break even or close in their initial outing. Personally, I will be watching with a group of friends that are unfamiliar with their foray into promoting, and that is one way I expect them to build their base.

    I have absolutely no problem with UFC doing this or just about any other tactic they can to dominate the landscape.

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  • Rich S. says:

    whoa whoa whoa..
    i’m not saying Vera can’t beat Wandy..
    but..
    he just came off of consecutive losses to the two toughest guys he’s fought in his career..
    they SERIOUSLY need to give Vera a can or something just to get him back on the “W” side..
    Vera’s pretty marketable and they could go far with him, so the last thing they need to do is give him a possibility of 3 losses in a row..

    with that fight aside..
    they just shouldn’t do this anyway..
    just let Affliciton get their fame..
    and keep putting on regularly scheduled shows, UFC, ok? you don’t have to dominate the world.. we know you’re good..

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  • matt says:

    Affliction is expecting 250-300k worth of PPV buys. Did they look at PPVs that Tim Sylvia fought on and thought he was the reason for those buys?

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  • jgrose23 says:

    Isn’t this what everyone has been crowing about?? Competition is good for MMA?? Affliction’s card seems to be competition for the UFC and it looks like they may be answering with a free card. Why are people slamming the UFC for this???

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  • woooburn says:

    i wouldnt at all be surprised to see a recap show run at the same time, featuring…

    liddell vs babalu 2
    sylvia vs mir
    terrell vs lindland
    irvin vs martin
    liddell vs belfort
    rizzo vs barnett

    i’m sure the ufc is already trying to argue that the fighters on the affliction card couldn’t cut it in the ufc, so they might as well airs fights they lost.

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  • Michaelthebox says:

    bjjdenver: Affliction can’t survive without the casual fans, and they have to get a LOT of them REAL SOON. Not only will the UFC running counterprogramming damage Affliction’s buy rate for this show, it will damage it for future shows as well. Affliction may lose an insane amount of money for this show, and I doubt they can go more than three shows without showing serious improvement.

    Make no mistake, this is a huge problem for them.

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  • matt says:

    Affliction thinks they will get 250k PPVs based on the amount of tshirts sold.

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  • Scott B says:

    Wandy and Vera is a good fight…. But is it as immense as Dana has said his announcement would be?? I’m going to wait until Tuesday to make any real comments.

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  • jgrose23 says:

    Just a question I’ve been thinking about. Where does Affliction go after this PPV?? It seems they are “blowing their load” really quickly (pardon the phrasing). It seems they are spending A LOT of money on fighter salary for this event. Won’t the fighters (even guys not on this card) be expecting the same type of money from here on out from Affliction??
    Plus, what/who do they have for a second show?? Do they put Fedor on every card?? This show seems very short-sighted.

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  • Ken says:

    somebody said something like:

    “every battle is decided before it is actually fought”

    if the ufc chooses to fight affliction, the battle is already over.

    ufc has a nuclear arsenal at their disposal. affliction’s main weapon seems to be a willingness to lose money.

    stick to the t-shirt business guys, and maybe smoke a lil less weed.

    thanks to affliction for the great card, but they have set a pace i doubt they can sustain.

    unless affliction has a “hole card” like a forthcoming network tv deal, they have almost no chance to build a profitable promotion.

    i wouldn’t even be surprised if this first card is cancelled.

    what’s kind of funny is that i’d bet, in the long run, UFC will sell more UFC t-shirts than affliction. affliction is niche and trendy. you’ll see UFC stuff in Wal Mart and Target, which dwarfs higher end outlets like Nordstrom.

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  • Evan says:

    I don’t understand why Affliction didn’t use their resources to re-work their hideous clothing line and start heavily pushing fight gear. Instead it seems like they stepped aside and just gave the “unofficial gar/clothing” line of the UFC over to TapOut.

    Turn “Heroes and Demons” into a classy logo and start making board shorts and gloves if you’re going to refurbish your company. Not getting into figthing that nobody can seem to do right besides Zuffa.

    I know everyone laugh at their cheesy clothes (including me) but people forget pretty fast and people would have complete forgotten about screaming dragon Halloween shirts soon enough with a little make over and expanded line. They were really onto something and now they have a product nobody believes in.

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  • Cliff Heard says:

    Affiction makes Chuck L and Randy C shirts. How does that work with Chuck fighting for the UFC and Randy at the time?

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  • Cliff H says:

    Affliction has a great card!!!! It is all ex-champs from the UFC or guys that could be champs. Any of these guys could beat Nogueira on any giving night. UFC needs to have a card like this. The last PPV UFC card sucked!!! There wasn’t even a title fight. When is Nogueira going to fight someone????????

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  • Evan says:

    ” How does that work with Chuck fighting for the UFC and Randy at the time?”

    At the time it didn’t matter

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  • bjjdenver says:

    #36,

    I am well aware that they will have to draw more than hardcore fans to succeed. However, this initial show, while featuring some big names, is designed to get the attention of mma fans, then spread to more casual fans as the promotion grows.

    this is not only a huge problem for them, but for any new promotion. The UFC is basically the only org with their own fanbase large enough to sustain them.

    I think the best that Affliction can hope for, is to draw us hardcore fans and a few casual fans that may recognize some names and be curious. Of course, I’m sure they are hoping that fans will gather to watch their card, thus exposing their product to some of the more casual fans.

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  • Michaelthebox says:

    bjjdenver: the difference between Affliction and other incoming MMA organizations is that Affliction is trying to be a top-level organization straight off the bat, with the accompanying costs. All orgs have to work to get the casual fans or build their own hardcore fanbase, but the time frame Affliction has to work with is a great deal shorter due to their insane fighter investments. The UFC can’t do this level of counterprogramming with all competing promotions without losing too much money to make it worthwhile. But it takes time to spread to casual fans, and Affliction is working with a much shorter time frame. One or two counter-shows at the start of their existence may be enough to doom Affliction.

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  • Michaelthebox says:

    Another thing to note is that, at this point, there isn’t a single promotion in the world that has succeeded at drawing away any significant portion of UFC’s casual fanbase. Strikeforce has become very successful by developing their own fanbase, and EliteXC is basically looking to do much the same thing. Affliction is the only organization that cannot survive without taking a huge chunk of the UFC’s fanbase. The economics simply aren’t there for them to live off the hardcores while building their own fanbase. Unless Trump is willing to lose a hundred million.

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  • Nate says:

    I want most of all MMA to be around. Next, I want another promotion like PrideFC used to be.

    Unfortunately, there is only 1 proven MMA business model: UFC.

    IFL, M1, etc. tried and now Affliction will go to it. I like M1 and Affliction’s model they seem to be pushing, and I’ll be buying into it. But my buy, and hopes & wishes are only going to help so much. The problem is you need the fickle and hard core fans to be interested.

    Even I am having trouble getting information about the Affliction event. The fickle fans are not even going to know about it.

    MMA is still growing so much, the communication channels still are not built up for fans. Until I found out about this site, I only really followed news on sherdog and news.google.com. It sucked. And I was looking for news all the time.

    Normal sports fans follow ESPN, or get updates from their local sports news channels. Most of those commentators dont discuss MMA yet.

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