MMA Junkie is reporting that American Fight League is close to announcing a pay-per-view set for this fall sometime according to Sean McClure, Director of Public Relations for the AFL. Not only that, but both former WWE star Bobby Lashley as well as top female fighter Tara LaRosa have been booked for the show:
“We’ve determined a date, and a location is being finalized,” McClure said. “We’ll announce the details very soon.”
McClure said the PPV fight card will feature many of the organization’s biggest names, including LaRosa, Lashley, UFC veteran and AFL lightweight champ Diego Saraiva, welterweight champ Brent Weedman, middleweight champ George Lockhardt and possibly former UFC fighter Dan Christison.
It will be interesting to see how the AFL approaches the pay-per-view market. No other fight promotion has been successful in that arena besides the UFC and perhaps Affliction and we still don’t actually know what the PPV buyrate was for Affliction: Banned show because Tom Atencio is keeping the information close to the vest. What Affliction had going for it, however, was star power in the heavyweight division and extremely intriguing matchups. That’s something that the AFL doesn’t have going for them.
At this point, they’re riding the backs of Bobby Lashley who is an MMA newcomer, Tara LaRosa, and a bunch of UFC washouts. To me it doesn’t sound like a recipe for PPV success. Lashley has drawing power because of his time in WWE but he’s no Brock Lesnar. And LaRosa is a name that hardcore fans can identify with but she’s no Gina Carano in terms of drawing interest. By all accounts the AFL has been putting on great fights and good shows on a regional scale. But pay-per-view might be too much, too soon.