New York, NY — Despite the presence of Donald Trump and the revelation that he will be backing M-1 Global and Affliction’s proposed Fighting Fedor reality television show, the topic of Affliction’s next show was one that reporters in attendance at today’s press conference brought to the forefront once Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio was brought to the podium.
While much of the focus was on Trump and the television project, the press conference was also called to announce an extension of Fedor Emelianenko’s contract with Affliction.
Atencio was very vague about many details pertaining to the next show, going so far as to only say that the next event will “take place in the first quarter of ’09” without even committing to the month. When asked by FiveOuncesOfPain.com why he’s hesitant to give out a date, he stated that a deal with a proposed venue simply isn’t official yet.
“I haven’t finalized or signed the papers yet, and until I sign the papers with the venue and everything else, I just don’t want to have to re-schedule again,” Atencio told Five Ounces of Pain. “I don’t want to have to do that to the fans.”
Atencio was able to confirm that Emelianenko will headline the next show against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. He stated that Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett are both being considered. The mentioning of Barnett was interesting considering the fact that he’s stated publicly that he isn’t interested in fighting Fedor on the next Affliction show due to contract particulars.
Atencio also stated that with the promotion’s decision to extend Emelianenko’s contract he will be precluded from competing on New Year’s Eve in Japan this year. He acknowledged that it was something Emelianenko expressed a desire doing but that a Dec. 31 fight in Japan involving Fedor will have to wait until 2010.
Outside of Fedor fighting Arlovski or Barnett, Atencio said no other fighters for the show have been finalized and indicated that rumored fights involving DREAM middleweight Grand Prix winner Gegard Mousasi vs. Vitor Belfort and Matt Lindland vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral are far from concrete.
“There are a lot of rumors,” Atencio acknowledged. “I did sponsor Mousasi for his event (in Japan). As you probably saw, he was wearing Affliction. We have a relationship and if he comes and fights for us, absolutely, he’d be a great asset to the company. But everything is a rumor until I finalize it. Until you hear it from me, it’s a rumor and it’s as easy as that.”
Atencio also shot down a rumor that suggested Affliction’s next event will be airing on CBS. For the time being, the promotion remains committed to pay-per-view.
“(The plan) is still pay-per-view right now,” Atencio responded when asked about which platform the next show will air on. “As far as the undercard, it will be on HDNet and the main fights will air on pay-per-view.”
While the next event will be a PPV, Atencio did not rule out the possibility of a presence on network television in the future.
“We’re talking to different networks,” he said. “A lot of people are excited about what we’re doing. The strategic alliance that we brought together is great for everybody, so I think that eventually you will see us on network television.”