Affliction looking into going head-to-head with UFC 100

After counter-programming events promoted by Affliction and EliteXC over the course of the past year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship could be in store for a taste of its own medicine.

Sources have informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Affliction Entertainment is currently engaged in preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of promoting its third-ever event on Saturday, July 11. Such a booking would put the promotion in direct competition with the UFC’s historic UFC 100 pay-per-view event.

Several fighters and managers have contacted FiveOuncesOfPain.com in recent days informing the site that they have been approached by Affliction officials about the possibility of accepting restructured contracts in order to compete on the show.

According to the sources, Affliction wants to reduce it overhead for a potential third event so that it could host it on a network or basic cable television platform, as it would be next to impossible to convince PPV distributors to promote an event that would be in direct competition with the UFC.

Sources made it a point to caution Five Ounces of Pain that the possibility of Affliction counter-programming UFC 100 was still only in preliminary stages. Additionally, several insiders we spoke with expressed pessimism about Affliction being able to pull off the July 11 date.

However, meetings are expected to take place within the next several weeks regarding a possible television partner for the proposed event. If enough fighters were willing to accept a reduced rate to compete on the show and if a deal with a suitable television partner could be reached, the door would then be open for Affliction to go head-to-head with UFC 100.

One source also indicated to us that the possible July event for Affliction could be the company’s last MMA show, with the popular lifestyle clothing label looking to “go out with a bang” by going up against UFC 100.

When contacted by FiveOuncesOfPain.com for comment, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio said he could neither confirm or deny our report.

31 COMMENTS
  • dpk says:

    And you thought YAMMA was a bad idea.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I hope they do go head to head with the ufc, we will see how dana likes that stuff. I will buy any affliction ppv over the ufc now just for the fight quality. Now as far as production goes they really need to get some good announcers, chuck zito and the other guy in the last show doing backstage interviews were as bad as anything i have ever seen on tv. but as long as the fights are as good as the first two shows i will keep buyint the ppv. and the shirts arnt that bad either but anybody with any feedback on the quality would be appriciated.

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  • ldcpanther says:

    Very bad idea for Affliction. This could be the end of them if they do indeed do this. They just might awaken the sleeping giant. Instead of the UFC doing counter programing with replays they could counter with live events. Affliction wouldn’t have a shot of staying in business. IMO.

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    “I hope they do go head to head with the ufc, we will see how dana likes that stuff. ”

    I’m sure Dana would love it.

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  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    “One source also indicated to us that the possible July event for Affliction could be the company’s last MMA show, with the popular lifestyle clothing label looking to “go out with a bang” by going up against UFC 100.”

    I agree they’d go out with a bang…the same bang Abraham Lincoln went out on.

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  • Stan says:

    “If enough fighters were willing to accept a reduced rate to compete on the show …”

    Fedor and Barnett are going to command at least 2million between them after everything. I wonder how Fedor’s contract is set up for non-ppv revenue. Affliction has been digging their hole for a while and seem content to dig one last time. Its hard to imagine the publicity from their shows has been able to keep the t-shirt selling business profitable.

    But I guess when you charge $80 for a t-shirt, you have a pretty high profit margin.

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  • matt says:

    This is a horrible idea. They will not be able to compete with the ufc now or in the future. They do have some good fighters but the whole organization is based on one guy and that is fedor. They do not promote any of there other fighters and they hardly even promote fedor. They dont advertise their products all they want to do is get their clothing line out their they dont care about mma. They thought throwing tons of money around at fighters would be enough. but is is not as they have proven all the top fighters out there still wanna make it go to the ufc. Now the want to go head to head with the monster of mma promotions the ufc. The ufc will not feel threatened by this joke of a company. Dana white will probably laught it off. Affliction is a joke, they have to asked their fighters to take pay cuts so they can put on a show are you kidding me? Affliction loses money when they put on a ppv card just imagine how much more they are going to lose putting a card on free tv. UFC 100 is stacked and i believe that it will attract more viewers than affliction whether affliction decides to put their show on ppv or cable tv.

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  • AlwaysRelaxing24 says:

    No cable company will choose Affliction over the UFC on their primary PPV channel. They just won’t. UFC brings in too many revenue dollars.

    So Affliction has two options:

    1. Be on secondary PPV channels, which could severly limit the number of PPV Buys (not to mention Lesnar/Mir is a much bigger draw).

    2. Go on live TV, but most fans will still purchase the PPV for Mir/Lesnar anyways.

    Affliction continues to be stupid. It’s like a midget trying to pick a fight with a giant…. who also happens to have a shot gun and arm behind him.

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  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    The UFC could air UFC 100 live on PPV ***AND*** air a re-run of a prior PPV (or some kind of special) on Spike TV at the same time and that show on Spike TV would still out-rate any show Affliction could put on free TV.

    The UFC would get Spike TV to promo the hell out of whatever show they air during this time. This is something Affliction would lack. Let’s say they strike a deal with Fox Sports Net to air their free show. FSN doesn’t have the audience a Spike TV does, so promoting it won’t have as big of an effect on the ratings of the show.

    If this happens, it will go down as one of the worst business decisions ever made in the history of MMA. There is no reason to go head to head with a monster. This isn’t baseball, where there are games every day. Choose another day. Don’t be selfish. Affliction has a chance to carve out their own niche here, not dig another grave for another failed promotion. This is not good for the sport of mixed martial arts.

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  • kidneybeans says:

    I think some of you guys need to read the article before commenting. Of course this could be the end of them if they decide to go up against the UFC, that’s the whole point of doing it. It plainly states as much in the article.

    It seems to me that there is at least a possibility that Affliction MMA was created not for long term viability as competition to the UFC, but simply as a matter of priciple as a means of telling the UFC brass to tone down their strong-arm mafia mentality tactics. Whether its worked or not is certainly open for debate but I think it is a realistic scenario.

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  • kidneybeans says:

    Lee Gerowitz…………………………….What if they are already going down anyway? How can it hurt to give the UFC a little taste (albeit very little) of their own medicine?

    It seems to me they are not going to survive regardless and they want to take as big a shot as possible at the UFC before they go. And who can blame them after everything that’s gone on in the last year?

    You can argue that it’s bad for the growth of the sport if you want but to say it’s a bad business decision doesn’t make sense. For an already failing company, business decisions aren’t really good or bad.

    Of course my whole viewpoint is contingent on the fact that they would be failing anyway, which I have no way of knowing. So if Affliction is a viable company beyond this summer without this plan of attack on the UFC, then my apologies to all involved.

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  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    kidneybeans….Do you honestly believe that Affliction doing this would give the UFC a taste of their own medicine, even if it’s just a little taste? I mean….really? When the UFC has dished out their medicine by counter-programming Affliction PPV’s or Elite XC events, those UFC shows get the job done, numbers-wise. It’s not even possible for Affliction to give the UFC a “little” taste of their own medicine. Dana White and company not only would laugh it off, but dare them to bring it on too.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wish like hell that there was more competition to the UFC. I hope Strikeforce finds a nice home with Showtime and continues to carve out their own niche.

    But to think for a second that going head to head with a proven giant is a good business idea is absolutely moronic. Are you going to tell me that in this day and age, with the economy the way it is, “business decisions aren’t really good or bad?”

    If Affliction fails as a mixed martial arts promotion, I won’t go as far to say it will hurt their t-shirt business. But, seeing that a large portion of that business is catered to MMA folks, it certainly can’t help the company’s rep if and when it goes down.

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  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    Just want to clarify my “moronic” comment. I should have made it clearer that it’s moronic on Affliction’s part….not calling kidneybeans a moron. Although I can’t believe I just addressed a clarification for someone named kidneybeans:)

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  • Angry Mike says:

    Asking fighters to “restructure” their contracts–take less money–sounds like an admission that the org. is struggling. If Affliction’s succeeding, it wouldn’t need to ask its employees to take a cut in pay. And then it’s thinking about a head to head competition with a good UFC ppv card? This is the business equivalent of a ‘tard charge against Anderson Silva.

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  • Stan says:

    “Do you honestly believe that Affliction doing this would give the UFC a taste of their own medicine, even if it’s just a little taste?”

    Do you have a better reason they picked the date of July 11th out of midair? Sam very dutifully in the article doesn’t speculate as to why they are going this route, but it does ring of Seppuku to me.

    I guess its also a little bit easier to think they’re doing it out of spite after hearing Todd Beard on Scott Ferrall’s show a few months back making a drunken fool of himself. I don’t think he’s still around at Affliction, but they never seemed like they were run by level headed businessmen.

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  • ZP580 says:

    Affliction is nuts. They can’t compete with the UFC, free or not. Dana White will laugh at this if it happens. UFC 100 has a damn good card and Affliction always shows the same fighters. The majority of them being guys that have been cut by the UFC. It’s almost like the NBA vs. European basketball or the NFL vs. Canadian league. I think we all know who the UFC is in these analogies.

    As far as I’m concerned the UFC made Affliction clothing as popular as it is today. I never heard of the brand until I saw UFC fighters sporting it pre-fight. In a way this is poetic. UFC made Affliction and they will hand them their demise if Affliction decides to show July 11.

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  • Joseph says:

    You guys are not the brightest crayons in the box.

    If they choose to go on TV with either HDnet, Showtime, etc, they can piggy back off the ratings from all the UFC fans who are going to watch UFC 100. They are not going to counter with another PPV (which is what most of you are thinking since most of you think they are committing suicide). In fact, most people will be sitting at home and they would be willing to Tivo or flip channels to watch Affliction (Fedor, Vitor, etc) and they would get some REALLY nice ratings, which means the TV portion of the deal may be a lot nicer. Plus, if they hold the event in Dallas (which is the headquarters of HDNet), they would get a venue at a discount as part of the deal, so they would get a good gate and have a nice tv deal.

    The only obstacle that Affliction has to get through is to lower the payscale so that doing this makes sense.

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  • obamasaidknockyouout says:

    Not a good idea. Affliction should ride the UFC 100 wave and plan the Affliction show for one week after the UFC event. You know UFC is going to promote 100 like no other show before it and the buzz around mma in the mainstream media will be greater than ever. Affliction could benefit greatly from the buzz and plan a big show of their own; just not on the same day.

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  • J.P. says:

    Network or cable television is a great idea.

    Head to head with a live UFC event is complete suicide at this point.

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  • Cathedron says:

    Affliction threatening to counter-program the UFC is like a husband threatening to withhold sex from his wife.

    Even if their event were on free TV, Affliction would be cutting it’s own wrists. Only hardcore fight fans with TiVo would see their show and hardly anyone would even know the show took place. There’s no way Affliction would do something that dumb. Anyone who thinks there is any way to successfully counter-program the UFC’s biggest show is so wrong that I can’t even begin to fully explain your wrongness without access to three camels, a tricycle, two dancing bears, and a circus midget. And I am fresh out of midgets. So trust me, it ain’t gonna happen.

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  • s00nertp says:

    I like the idea. You have to be crazy, have balls of steel, or inside knowledge to pull something like that off.

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  • 141.75 grams of pain says:

    Why would Affliction shoot itself in the foot like that? They would have to throw together some card, just to keep up with the Jones’s. If they want to succeed, they need to look at Strikeforce. Just concern yourself with putting on shows with the best possible product, and the fans will come. Take a run at the UFC when you can boast the same roster and you are on similar financial footing. Perfect example is the CFL (Canadian Football League) vs. the NFL. The CFL almost never has games on Sunday, why compete with the beast? They put on a great product on Friday nights and that allows them to have their niche. Affliction would be best served at promoting new fighters and signing some marginal talent away from the UFC. They could build a fan following that would grow, instead of retreading many fighters with name recognition. That works now, what happens in three years? Baby Fedor? Who else?

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  • paddiosf says:

    Please someone mentioned that they would watch any Affliction PPV over a UFC “ok” sure go right ahead they have only Fedor,Babalu, Barnett and Vitor..

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  • GetItOn says:

    Cathedron, I have midgets so let’s say you and I get together and make this happen……lol

    Affliction has no business doing a fight night the same night as the UFC. I don’t get it. Something is up. There has to be something really going on that no one but Affliction and the UFC know about. I’m telling you, I have a conspiracy theory. Affliction was created to be a large MMA promotion and to be destroyed. I believe that the UFC has their hands in this and that they are secretly in bed with Affliction to show the world that no MMA promotion can touch the UFC. I guarantee that after Affliction falls, they will be allowed to have their shirts displayed and worn by UFC fighters once again.

    Just wait and see. No company in their right mind would go head to head with the UFC, failing or not. No company purposely loses millions of dollars just for the sake of “I hoped you learned your lesson”. Especially if they are on their way out the door in the business world.

    This is marketing at it’s best. I see it and I should be working for the UFC.

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  • ultmma says:

    If they get on a big network like Fox and its there last show its a hell of a idea

    If its on HD Net, Fox Sports Net, My Network or on PPV its a watse of everyones time

    If they pull off a soild fight card and are on one of the 4 major networks than I’ll be watching or atleast DVR-ing the event

    I like their guts on this one and if its there last show anyway than who really cares. I remmber when UFC aired the A Silva vs. J Irvin fight their was not this much out cry

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  • kidneybeans says:

    Yes I do believe decisions are not good or bad for a company that is already failing. If they can’t be saved from failure, all decisions are meaningless. However, your point about what that might do to the T-shirt side of the business is well taken, I will admit I wasn’ thinking about it when I responded to you.

    As far as giving the UFC a little taste of their own medicine, I never said it would work and I don’t think Affliction is under the delusion the UFC will care at all. I was simply saying that as a matter of principle they could be doing to the UFC what has been done to them. Even if it took away a single ppv buy from the UFC their point would be made.

    My whole point was to ask how it could be a bad business decision for them to go up against the UFC if they are already failing anyway? Apparently everyone missed that part of my post.

    And kidneybeans is a moniker chosen to pay tribute to any fighters who target the sensitive kidney area, we just don’t see repeated shots to the kids often enough. It is also the nickname I would chose if I were to fight in an mma match.

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  • kidneybeans says:

    choose*

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  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    “My whole point was to ask how it could be a bad business decision for them to go up against the UFC if they are already failing anyway?”

    Because they are associated with and well known for what really brings in the money for them, which is their t-shirt company. Personally, spending money to produce a television event with an “Well, we’re going to fail anyways, let’s waste more money” attitude would make them look like poor businessmen.

    Whatever future endeavors they may become involved in….let’s say they turn more of their attention to boxing (and their relationship with Golden Boy)….does it make them look good from a business perspective by throwing away money like that?

    My comments are hypothetical, but still. They have a reputation and other business ventures to hold up.

    Joseph…if they aired this show on HDNet, they would not get “really nice” ratings. Airing a show on HDNet is worlds away from, let’s say, Elite XC on CBS. As for Showtime, the ratings would be better. But if Affliction is on their way out, and Showtime now in bed with Strikeforce, I wonder how that would work.

    And get something straight….Affliction would prefer to do a PPV if the choice were theirs. Problem is, and this was mentioned way before your comment, there is not a PPV distributor in the world who would ever put their show on against the UFC.

    Which bring us back to the beginning….regardless of how they want to do it, be it free TV or PPV, it’s an awful, awful decision to go up against UFC 100.

    I am going to go out on a limb and say that UFC 100 may be the first PPV that ESPN actually covers live, on-set, on SportsCenter (like they do with big, big boxing matches). ESPN has been doing online test runs at UFC PPV’s for a while now, and it’s no secret that they are doing this to test the waters on covering it on the actual network. That, in addition to the coverage ESPN will give the event on ESPNews, ESPN’s First Take show and SportsCenter will trounce anything Affliction tries to do.

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  • wardog says:

    I think it is a publicity stunt myself. But if its not it is a dumb decision. Personally they should do a show two weeks after or two weeks before. Something that would give them time. But it all maybe something to just keep the UFC guessing and unable to plan something against them, like a UFN or a WEC event.

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  • TerribleT says:

    I think it would be very stupid to go head to head with UFC 100.The UFC can take a hit and still survive but I don’t know if AFFLICTION can do the same.I think this would be suicide if they do go through with this crazy idea.

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  • kidneybeans says:

    “Because they are associated with and well known for what really brings in the money for them, which is their t-shirt company”

    I already said you were right about that what more do you want from me? I was only clarifying the point of my original post, I acknowledged that I didn’t take into account the t-shirt side of the business.

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