We hate to break it to soccer and competative eating fans, but mix martial arts is America’s fastest growing sport. Over the weekend, Affliction Banned took place in Annaheim. Most of my friends don’t know what a “MMA” is, but our fellow blogger, Luke knows what he’s talking about so we invited him to clue us in if this Affliction thing is going to make it.
Exclusive Affliction MMA Wrap-Up by Luke Bushwhacker
Does this whole Affliction thing really have legs? Short answer is yes, long answer is no. We’ll go with the short answer first. Affliction will be here for now because it has Fedor and a stellar list of heavyweights to fight him. Now for the long answer. I don’t see Affliction, in its current state, remaining as a long-term threat to the UFC for a number of reasons. First, they are a tee-shirt company trying to put on a MMA event. Red Bull has taken this approach to selling their energy drink, by buying up two soccer teams and I think it can be said it has not been a great investment on their part.
If Affliction’s end goal is to increase their brand name and exposure at a profit then get out now, because aside from the talent, the production quality of their event sucked. Everything was off, from the previews, to the segment transitions, to the announcing, nothing seemed to mesh. They tried to go with the Japanese show format with over the top ring walks, the Megadeath show and Michael Buffer doing the ring announcing but no one seemed to know their place. The first televised fight started off in the second round!!!!!!!!!!!
Granted, it was their first rodeo, but if you are going to pump the money into it get a good event co-coordinator and producer. It looked bush league. Thank god, the guys in the ring performed because if they hadn’t it would have made the IFL shows look like the Super Bowl. Bottom-line: Production quality has to increase and they need to hire some professionals to do it right.
The bottom line is that Affliction will only be around as long as Donald Trump is willing to sink the money into it. Remember, the Fertitta‘s bought the UFC $2 million then sunk in another $50 million before it turned around and that took four years. The UFC brand name is strong not only with fans, but with the corporate world as well. They have multiple streams of revenue to rely upon whereas Affliction and Elite XC need to prove their legitimacy every single show just to get the PPV and advertising dollars. Personally, I don’t see the production going much farther than a Fedor versus Couture match up, which will be a great event for the fans, but who do they fight afterwards?