New reports have surfaced in recent days re-affirming what was first reported earlier this week by FiveOuncesOfPain.com regarding Affliction’s intent to counter-program UFC 100 on July 11.
MMAWeekly.com is now also reporting that plans for a third Affliction event are moving full steam ahead, with the intent for the event to air on a non-premium cable network. Affliction has utilized both the Fox SportsNet and HDNet in the past to air undercard fights for their two previous pay-per-view events.
Sources have also informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Affliction’s third event could be held in Dallas, Texas, home of HDNet founder Mark Cuban. It’s possible that Cuban could provide the venue for the event at little to no cost in exchange for rights to televise the undercard.
Previous reports claimed WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko would take on number one contender Josh Barnett in the main event of Affliction’s third-ever fight card. However, MMAWeekly’s reporting indicates that the two will fight separate opponents so that their matchup can be preserved for a pay-per-view event.
Other fighters mentioned as possibilities for the card is a possible matchup between former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and former UFC heavyweight title challenger Paul Buentello.
Sylvia was destroyed in 36 seconds by Emelianenko during Affliction’s first-ever event last July. Meanwhile, Buentello is coming off a third round TKO of Kirill “Baby Fedor” Sidelnikov during Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event this past January.
If Affliction follows through in going head-to-head with the UFC, it will be going up against one of the most historic events in the history of MMA. The UFC is already planning a fan expo to commenorate the event and the lineup for UFC 100 appears to be stacked.
The expected headliner for UFC 100 is a heavyweight title unification match between UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and interim UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, however, the bout has yet to be officially announced. However, it is believed that a UFC welterweight title defense by Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves is already locked in along with a showdown between the rival coaches for the upcoming ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping.
Additionally, UFC 100 is also expected to include both the U.S. and Octagon debut of former K-1 star Yoshihiro Akiyama, who will be taking on Alan Belcher in a middleweight tilt.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com reported that the third Affliction event is expected to be its last, although Affliction COO Michael Cohen denied the report during an interview with VERSUS.com’s Ariel Helwani. It should be noted that Five Ounces of Pain stands by its original reporting and has been informed that unless new investors can be secured, a fourth event promoted by Affliction is not expected to take place.
Industry insiders expressed to Five Ounces of Pain that Affliction wants to go through with the third event even in spite of its uncertain future due to the fact that many of the contracts that its fighters have signed are guaranteed. If Affliction elected to not make good on those contracts, it could have an adverse effect on its clothing line if fighters decided to stop supporting the brand.
Sam Caplan and Bryan Levick both contributed to this report.