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Report: UFC will go head-to-head with Affliction on 7/19

By Zach Arnold | June 15, 2008

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This report reminds me of the 1980s pro-wrestling scene when Vince McMahon was determined to crush regional promotions by going into their markets and blowing them out of the water.

McMahon was successful and got what he wanted. Dana White will probably accomplish the same result, too.

Topics: Affliction, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “Report: UFC will go head-to-head with Affliction on 7/19”

  1. IceMuncher says:

    5 weeks is awfully short notice. I’m surprised they waited until now to decide to do this.

    The UFC card won’t be as good, but it’ll have the UFC name and be free. If they can pull it off in time, it’ll steal a whole lot of casual fans that may have otherwise watched the Affliction PPV.

  2. Leslie says:

    This is horrible news and really a new low for UFC if true. Affliction is putting on a class card and UFC trying to low ball them would be disgusting.

    Zach and other wrestling aficionados, keep reminding the MMA only guys that we’ve been through this already. It never ends well.

  3. IceMuncher says:

    Welcome to competition in a free market. Once the UFC showed that MMA can be very profitable, a bunch of opportunistic, upstart promotions attempted to cash in on the market. Their success will have negative effects for the UFC. This is nothing more than a UFC counterattack aimed at protecting their own investment.

    It is in no way worse than Affliction going after fighters the UFC built up, like AA and Tim Sylvia, in order to compete against the UFC.

    The only thing I’m surprised at is that it took the UFC this long.

  4. dmp says:

    It’s like the late 80s wrestling boom like you said when McMahon killed off Crockett. I just don’t see how the Afflicition card can suceed on PPV basis. This one will be a financial disaster. Too bad they didn’t get the Elite XC Spot on CBS as they have far superior talent.

  5. Zack says:

    Dayum…UFC busting out with Survior Series? Peace out Starrcade.

  6. Ivan Trembow says:

    Vince McMahon would be proud (if he wasn’t busy trying desperately to raise Raw’s ratings by bribing viewers to watch, only to have the ratings drop as a result).

    For all that the UFC says publicly about how incompetent they think the Affliction promotion is, this shows how threatened they must feel (and they really don’t have much reason to feel that way at this point, because this first Affliction show is not going to do much of anything in U.S. PPV buys).

    Not only do they come off as desperate to hurt Affliction by hastily putting together a live event as counter-programming, but they come off as even more desperate by putting Wanderlei Silva on that live event, when they could make over $10 million in PPV revenue by having him headline a major PPV. It seems that to the UFC, hurting competitors is often just as important or even more important than their own business.

  7. Pontus says:

    Hey all competition is good competition.

    If affliction means that we get more UFC cards then thats just fine with me.

  8. jojo says:

    Dana is so insecure and a control freak.. this dude is so scared of competition..what the crap..giving wanderlei 5 weeks to train and vera is just fresh of fighting/ training… because of the recession dana is trying so hard to make vera a super star because he wants to promote him in the philippines… since it would be a big event..it would be the first time to go there…. tsk tsk..what a pitty… dana is a excellent marketer..he says in 2008 ufc would go global… translation: recession in the u.s so ppv and gate entrance would go down…. so going to a country that hasnt seen ufc live… its going to be a blockbuster hit….

    he is sabbotaging wanderlei… everybody object with this bull shit

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    Jojo— The constant reiterating of the “going global” point has been in part because in some cases it’s very profitable (like the event in Canada), and also in part because it makes the UFC more attractive to potential buyers.

  10. Leslie says:

    “Welcome to competition in a free market.”

    Yeah, it’s going to be so awesome when every store is a Wal-Mart and every MMA show is a UFC fit. My hands are down my pants already.

    Vote Ron Paul!

  11. D. Capitated says:

    I have no problem whatsoever with the UFC running a show opposite it. It shows that competition breeds a better product.

    Will Affliction fail immediately? I think people underestimate the ability of a company that sells hundreds of thousands of $60-80 t-shirts to spend cash once in awhile. If Benetton can own a Formula One team for the better part of a decade, I’m guessing Affliction won’t go under from a single MMA show.

    As for how it affects Silva, we haven’t even heard if he’s accepted. I’m guessing if his management is smart they refuse to take a fight of this magnitude on short notice. Without Silva, there’s literally no one else they can drag in for a card 5 weeks from now that will draw any real interest.

  12. jeremy says:

    Anything that causes folks to step up is ok by me. Is this out of Vinnie Mac’s playbook? Sure, but it is also out of the playbook of many other businesses.

    One thing I do disagree with Ivan on: Putting Wandy on TV is a not a bad thing. It will get him more fans. Silva and/or Vera could go from being popular among regular fans to being stars in one night.

    Until the UFC gets a network deal, they should run a major card, on Spike, once every six months or so. Actually, I think the U.K. shows should be on Spike.

    Does it cost them money? Sure, but 70 and 75 did strong numbers (75 did huge numbers). Those big numbers make them all the more appealing to network television.

    In a perfect world, we could have Affliction, Elite and the UFC all running profitable shows. Not nec all at the same level, but three companies pushing each other and competing for fighters. It would benefit the fighters and it would benefit the fans.

    I think we will end up with two of the three making it.

  13. IceMuncher says:

    Ivan, they’re not feeling threatened at all by Affliction’s first show. If it did 100k buys I’d be absolutely shocked. However, if they ignore Affliction until they become a real threat, it’s already a little too late to do anything about it.

    There’s no real reason for the UFC not to squash this promotion early. It’s like Don Ciccio attempting to take out Vito Corleone before he grows into a man.

    Most businesses, or empires for that matter, lose their place at the top when they become complacent and underestimate the threat posed by smaller rivals. You have to maintain that competitive edge that got you to the top in the first place.

  14. will says:

    Now Affliction should bump there cards date by a few days.

  15. D. Capitated says:

    One thing I do disagree with Ivan on: Putting Wandy on TV is a not a bad thing. It will get him more fans. Silva and/or Vera could go from being popular among regular fans to being stars in one night.

    Depends on who you are. If I’m Wanderlei Silva’s manager and I’m not in the pocket of Zuffa, I think its probably not wise to fight a former top 10 heavyweight who’s dropping down on 5 weeks notice. He likely wouldn’t be getting a bump in pay either. I’d demand double my normal guarantee or tell Dana to forget it. He needs Wanderlei Silva that night, not the other way around.

  16. jeremy says:

    D,

    When Ken and Tito agreed to fight on Spike, both got money beyond their normal paycheck.

    As to what you quoted:
    I was not talking about the time table, I was simply saying that running such a fighton cable vs. ppv was not a bad thing. They lose some potential revenue, but put the two fighters in a spot where they could become stars in one night with a great performance.

  17. Ivan Trembow says:

    I didn’t say anything about putting Wanderlei Silva on free TV being a “good thing” or a “bad thing.” I said that the fact that Zuffa was willing to do it and in the process give up over $10 million in potential PPV revenue, demonstrated that this is another case of hurting the competition being more important to Zuffa than anything up to and including their own business.

    Also, after reporting earlier today that the 7/19 UFC show wasn’t happening, now it’s completely different as Meltzer is now reporting: “Fighters have been contacted and based on updated stuff, I expect it [a UFC show on 7/19] is happening and most likely the final decision and an announcement will be made tomorrow. The fact they are still working hard on getting a quality main event says something.”

  18. D. Capitated says:

    When Ken and Tito agreed to fight on Spike, both got money beyond their normal paycheck.

    Ken and Tito also set UFC buyrate records the second time they had fought. They probably demanded it for a rematch. I honestly question whether or not Dana’s gonna offer some monster bonus to Wanderlei. He may just pull a Don King and buy him a Hummer or drop off a bag with “one million dollars” in it and have him sign. It wouldn’t be the first time he tries that.

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