Friend of our site


MMA Headlines


UFC HP


Bleacher Report


MMA Fighting


MMA Torch


MMA Weekly


Sherdog (News)


Sherdog (Articles)


Liver Kick


MMA Mania


Bloody Elbow


MMA Ratings


Rating Fights


Yahoo MMA Blog


Search this site



Latest Articles


News Corner


MMA Rising


Audio Corner


Oddscast


MMA Dude Bro


Sherdog Radio


Eddie Goldman


Liver Kick Radio


Video Corner


Fight Hub


Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index


To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site


Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback


Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

Larry Merchant: Affliction had to pay ODLH $5 million USD just to show up

By Zach Arnold | January 26, 2009

Print Friendly and PDF

Update (1/27): There are a lot of vehement denials about Larry Merchant’s claim that De La Hoya was paid $5 million USD to support Affliction. Golden Boy claims Merchant is full of it and that De La Hoya went to the Affliction show without renumeration. Steve Barry is trying to keep track of all sorts of different versions of stories in regards to what actually took place. Sam Caplan expresses his disgust towards Merchant.

Sucks to be the chumps who watched Affliction at a discount or for free. Do things the Oscar De La Hoya way:

“A celebrity who is here in bronze only,” quipped Merchant, referring to a bronze statue of Oscar De La Hoya that stands outside the Staples Center. “Oscar De La Hoya, the live version, is in nearby Anaheim, where his company got a $5 million fee from a t-shirt maker so that he would be personally involved in the promotion of a mixed martial arts show.”

Topics: Affliction, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 35 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

35 Responses to “Larry Merchant: Affliction had to pay ODLH $5 million USD just to show up”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    A few people on the UG think that the $5 Million number is also part of them sponsoring him, not just a fee for him to show up.

    Either way, Affliction’s MMA is very much like their T-Shirt Business. All based on image, and not much else.

    They pay for Trump. They pay for ODLH. They buy their own tickets to inflate gate numbers. They lie about PPV numbers.

    I think they would be getting laughed at right now if their books were public and people could see how much their MMA shows were losing money.

  2. Dave says:

    If you honestly think they paid DLH 5 mil to sit there, I don’t even know. Of course they wouldn’t be that stupid.

    Also, Zach, why no coverage of the actual event and just the financial side? We all know the financial side will be a disaster, but at this point who cares? It was a really entertaining fight card.

  3. gummbie says:

    You know, It actually seems like everyone wants affliction to fail as a promotion. who gives a shit about the financial side of their promotion? I am just grateful that someone has actually stood up and took the initiative to bring fedor to the states and put on great fights.

  4. The Citizen says:

    ODLH looked bored a the press conference and very bored at the event. He looked liked he could care less.

    I’m glad Affliction and other promotions put on shows besides UFC.

  5. Iain says:

    Zach, I am a veru big fan of this site but have to agree with Dave. For a site called Fight Opinion there has been no talk of anything that took place between the ropes last night.

  6. Rollo the Cat says:

    Was it such a thrilling night of fights? I am not always thrilled by the UFC cards and I wasn’t real impressed by this one either.

  7. Bryan says:

    I’m with you gummbie. Frankly, as long as Affliction continues to put on shows like this, I don’t care if Atencio is borrowing money from his grandma to put them on. It appears to all be speculation anyway.

    “Either way, Affliction’s MMA is very much like their T-Shirt Business. All based on image, and not much else.”

    What about putting on cards that deliver exciting fights?

    And how loud would the laughing be if the UFC opened it’s books up and we saw how much they paid guys like Iole to shill for them?

  8. Big Bill Bob says:

    I think Zach was displeased by not only having his boy matched up with a less then stellar opponent, but the baby fat assassin really didn’t look good at all during the fight, and probably would have been savagely KO’d had the fight had any standup. Barnett is not ready for Fedor, and I have to agree with 45’s ad naseum critique of Barnett for not having fought and beaten a top quality opponent since a questionable win to Nog however many years ago. Hopefully he gets smashed against Fedor next and goes back to Japan, where he can atleast be considered big rather then joe fat ass lay and pray compared to America.

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    I don’t understand why they didn’t show the Hieron vs. High fight. They had plenty of PPV satellite time left. For the fights that happened earlier in the night on HDNet, maybe HDNet had the exclusive rights to those fights, but Hieron vs. High had not actually happened at that time. It happened after Fedor vs. Arlovski (ie, after the PPV went off the air) because of time constraints. Why couldn’t they have shown that fight?

    Also, who were those announcers? Those guys were actually pretty good. (I mean Wheelock and Smith, not Ortiz.) They made a couple of ridiculous statements (“Sobral is one of the top light heavyweights in the world now!”), but for the most part they were surprisingly good.

  10. Michaelthebox says:

    “What about putting on cards that deliver exciting fights?”

    Technically, thats an image too, because great fighters require great paychecks, and Affliction can’t afford to support them. They bought Trump, they bought Oscar, they bought their own tickets, and they bought fighters. They can’t keep up a single one.

  11. Mr Mike says:

    “joe fat ass lay and pray”

    Your dislike of Barnett has led you to lose any objectivity. Fat ass? So he doesn’t look like a guy who has cut 30 pounds for a fight.

    Lay and pray? Why don’t you just watch boxing? Barnett is a wrestler and, kept up the action on the ground, first going for an arm lock, then with some aggressive ground and, pound.

    Real lay and, pray basically pinning your opponent without submissions, or strikes.

    I thought the fight was good and, entertaining.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    Wheelock was not good. He came off as being slightly autistic. This is not just a random bash. This is actually the first impression I got of him.

    I thought the boxing broadcast on HBO was better then the Affliction PPV. It is obvious that HBO is trying to make things better. They had some good pre fight video packages. Everything was timed perfectly, and the ring entrances were not obnoxious. The only thing they need to improve on is limiting the number of people in the ring before and after a fight. It annoying when people from the crowd like Bernard Hopkins enter the ring and really has no purpose to be there.

    And the Affliction event was what I thought it would be. I swear some people are dying for the next Pride that they will try and praise anything not the UFC and give it extra credit it doesn’t deserve.

    On a side note, I think Lindland’s career is on the downturn. Forget about the KO itself (he has never had a chin). He looked kind of old yesterday.

  13. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Wheelock has been an announcer for years, has done a lot of soccer (which is how I know him). He’s also been hosting the weekly M-1 Challenge show on HDNet. Apparently the other guy was the host of the reality TV series Human Weapon.

    They were both more than adequate, even though Wheelock has always come off as a bit overwrought to me. He’s certainly no worse than Murilo and a lot of people seem to like that guy.

    I thought it was a pretty good show all things considered. Good fights, much improved production. I seem to have seen a different Barnett fight than the poster above though.

  14. GB says:

    Giving credibility to what’s nothing but a rumor and focusing on that particular irrelevance after a night of fights with a stacked card just confirms your bias against Affliction.

  15. samscaff says:

    I agree. I am losing faith in this site.

    Zach put up two headlines in a 24 hour period that are unabashedly bashing the Affliction fight promotion. Not even an attempt at even-handed, objective journalism. I know this site is called fightopinion but I would expect that the proprietor would at least try to keep some semblance of balanced coverage.

    Then again, Zach has always been about exposing the business side of things. I guess it just seems like overkill, especially considering they put on an entertaining and high quality card.

  16. paul says:

    yeh zach just sounds jaded these days

  17. jr says:

    Tom= John Thain buying an 87,000 dollar rug

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m defending Zach Arnold.

    I think Zach is just ahead of the curve on this one. When EliteXC came out, I was very vocal about how much I did not like them. I was bashed for it. As time passes, I was shown to be justified in my opinions, as they were made up of people who were not good for the sport.

    While I can’t say Affliction is remotely as bad as EliteXC, there needs to be at least somebody who doesn’t drink Tom A’s Kool-Aide. Zach Arnold is that person.

    I have seen so many MMA websites cover Affliction like they would be showing the return of God on PPV. The amount of press Affliction has gotten over the last 9+ months for running only 2 shows is off the charts. There needs to be a counter-balance to it.

    An employee for Affliction has threated Randy Couture and his wife. Tom A continues to lie when asked questions. They have purchased tickets to their own event to make it look like their were more successful then they really were. There has been documented incidents where the guys from Affliction have insulted Lorenzo Fertitta and screamed at him over the phone. In summary, they are not very good people.

    These Affliction guys are more like fanboys then promoters. God forbid if one person of the MMA media gives them the negative press they deserve. Their business plan is pathetic. Yet nobody except certain fans even talk about it. The press is completely ignoring these things, just like they did with Pride. Just like they did with EliteXC.

    The last card on paper was on par with UFC 93. Yet some in the media (and former Pride fanboys), act as if it is better then UFC 92 & 94 combined.

    I have seen praise for Barnett/Yvel from the same people who bashed the booking of Coleman/Rua 2. Both fights stunk on paper. Yet Affliction is praised.

    I have seen people make excuses for Affliction not showing Hieron/High on PPV, despite having about an hour of time left. The same people bash the UFC if they only show 2 instead of 3 of the prelim fights.

    The UFC announcer team is bashed every event. The Affliction Announcing Team was horrible. They had a fighter (Tito Ortiz) try and promote himself when interviewing Babalu. How unprofessional that is cannot be placed into words.

    So stop getting your panties into a bunch because Zach Arnold has been a little negative on this show. If anything, the former Pride Fanboys are being way too accepting of things that should be complete no-no’s for us the consumers.

    I enjoyed Affliction 2. Just like I enjoyed UFC 93. But I’m at least being realistic. So is Zach Arnold…. Who is one of the few smart people still covering this sport who doesn’t just promote events and brings up the real issues.

  19. Fluyid says:

    Why is anyone getting upset with Zach?

    These are all informational articles that seem to elicit discussion. If you don’t like this one, go on to the next one.

    If you’re looking for the results of the fights, he provides links to just about every MMA site imaginable down the sides of the home page.

    I don’t care one way or the other how he feels about Affliction or anything else. It affects me not one bit.

  20. Fluyid says:

    PS – I read that the Bonaduce vs. Canseco fight was ruled a draw.

    Where’s the fucking coverage???

  21. Pontus says:

    Well put 45 Huddle.

    You forgot to mention the classic argument that surfaces after every UFC,
    this is the argument that the UFC underpays their fighters.

    I haven’t read one article or post anywhere which brings up that Patrick Speight made just 2000.
    Personally I don’t have a problem with this, he clearly signed the contract.

    But it would be nice to see journalists treat affliction the same as the ufc if they are going to compare the two.

  22. GB says:

    Nobody’s saying Affliction is excellent or even on the UFC’s level. Read the other posts before you jump to this site’s defense. All I’m saying is that the rumor that these guys paid de la Hoya $5 million to show up is ridiculous on its face (probably malicious garbage being deliberately spread by Merchant for obvious reasons). Even if it was not, it’s just far-fetched gossip until more evidence comes up.

    Yesterday’s card was great and it’s irrelevant as to how it compares to other UFC events. Focusing on a stupid rumor instead of real coverage of the event (or even legitimate examples of poor business decisions by Affliction) is just one more example of bias.

  23. 45 Huddle says:

    “Nobody’s saying Affliction is excellent or even on the UFC’s level.”

    It’s not just what is said, but what isn’t. They are being held to two different standards. If each show is charing the same price on PPV, they should be held to the same standards, and Affliction falls very short in many categories. Not to mention the constant bashing of the UFC on these boards, and then people praising a show by a guy like Tom A who makes Dana White look like a Saint.

    Larry Merchant, whether you like him or not, is a credible source.

    Now, the $5 Million likely was an overall number that included more then just sitting in a seat…. But it’s not like this information came from Joe Smith’s MMA Blog.

  24. doem says:

    meh
    say what you want about Zach but he knows what hes talking about when it comes to the business side of MMA.
    It would be very very unlikely that Affliction is making any money at this point.

  25. Michaelthebox says:

    “Nobody’s saying Affliction is excellent or even on the UFC’s level.”

    Except for everybody favorably comparing the Affliction card to the average UFC card. If you want to argue in Affliction’s favor based on the matchups, you have to deal with other people arguing against Affliction based on the business.

  26. GB says:

    “It’s not just what is said, but what isn’t.”

    Unfortunately, I can’t defend what I didn’t say. Affliction has also taken numerous shots from other websites. For the last time, the only thing I’m saying is that focusing on a stupid rumor and not writing one line about the actual event and what took place in the rings is a clear indication of bias.

    Again, I’m not saying Affliction should be immune to criticism. The show was great and it was well worth the money. Since I’m talking about the matchups and not the business side of things, a matter which none of us can discuss with much authority as we’re not privy to what goes on behind the scenes, I don’t see why I should defend other people’s remarks. I’m not comparing Atencio’s business acumen with White’s either.

    The $5 million remark sounds like a cheap potshot by a boxing talking head who hates MMA. Merchant also added that “It would take that much (…) to get me to go to one of those things.” ‘Nuff said.

  27. Michaelthebox says:

    “not writing one line about the actual event and what took place in the rings is a clear indication of bias.”

    If you just arrived here, Zach almost never writes about what happens in the ring/cage, unless to discuss what impact it has on the business. Its not bias against Affliction to recognize that was happens in the ring is not particularly related to Affliction’s business future.

    That said, the Merchant quote is a cheap shot and not particularly relevant. But you are definitely tilting at windmills to think Zach is biased against Affliction. Zach is only biased against crappy business practices.

  28. D.Capitated says:

    Except for everybody favorably comparing the Affliction card to the average UFC card. If you want to argue in Affliction’s favor based on the matchups

    Why shouldn’t it be compared on the basis of the fights? Don’t you watch MMA for that? Why not just compare them to Boeing while you’re at it?

  29. GB says:

    “If you just arrived here, Zach almost never writes about what happens in the ring/cage, unless to discuss what impact it has on the business.”

    I’ve been visiting this website on a daily basis since it started, so it’s not as if I hate it. I must admit, however, that I don’t read many of the rants because I find them to be gratuitously negative and unfounded. The whole “UFC is going to fail in Japan” family of posts is an example of the things I don’t like about this website and are a marked contrast to some of the timely analysis and news it provides at the same time.

    Posting a ridiculous rumor is not an “analysis of the business side of MMA.” It’s just focusing on an irrelevant tidbit of information to continue dumping on a show you hated since before it was even scheduled (just see the posts building up to Saturday’s event). For business analysis, I occasionally go to MMAPayout or read Steve Sievert’s articles on the topic. The latter are usually sourced and contain original reporting instead of just ranting from people who know as much about business as I do, if not less (at least I used to be a business reporter back in the day).

  30. Dave says:

    “These Affliction guys are more like fanboys then promoters.”

    Exactly, which is fine. They are doing what Calvin Ayre did tossing money away on something they enjoy, except they aren’t getting lesser talent and making it last longer. They are going balls to the wall, getting every top name they can and putting on shows in big arenas on PPV.

    It is every fight fan’s fantasy and Affliction has the money to do it. Do they have the money to take the first few years of losses and try to make a real run at it? No, probably not, but I don’t care, we got 2 great cards out of them.

  31. dave2 says:

    Atencio is more of a fanboy than an MMA promoter but I think it’s refreshing that a millionaire VP T-Shirt Guy is willing to put on hardcore fanbase friendly fights instead of being all about the money.

  32. Michaelthebox says:

    D.Cap.: “Why shouldn’t it be compared on the basis of the fights? Don’t you watch MMA for that? Why not just compare them to Boeing while you’re at it?”

    So now you’re outright misrepresenting what I say, so that you can argue with me? Thats kind of sad, D.Cap.

    What I said was IF you want to do compare one aspect of Affliction to UFC, then you have to put up with people comparing other aspects of Affliction with the UFC. By all means, compare the cards. But don’t be a hypocrite and demand that people not compare the business.

    GB: “Posting a ridiculous rumor is not an “analysis of the business side of MMA.”

    No, it isn’t, though the rumor itself IS related to the business of MMA. I’m just pointing out that its ridiculous to expect even-handedness by posting on the in-ring action at Affliction, because this site doesn’t do that.

  33. Leslie says:

    “What I said was IF you want to do compare one aspect of Affliction to UFC, then you have to put up with people comparing other aspects of Affliction with the UFC. By all means, compare the cards. But don’t be a hypocrite and demand that people not compare the business.”

    Comparing fights is what fight fans should be most concerned with doing. doing. If I talk about which promotion is putting on better fights, and you “counter” by talking about which promoter’s has a better head shave, I’m not a hypocrite for telling you that it’s irrelevant. Comparing the actual fights is not an invitation for fanboy smacktalk of things completely unrelated to the actual fights.

  34. GB says:

    And now that Atencio and Golden Boy have denied the rumor and more responsible websites are blasting Merchant for his desperate cheap shot, I guess all you have left to do is eat crow.

  35. D.Capitated says:

    Comparing fights is what fight fans should be most concerned with doing. If I talk about which promotion is putting on better fights, and you “counter” by talking about which promoter’s has a better head shave, I’m not a hypocrite for telling you that it’s irrelevant.

    How many ridiculous arguments can we come up with?

    -Dana White flies with Netjets. Atencio goes commercial. Thus, UFC 91 was definitely a better show than Affliction: Banned.

    -Atencio only sells clothing. UFC has clothing too, and soon gyms (which will succeed, so says pro wres and fitness guru Mike Rome). With that knowledge, we can ascertain that Frank Mir is every bit the claimant to the crown of “heavyweight champ” Fedor is.

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image