January 27, 2009
By all appearances the Affliction 2 card was a rousing success. Over 13,000 fans packed the Honda Center to see a very good fight card highlighted by Fedor Emelianenko's dramatic win over Andrei Arlovski. Vitor Belfort's knockout of Matt Lindland was unreal. Paul Buentello gave a boxing lesson to Kiril Sidelnikov. Babalu's precision against Sokoudjou was fun to watch. And even Gilbert Yvel fighting as well he did on the bottom of a mount for three rounds, was intriguing. Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole reported that the event had a paid attendance of 8,946 with a $1,512,750 gate.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio was beaming afterwards but is proceeding with caution. He threw out an interesting line during the post-fight press conference (Full audio here):
"These guys are the ones. These guys are the warriors. They put their lives on the line and fight and train hard," Atencio before a long pause. "Hopefully, there's someone out there who can give them another home and hopefully that will continue to be us."
Does that mean Affliction is in jeopardy of not putting on another show?
"I just don't want to get ahead of myself. I'm just not that guy. Until we get things finalized and until I have 10 fights under my belt, I'm just not gonna be that guy. You don't know what's going to happen in this industry, the economy is not doing well."
Atencio said he's trying get up to speed on the business as fast as possible. It'll be interesting to see how things shake out. Between Trump, Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime, you have to think they saw enough positives to keep rolling with the Affliction fight promotion. He also mentioned some interest in working with Strikeforce.
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