It's nice to have input from several experts in running a company but there has to be one answer man in the end. Who is the guy for Affliction's fight promotion? Tom Atencio runs the fight operations but if you listened to last week's conference call to promote the event, Affliction's COO Michael D. Cohen kept going over the top of Atencio, continually re-asserting that Affliction is the best promotion. Who cares? And furthermore why bring on more couter-programming ire from the UFC? The Affliction 2 show featuring Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski is this Saturday on pay-per-view.
Cage Writer sat down with Atencio to address the direction of the company and just how many people have input on the tough decisions. Atencio said he's simply not interested in bragging or speaking badly about the UFC:
"You're never going to hear me say that we’re going to be the best. You're never to hear me say we're going to crush everybody. I'm not that person. I'm never going to be that person, hopefully. Bottomline is, we are a legit company. I don’t think I need to prove that to anybody. I think our card speaks for itself. I've always given the UFC respect for what they’ve done."
Cohen didn't exactly take the same approach last week:
"There is no doubt in our minds that ultimately Affliction will be the Q-Tip of the mixed martial arts world. We will become the premier company when it comes to the fighters."
Atencio isn't onboard with that kind of talk:
"For me to say we're going to better than them is ridiculous. Can I compete with them, hopefully. They wouldn’t have counter-programmed us with the first show if we weren't."
Click below to hear Cage Writer and Atencio discuss the company's issues (ESPNRadio1100 w/Cofield):
Atencio also touched on his relationship with Golden Boy Promotions. The boxing promoter curiously schedule a live, free HBO fight just up the road from Anaheim's Honda Center at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. He said each group -- Affliction Clothing, Trump Inc. and Golden Boy brings special qualities to the table. He did point out though that he hopes there aren't too many of those chefs in the kitchen.
Cage Writer will be ringside/cageside with live updates at both Affliction 2 on Saturday and WEC 38 on Sunday.