Let out the war cry and UFC is generally ready to go at it, guns a blazing.
Affliction, a successful apparel distributor, is trying to jump into the MMA game in a big way debuting wth a star-studded card on July 19th. The event at the Honda Center in Anaheim features fights like Fedor Emelianenko-Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett-Pedro Rizzo and Andrei Arlovski-Ben Rothwell. It's a must-watch card for hardcore MMA fans. But will casual fans fork over the bucks for a pay-per-view card when UFC may have an event on free television the same night?
UFC isn’t happy about the competition, especially considering the Affliction 'Banned' payroll which is believed to be in excess of $3 million. A number denied by Affliction VP Tom Atencio. Even the most star-studded UFC events only check with payrolls just over a $1 million.
The first official signs of angst came when some media folks were reporting that they had received a long list of does and don’ts before UFC 84 that included Affliction wear being prohibited as cage-side wear. UFC also made sure to blank out the Affliction name on all t-shirts that appeared during the UFC 84 preview show on Spike TV.
Now it sounds like UFC is working on officially 'sticking it' to Affliction's PPV by putting that free card on Spike TV the same evening. Reports are that the event would take place in Las Vegas. There’s no word yet on the Nevada Athletic Commission website of an upcoming event on July 19th.
Various websites are reporting that fighters have been contacted about the possibility of fighting on July 19th. Sherdog.com says that Wanderlei Silva and Brandon Vera have been contacted. MMAMania.com states UFC heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez has also been asked about the date. Stay tuned.