Monday, 18 May 2009
Affliction: Be loyal to your fighters!
Andrei Arlovski is an ex UFC heavyweight champion. He has not actually been UFC heavyweight champion since April 15th, 2006. There have been three since then, and two interim belt holders. When his contract ended with the UFC, he remained out of contract, checking his options for a while before deciding to look to Affliction. From the moment the contact was signed, Andrei became an Affliction fighter. He wore the T-shirts and made the media appearances. He was given the chance to fight fedor for the Wamma belt, and that’s where the perspective changed. The Affliction owners started hyping up the match as Fedor vs another UFC champion. Tom’s video blog showed him texting Dana and inviting him along to see “your boy get destroyed.” After Fedor won the fight, the Affliction owners could be seen dancing around the ring, hugging eachother with joy at the knockout. Absolutely no class. This was not a cross promotion fight with the UFC, this was between two Affliction fighters, and both should have been supported with neutrality by their management. Whether Affliction like it or not, in that particular scenario only Dana White can negatively comment on his ex fighter, because he is not promoting him anymore. This is something he decided not to do on this occasion, but was happy to when Fedor beat Tim Sylvia. If Affliction look deep enough, they may find that a lot of their fighters have been UFC champions or contenders at one time or another. Do they still regard Vitor or Josh as UFC fighters? Who do Tom & Co see as the genuine Affliction fighters? What other fights might they take sides with? We all know that this only applies to whoever fights Fedor, their golden ticket. Its all just transparent buffing of the shiny Wamma belt, which is meaningless to all other promotions. The belt is meant to discredit the authenticity of other promotions champions, specifically the UFC heavyweight belt. A shiny hook that the Fertitas have no need to bite. Affliction would love the pay per view money and the instant revenue that being part of a UFC promotion promises. The UFC have no need or reason to co-promote with Affliction. Sure, everyone would love to see Fedor fight current UFC fighters, but its never going to happen that way. Be happy with your signed fighters Affliction, treat them with respect and promote them without favouritism. That is how you will build an exciting and loyal roster, not by treating them as outsiders to feed to your champion.