Affliction “Banned” starting out on the right FootIt’s hard to believe given its style and popularity that Affliction Clothing Brand has only been around since August 2005. The brand well known for sponsoring only the biggest and most popular stars has made its mark within the combat sports world. Sponsoring such fighters as boxing MW champion Kelly Pavlik and former MW champion Bernard Hopkins. In the world of MMA UFC HW Champion Randy Couture and Pride FC HW champion Fedor Emelianenko can be found at the top of the list of MMA stars sponsored. Attempting to make its move from clothing brand to fight promotion, the Affliction brand has created the “Banned” name. Holding its very first press conference in Los Angeles California Tuesday, Affliction officially announced its first event is to be held at the Honda Center in Anaheim Ca on July 19th. They also announced Affliction Banned has teamed up with M-1 and Roy Engle Brecht to Co promote the event. In a step in the right direction they have also teamed up with Fox Sport Network looking for some great exposure for the promotion. FSN’s Executive VP George Greenberg who was there that day announced for the first time on basic cable the station would broadcast live the first hour of the event. In this fist hour two fights are to be aired, a HW bout between Alexander Emelianenko and Paul buentello and a LW contest between Savant young and Sam Stout.
In attendance for the press conference undefeated Pride FC HW champion Fedor Emelianenko talked about his upcoming super fight with Former HW champion Tim “the Maniac” Silva. While both men complemented each other you could tell Silvia was anxious to get into the ring with #1 HW fighter in the world.
Also in attendance fresh off his win in Japan over Jeff Monson the always comical Josh Barnett. While sitting next to his July 19th opponent Pedro Rizzo, Barnett showed nothing but class jokingly commenting how it took 2 punches to KO him last time instead of one. Rizzo always humble commented on how he expects a war and will not be taking Barnett lightly.
The rest of the fighters that attended the press conference were UFC veterans Renato Sobral and Mike Whitehead along with IFL superstar Ben Rothwell and Team Oyama fighter Fabio Negao. While Sobral and Whitehead commented on their up and coming fight, Rothwell joked about his TBA opponent being tough fight. Although a rumor many people expect Andre Arlovski to be his opponent named for the July 19th card.
While apologizing for negao’s opponent Matt “the law” Lindland absence, Affliction announced the signing of top ten LWH fighter and Pride FC superstar Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Also announced was the selling of over 250,000 dollars worth of tickets in the first 30 minutes of opening day, which makes a statement that the event as they predicted could sell out.
If Affliction “Banned” is looking to become a premiere MMA organization they certainly have the finances, promoting and marketing ability to do so. All will depend on this first card but as it looks for now they seem to be starting out on the right foot.