Friday, September 26, 2008

David Blaine Meets Kimbo Slice



See famed street magician take two punches to his abdomen from MMA fighter Kimbo Slice.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

De La Hoya Mixing Business and Pleasure?


(Affliction moving forward from its most recent promotion. Photo from mmamania.com)

With his last hurrah coming in less than 3 months, Oscar De La Hoya seems to be taking Manny Pacquaio as serious as a lightweight sparring session. Tom Atencio, Affliction Vice President, recently announced a merger that solidifies this blog's title: Affliction, the MMA and apparel name, will join forces with Golden Boy Promotions. In the past, De La Hoya trained with former undefeated UFC upstart Diego Sanchez. But in this new business venture who will really benefit?

On a recent Inside MMA video, hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice were unanimous in their assumption that boxing will probably benefit more due to the emergence of MMA. While it is true that boxing has been in need of stars for the past decade, Affliction will most likely come out the big winner here.

Let's look at how Affliction was doing before it decided to join alliances with GBP. First, the apparel juggernaut was banned from free advertising on UFC. Next, it received even more free publicity by some fighter's suing the UFC for the right to be paid to advertise (ads on blogs ... hmm). Then the brand expanded by having top boxing luminaries wearing their shirts. Soon after they scooped the best heavyweight and matched him with one of the last UFC former heavyweight champions, Tim Sylvia.

Now is when things get a bit interesting. The UFC, unlike a myriad of other MMA organizations/promotions, openly display their PPV sales figures. Affliction's Banned PPV event did pretty well, at least according to Tom Atencio. He defended the PPV sales numbers rather than letting the sales figures speak for themselves, only saying, "I’m not going to release the (official) number, but it’s already well beyond what people have been saying. Well beyond.”

I would love to see either GBP or the UFC get away with that comment.

And this was with the "help" of fight fan Donald Trump and competition from UFC that same night.

And with October's cancellation of another fight card that did not include Fedor Emelianenko, rumors of yet another MMA organization gone bust ran rampant on the Internet. But give Atencio credit, with his brand's shine dimming he made an announcement that put an extra spark into his next promotion. The question here is will HBO, which already rejected a TV deal with the UFC, openly broadcast MMA fights along with boxing cards?

In the end, maybe both MMA and boxing will benefit from this merger. Affliction will always have it apparel and boxing will always be in need of an outlet for its future and already existing talent. There has been talk that both promoters will stage a mixed MMA and boxing fights separately, but on the same show. But there remains one lingering question: Who decides which discipline is the main event?

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao resumes training.

Fitness Jiu Jitsu