Affliction COO: Our announcement is coming, and it's not about toys
With news that Affliction had postponed its second event, which was originally planned for October in Las Vegas, many mixed martial arts fans feared the beginning of the end for the clothier-turned-promoter.
But fear not, says the organization. Affliction is promising a forth-coming announcement that will not only explain the decision, but change the face of the sport.
Or so it claims. This is something we've heard before in the MMA business, but Affliction COO and Special Counsel to Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, insists that this is one announcement that will merit all the hype.
"When we make the announcement, the reasons for this will all be self-evident," Cohen said. "The difference is, we're not just announcing a toy line."
The jab at Zuffa's attempt to play up a toy licensing deal is to be expected, especially considering the trouble Affliction was having promoting an event in the UFC's backyard.
In earlier reports, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio said the UFC was making life difficult for his promotin in Vegas, though Cohen downplayed any effect that might have had on their decision to move the event.
"Zuffa had zero to do with this," he said. "They have certainly made our introduction into the world of MMA more difficult, but they're not the reason for this."
So what is? For one thing, the rescheduling allows Affliction to add Fedor Emelianenko to the January lineup, now that his injured hand will have time to heal. As for who he might face, Cohen said the organization isn't sure yet if it will be Andrei Arlovski, who was slated to face Josh Barnett in the main event of the October outing, or someone else.
In other words, Cohen isn't giving it away until the announcement, which he said would come "within two weeks."
Atencio seems to be on a different time table, however, telling media yesterday that there would be some type of announcement during Saturday's Juan Manuel Marquez-Joel Casamayor boxing match. The VP's statement led industry insiders to speculate that the upcoming news might involve a partnership or co-promotion with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. Affliction is known to have close ties within the Golden Boy organization, and has sponsored boxers, like Kelly Pavlik, in the past.
Other speculations have centered on Affliction inking a deal with HBO, possibly through the aid of their boxing counterparts.
As for those rumors, Cohen would only say he could not "confirm or deny them" and would prefer to keep Affliction's big news a surprise until the official announcement.
"We don't want any of the competing leagues or naysayers to look to cause conflict," he explained.
That is, not any more than they already have.