Trump buys stake in Affliction, ex-UFC champ Arlovski signs on
Donald Trump has purchased a "significant" equity stake in Affliction Entertainment and inked former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title-holder Andrei Arlovski, Trump executive vice president and special counsel Michael D. Cohen told SI.com on Wednesday.
Trump is scheduled to formally announce the news at a press conference Thursday in New York City.
Arlovski, 29, confirmed his long-rumored signing and bout against Ben Rothwell with Sherdog.com. Affliction vice president Tom Atencio declined to comment.
Defending the UFC belt twice in 14 months after capturing it in February 2005 against Tim Sylvia, Arlovski (12-5) was on the open market after fulfilling the terms of his UFC contract. Following an exclusive negotiating period with the UFC, for which Arlovski fought 14 times since November 2000, and a subsequent phase when the Las Vegas-based organization had the right to match, the Belarusian chose to join a heavyweight division led by top-ranked Fedor Emelianenko.
Along with Sylvia and Josh Barnett, Arlovski is the third former UFC heavyweight champion to join the Affliction heavyweight ranks.
Trump's involvement in Affliction materialized following a press conference May 22 at the real-estate mogul's New York Trump Towers to announce "Banned," the clothing manufacturer's debut MMA promotion, Atencio said.
Arlovski's inaugural fight for Affliction is scheduled to take place on the undercard of the Emelianenko-Sylvia bout, set for July 19 on pay-per-view from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.