Amidst much rumor and speculation, there is still much rumor and speculation. MMAWeekly.com, however, has confirmed with multiple sources that the Ultimate Fighting Championship is nearing the finalization of a July 19 event to counter the pay-per-view debut of the new mixed martial arts promotion from Affliction.
There has been much talk of a main event between Wanderlei Silva and Brandon Vera. That bout is still in question, though Yahoo! Sports' Dave Meltzer reported on Monday that Silva turned down the bout due to lack of time to prepare. Whether that bout comes to fruition or not, sources indicate that other fighters are in final negotiations to compete for the UFC on July 19.
The UFC's event, if finalized, is expected to take place at The Palms in Las Vegas and air live on the promotion's basic cable television partner Spike TV. The network currently denies that there is an event scheduled for that date, but has consistently worked closely with the UFC to facilitate its programming needs.
Affliction has partnered with billionaire Donald Trump for its MMA venture, Affliction Entertainment. Its first event, dubbed "Banned," features a main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia, along with several other UFC and Pride veterans, especially heavyweights.
Affliction's initial offering is of course, pay-per-view, expected to carry a suggested retail price tag of $39.95.
If the UFC's counter-offering does materialize, it is unlikely to carry much star power, as most of the organization's premier fighters are already scheduled for other events. The UFC does have a trump card of its own, however, in Spike TV. The network is available in 96.1 million homes for no additional charge.
All sources indicate that a final decision should be forthcoming on Tuesday, with a same day announcement if the event is solidified.