Since the announcement of the Affliction promotion a few months ago, everyone from fans to fighters to other promoters have been watching the new organization with great interest as to their business plan for the mixed martial arts industry.
Already entrenched as a staple for the MMA world through their clothing line, Affliction MMA will debut on July 19 at the Honda Center in California with a star studded line-up including the main event pitting top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko against former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia.
But before the promotion can even officially launch its first show, the future of Affliction is already a hot button topic with many MMA fans. Company vice president Tom Atencio spoke to MMAWeekly Radio about future plans for the MMA division of the clothing giant.
"Right now we're looking at three shows," said Atencio. "We're looking at July 19 at the Honda Center, then we've got end of October, possibly November for the second show, then the third show will be February."
Understanding the star power associated with the first show, Atencio said it will be a hard act to follow, but the promotion is dedicated to putting on another top show. They also plan to showcase lighter weight classes, differing from the debut show, which features a number of heavyweight bouts.
"So we're looking at three shows right now. Everything's going to go as planned. I'm really confident in what we're doing," he commented. "The first one's obviously going to be hard to follow, but we're going to do our best and we're looking at working with the fans and seeing what they want. And obviously after this first fight we have the winners of this first fight that can fight each other, and then I'm looking at lighter weight classes as well."
Having been a fan of the sport since its inception, Atencio is looking forward to displaying everything from the featherweight division on up in future Affliction shows.
"I've got Savant Young and Mark Hominick fighting on the undercard at 145 (pounds). I'm a big fan of the lightweights, so I'd like to bring in more 145's, 155's, 170's and bring in the lighter guys who can just stand and bang and keep going for days," he stated about Affliction's future weight classes.
As for the locations of the next two shows, the vice president noted that while nothing has been secured they are looking at a few options as far as venues go.
"Right now we're looking at a couple different places, one outside of the west coast, one on the west coast and then the third is possibly on the east coast, so if we can get over there," he said.
The first Affliction show has sold approximately 8,000 tickets so far according to Atencio with the company picking up the promotion and marketing machine over the next few weeks. They are hoping for a sellout of the arena.