Finally! The long awaited answer to the question “Who will fight Fedor on August 1st?” The answer: NO ONE. Yep, that’s right, Affliction 3 is down for the count:
In a matter of days Affliction Entertainment’s “Trilogy” event when from promising the top heavyweight fight in mixed martial arts to being cancelled outright, multiple sources confirmed to SI.com Friday morning.
Affliction Entertainment vice president Tom Atencio began making calls with the news Friday morning to fighters scheduled to appear on the Aug. 1 card, SI.com has learned.
The funny thing about all this was that Josh Barnett’s removal from the card actually caused a much bigger promotional stir than if the match had just gone on as is. Since news came out on Wednesday, everyone has been speculating on who could face Fedor and there was quite a bit of heat being generated as people slowly warmed up to the possibility of Vitor Belfort or Brett Rogers fighting, while others gabbed about fantasy matches. All in all, as far as disasters go it wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be. Josh Barnett was never the main sale, he was just the best foil they could find for Fedor.
But now the event is toast. My bet is Affliction’s accountant (who’s hair has turned snow white from the horrors he has witnessed over the past year) took a look at how much a failed PPV event would run them, took a look at how much it would cost just to pay everyone off, and decided it wasn’t worth it.
It probably didn’t help that a whole bunch of people tried to take advantage of the situation and milk Affliction for as much money as they could to fight Fedor. This reminds me of that tale of the town that took a kindly film project and ran it into the ground with their greed. Or was that the Radioactive Man episode in Simpsons? Whatever the case, I think there’s a lesson to be learned here. Possibly 10 or 20 actually.
I’ve gotta give Affliction some props though … in spite of all the odds and red ink, they were gonna pull this card off right up until the point where they got an atomic teep to the nuts from God. Many of us (myself included) basically bet the farm on Affliction 3 never happening, and I guess we’re right now. But I’d have to be the love child of John Edwards and Miss Cleo to even come close to guessing how this one turned out.