(Affliction COO Michael D Cohen, rocking Fedor’s velcro WAMMA belt)
The thing I hate the most about Affliction isn’t that they provide us with impressive cards and entertaining events. I actually kinda dig that. It’s the whole ‘smoke and mirrors’ game I feel like they’re always playing with everyone, trying to hide the state of their business and the true nature of their relationships with the Trumps and Golden Boy. The entire structure of their company has looked confused and disorganized from the start, which isn’t being helped any by the amount of contradictions that go on all the time between key people.
Take for example this interview with ‘Affliction COO’ Michael D. Cohen with MMA Fanhouse. Cohen admits his involvement is on an ‘as needed basis’, but still feels comfortable confirming things that main guy Tom Atencio won’t, like the fact that Affliction will continue to operate after their third show and that everyone is silly for somehow thinking ‘Trilogy’ implies the company’s third event is their last one. He then follows this up by accusing us MMA websites of predicting Affliction’s demise to cook up traffic:
Why do you think there are always so many rumors circulating about the demise of Affliction?
You know, it’s interesting, Ariel. This is the not the first time I have heard these rumors. These rumors existed even as Affliction was doing the first event, “Affliction: Banned.” And we’re coming close to a year and three months, and yet the fight cards seem to be getting better; the production certainly has gotten better; the name recognition of Affliction has certainly increased astronomically. So again, these are just rumors by the same people who have been making these statements for the better part of 14, 15 months already.
Who do you think is starting these rumors?
Well, I would probably have to say some of these smaller MMA (Web) sites, believing that it will probably drive some attention to their site. There is no accuracy to the statements that they make. Affliction is a company that has shown its resilience and has done very well even during these rough economic times.
LOL @ “This is not the first time I have heard these rumors.” Helen Keller has heard the rumors, for fuck’s sake.
The reason everyone has been predicting Affliction’s demise from the day they put ink to paper on many of their key contracts is because those key contracts basically made it impossible for Affliction to make any money. The REPORTED payrolls (this is important because top guys like Fedor and Barnett are getting hefty undisclosed fees as well) for the first two events were over 3 million bucks each, for fuck’s sake.
Maybe Cohen should blame basic math skills, because that’s all you need to recognize the fact that Affliction took a wash on it’s first two events and will most likely take one again with their third event. This isn’t to criticize the two events themselves, which were decent and great respectively. But a quality product cannot survive if the business side of things are not healthy. I get why guys like Michael D Cohen and Tom Atencio keep trying to convince us otherwise, but honestly it just makes me trust them less to hear them pretend things are great. With the way they’re talking, you’d never know that the big story last month was Affliction’s ‘closer to happening than you’d imagine’ scheme to take UFC 100 down in a death grip with their final event.