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Golden Boy / Affliction set to burn some bucks

It always amazes me when companies jump headfirst into something like MMA without ever checking to see if the pool they’re diving into has any fucking water. Mark Cuban has been a lot smarter about all this by sticking a toe in the water and then checking his bank account very carefully before continuing. Not so for the Golden Boy / Affliction teamup, who look like they wanna explode onto the scene:

The word behind the new Golden Boy Promotions/Affliction MMA organization is that they already have Matt “The Law” Lindland signed to a three-fight contract, and are chasing after a few other big name fighters as well. Fedor Emelianenko has been linked with the new organization, but according to Inside MMA they are also looking to sign Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell and Aleksander Emelianenko.

Rumor has it that they are looking to hold their first event sometime in June in Las Vegas, but obviously they’d have to have some fighters signed before holding an event.

Basically it looks like they want to pick up all the most expensive and difficult to work with free agents around. Add Tito Ortiz to the list of possible fighters and you’ve got yourself a long list of very pricey talent. I doubt they’d be putting everyone onto the same card but as it stands if they want to put together a high profile card they’ll be blowing millions of dollars on the talent alone.

No matter what kind of muscle Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy brings to the table, I very much doubt this new promotion is going to be able to come out of the gate making money. The real question is how much money are these guys ready to lose before they give up? If they really plan on bucking up and paying out for the people they say they want, they could end up KO’ing themselves before they even get rolling.

  • #1 jackal

    I wonder if it has dawned on them that there is a reason why those fighters arent signed with anybody.

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    Golden Boy know how to promote fights. Giving Don King and Top Rank a run for their money is more impressive than doing the same against Zuffa. But their business plan is not going to work out. All of those fighters that they plan to sign have no drawing power in the United States except Andrei Arlovski.

  • Matt (but I signed up as Mr. Unbelievable Pants)

    It all hinges on the name…

    What will it be? Golden Affliction? Affliction Boy? Super-mega Liver Punch Dream Stage Happiness Plaza?

  • Márcio

    They’re obviously not planning to make a profit with the first few shows. But getting all the best unsigned talent seems to be a decent strategy that will make them profitable in the long run.
    Also they should invest strong in the female fighters, female mma is overdue a push and I think that it has a huge untapped potential for creating new stars in the sport.

  • fightlinker

    I agree with you there. Props to EliteXC for having a little bit of it, but it really needs to be more than a token fight every 3-4 events

  • Xavier

    “Also they should invest strong in the female fighters, female mma is overdue a push and I think that it has a huge untapped potential for creating new stars in the sport.”


    You’ve seriously never watched a UFC event in a public bar, huh? From the above paragraph, it’s pretty fucking obvious that you haven’t. You confuse “making a star” with “making something 0.003 percent of the populance (hardcore MMA fans) like.”

  • fightlinker

    I don’t get what you’re talking about Xavier … are you saying based on your observations at a bar during an even where there are no female fighters that people don’t want to see female fighters?

  • Xavier

    Here, Fightlinker… an easy challenge for you next time you’re in America on business.

    Go out to a sports bar, any sports bar. Walk in and ask them who their favorite WNBA player and team is, who their favorite female boxer is, and then you can wrap it up by asking them if they enjoyed the USA women’s recent world cup championship in 2007.

    They’ll absolutely have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. Some will probably try to fake it, which you can tell with the last question. The USA women’s soccer team didn’t win the world cup in 2007. Nobody will know that though and will simply assume that they did due to the phrasing of the question. The only time that team got any tangible attention was when a few of them doffed their tops in celebration.

    The only female “athletes” that get attention are those in sports that are “hot” and take off their clothes for publications. Even that doesn’t really drive ratings for their sporting events. For all the attention say, Anna Kournikova got from men, it didn’t translate into any notable increase in male viewership of the women’s bracket of the US Open.

    Even hardcore MMA fans don’t watch female MMA for any technical skill as can be evidenced by this very blog where nobody comments on Carano’s ability, but rather her attractiveness. Other than their kissing the ass of Modafferi here (because she participates here, see the Sean Salmon principle as established by, there isn’t any mature interest in female’s MMA even by the most hardcore of all MMA fans. That’s why at least half of your “Jackal TV” are pathetic worked apartment catfight videos.

    While you can sell a female sports personality on attractiveness with magazines, pictures and message board topics, it isn’t going to translate into any real ratings, buyrates or attention for the female sport. Even the rare female boxer that gets popular (Ali’s daughter is a good example), nobody bought PPV’s to see her fight. They were interested in her story because of who she was, but had little interest in actually watching her compete and certainly would not buy a PPV where she were headlining.

    The idea that it would be “smart” to put money into creating a credible women’s division to “create new stars in the sport” is pure hardcore fan idiocy.

    Lastly, if you really want a wakeup call, check out studies done on the financial viability of female sports in the NCAA. The only reason they exist is because of title nine collegiate welfare run-off funding from male athletics. Even the best programs don’t make budget.

    Is all of this “right” or “proper”? Nope. Females should be more respected athletically. Is it going to happen? Nope, it won’t happen here and it won’t happen in the sports bars across the United States. Nobody cares unless there’s attractive faces with tits and ass and even then, they don’t really give a legitimate damn outside of the rise and fall of their pricks.

  • fightlinker

    Your arguments regarding popularity are the same that have existed for a very long time with the lightweight, featherweights and bantamweight divisions. And look at how these are all going … lightweight is considered one of the most exciting divisions out there, and even if people aren’t buying PPVs to watch the lightweights scrap like they do the LHWs, it’s the lightweights on the undercard which always make the PPVs shine and give the people what they wanna see.

    You’re already seeing the featherweights grow in popularity as the WEC develops and other promotions push the division because it’s an inexpensive way to get high skilled fighters who aren’t in the major leagues yet. I see a female division as the same thing.

    People come to fights to see fights. Will it take a while for a female division to draw like lightweights etc? Probably around the same amount of time as it will for people to care about the bantamweight division.

    I think you’re fooling yourself if you think a female division in the UFC wouldn’t be a decent success. The female division in EliteXC has done very well, and that’s with EliteXC handling it about as poorly as they possibly could, not developing any real talent or creating any kind of rankings. You don’t have to be a hardcore fan to wanna see a female MMA match during a show. An all female MMA sure, yeah. But just another division? Man, if Spike ran a female Ultimate Fighter, you better believe that shit would explode.

  • Márcio

    Xavier you’re boring, lost interest half way trough your long yawn of a rant. But you’re wrong!

  • Xavier

    “Your arguments regarding popularity are the same that have existed for a very long time with the lightweight, featherweights and bantamweight divisions. And look at how these are all going …”

    I do not see a female division as being anywhere analogous to lighter weight divisions. Again, I point to boxing, where lighter weight divisions have done very well historically but female boxing? Nope. I would never argue that about lightweight, featherweight or bantamweight divisions.

    Utter strawman on your part, unabashedly so.

  • Atom


    Not only did Xavier write something that I agree with, but he wrote ALOT… AND I AGREE WITH ALL OF IT. So much so that anything I could add would only be restating what he already wrote.

    Ryan- Please explain how EXC’s female division is successful, other than the fact that it hasn’t been scrapped yet.

  • MJC_123

    You talkin about Oscar De La Hoya he can afford to lose millions and millions on an MMA promotion and then put Judah vs Mosely on PPV an recoup it over….even though that is probably the biggest insult of the century askin people to pay for that.

    This could be very interesting….

  • Nachtfalter

    On the whole female thing… in all honesty, I haven’t really had the chance to watch a lot of women’s MMA so I’m not really an expert on the field but I’d like to comment on Xavier’s female boxing argument that is… well… wrong.

    As you might recognize from my name here I’m from Germany where boxing (unfortunately) still is pretty much the only combat sport with mainstream media coverage. And guess which boxing bout had the biggest ratings within the last one or two decades – it was Regina Halmich, Germany’s most successful female boxer ever, in her last title defense which was seen by about 12 million people. The sheer number might not be impressive to North Americans but trust me, it’s fucking huge for German TV of any kind, let alone boxing. There are only 83 million Germans period so the market share was really impressive.
    There is also a series of Fight Nights on a major German network that relies almost exclusively on the drawing power of Susi Kentikian, another female boxing champion who has got to be my favourite boxer (male or female) ever. And she’s not hot or anything, she’s just really exciting to watch and she’s got a huge fighting spirit.

    Sorry about the long post. All I’m saying is basically that if a female athlete provides the right mix of success, skills, excitement and charisma all you need to do is market her decently and she will become popular. That applies to boxing and it applies to MMA just the same.

  • fightlinker

    There ya go!

  • Ram

    Nachtfaler, that’s a nice story but you just don’t get it. I’m sure fem-combat’s interesting, but this the U S of A. We like our beer flat, our gas mileage low and our Hall Of Fame running backs doing the tango on national television. We like our men to be men and our women sexy. Any mixing of the two offends 8.6 lb White Jesus and is yet another sign of the gaying of America.

    Whatever. Xavier has a point — mainly, the American public is quite retarded — but handled right there are enough true fans out there to put together a successful female division. Sharpening the focus will be the trick, but there’s no magic potion. The failure of female boxing is an example what afterthought looks like, not the lack of a quality product and interest. The failure of NCAA female athletics is a product of a crowded market and a diluted set of rules that differentiates games most Americans are familiar with.

    If you build it (and push it up, and smash ‘em together), they will come…