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Not Bad, Affliction!

Ok, so now that the Affliction card is over, it’s time to try and play the MMA “sommelier” and determine whether or not this card was any damn good. I have to admit that while watching the HDnet undercard, I was thinking that the event was totally going to bomb. With the exception of the LC Davis fight, the fights were definitely underwhelming at best, and the tiny audience left me to believe that the attendance was going to be worst than the K-1 Dynamite show.

As far as a PayPer View event goes, I don’t think Affliction could have asked for a better outcome. By the time the big name fights started, people actually started showing up. All of the fights were exciting and the reffing was top notch. There were no bullshit stoppages, and so long as guys were defending well, no amount of ground and pound seemed to force them to intervene (much to the disappointment of Josh Barnett in the first round).

In terms of production value, if Affliction wants to tweak their formula to make a better show, they need to un-invite Tito from the commenting booth. His brain is not capable of handling live TV, and proper grammar is laughingly impossible when he’s “thinking” on the fly. His massive ego also seems to prevent him from properly interviewing fighters. The fact that he called Babalu one of the best Light Heavyweights “of the night” embarrassed me. Is it really that hard for you to admit that someone in your weight division has talent, Tito? It looked the entire night as though he was trying desperately to feel wanted by the audience. He seemed to want to scream out “hey guys, do you want to see me fight? Please say yes, otherwise they won’t agree to pay me a ridiculous amount of money!”

In terms of behind the scenes interviewers, they could not have picked worst. Scott Ferrall sounds like he’s been smoking for 300 years, and his greaseball companion, Chuck Zitto, is the type of extra that’s only at home during a Sopranos reunion (he spent 5 years in jail and used to be in the Hells Angels, so I’m sure he’s fucking killed at least one dude). They both looked like they had only met a day ago, and the interplay between the two was so terrible I simply tuned them out. I can’t imagine it’s that expensive to get real announcers who don’t sound as though they are slowly dying of throat cancer.

Apart from the occasional audio glitches, I thought production wise, it was a big improvement on the last show; except perhaps in the lighting department. I don’t know why, but everyone looked like a fucking zombie in the ring. The visual quality of the event could have benefited from a better lighting scheme. I understand that it’s hard to do, but this is really affliction’s biggest weakness, and they can’t cheap out on proper lighting if they want to really get the most out of the HD cameras they’re using to film the damn thing.

If there is a third card, which I hope there will be, Affliction is going to have to work pretty hard to shuffle guys around cleverly enough to still make an interesting event. Their roster isn’t exactly busting at the seams, and beyond attracting a few heavyweights, there just isn’t any depth to their divisions. I think now would be a good time to assess the feasibility of actually holding events on a regular basis. They’ll have to find more up-and-comers like Bobby Green that are hungry and want to make it in the fight world. It’s guys like him and LC Davis that give people a real show.

So for now, I’m done hating for no reason. Affliction delivered on their promise for a good event. If they want to repeat that success, however, they are going to need to start actually building a real organization with depth, rather than hand out a bunch of crappy looking belts. When the financial numbers come in, I guess we’ll see if that’s a possibility of not.