Affliction, UFC Reject Partnership

This can probably be filed under Mission Impossible, but believe it or not, Affliction and the UFC actually discussed an actual business partnership, according to MMAWeekly.com and verified by several MMA industry sources; as was expected, Affliction turned the UFC down flat.  How did this happen, you’re wondering?  Read further.

Initially, Affliction had the basics of a deal put together that would have allowed the organization (Affliction) back into the UFC as a major clothing sponsor, with the possibility of a co-branded Affliction/UFC line of apparel.  In exchange, Affliction would agree to end their fight promoting and apparently, select fighter contracts from Affliction would have been bought out by the UFC.

On September 26, a meeting took place between executives from Affliction and the UFC when the proposal first started; Affliction’s Tom Atencio, UFC’s Dana White and allegedly Randy Couture and his lawyer attended the meeting.  A source states that the meeting went cordially and Affliction higher-ups agreed to come up with a proposal of their own and both sides agreed to meet again to continue the discussions. 

Things went downhill from there as the Affliction ad campaign for the EliteXC: Heat event had several ads mentioning Fedor Emelianenko‘s return to the Affliction brand, which gave the UFC pause on any future agreement with Affliction.  Also factor in the fact that Affliction has exclusive clothing licensing agreements with Couture and Georges St. Pierre; specifically, Xtreme Couture is controlled by Affliction.

2 weeks passed since their initial meeting with no meaningful dialogue between Affliction and the UFC; however, on Monday, a conference call took place between Affliction co-founder Todd Beard, UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta and possibly others.  to make a long story short here, the conversations went down the toilet as both parties went the childish route, spewing profanities at each other.  So it is safe to say that Affliction, for many of the same reasons that they parted ways with the UFC, let the opportunity to re-join them slip away.

There would have been benefits for both sides had they agreed to a partnership; the UFC would’ve had some top-tier fighters on their roster that would have supplemented their heavyweight division (Andrei Arlovski and Emelianenko) and basically eliminated Affliction from the fight promoting business.  Affliction, on the other hand, would have re-established a proven revenue stream and latched into a MMA organization that is far and beyond the preeminent MMA brand on a global basis.  Lesson learned from all of this?  Simple – the more things change, the more they remain the same.

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One Response to “Affliction, UFC Reject Partnership”

  1. […] Affliction, UFC Reject Partnership This can probably be filed under Mission Impossible, but believe it or not, Affliction and the UFC actually discussed an actual business partnership, according to MMAWeekly.com and verified by several MMA industry sources; … […]

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