Reliable sources have confirmed that the UFC and Affliction recently held preliminary discussions surrounding a potential partnership arrangement. The story was first broken by our friends over at MMAWeekly.
According to sources close to the situation, the UFC approached Affliction about allowing the clothing company back into the fold, i.e. permitting fighters to sport Affliction attire and allowing Affiction to promote their brand during UFC events. There was also talk of a possible Affliction/UFC apparel deal. In exchange, the UFC would ask that Affliction cease all attempts at promoting MMA events.
Affliction has been banned UFC events since the beginning of this year after Affliction announced that it would throw it’s hat into the MMA promotion ring.
A meeting which included Affliction VP Tom Atencio and UFC President Dana White took place on Sept. 26 where the two sides attempted to flesh out a basis for an agreement. Both sides went away stating that they would continue discussions at a later date.
Two weeks following, the sides held a conference call that ended badly. Insults and profanity laced tirades were bandied about according to reports; after which chance at a deal was lost.
Further cementing this assertion, MMAWeekly is reporting that Affliction and CBS are currently in talks to work out a television deal that would see Affliction become the successor of the now defuct EliteXC.
CBS and EliteXC teamed up for three primetime Saturday Night events that saw generally mixed but encouraging results before ProElite went out of business due to a mix of financial concerns and controversy surrounding possible fight tampering.
The fact that CBS is willing to take a flier on a second MMA promotion after the controversy surrounding the departure of ProElite speaks to the popularity of the sport of MMA and the faith that the company has in its growth potential. It would also essentially finish off what was left of any chance of a UFC/Affliction partnership for the foreseeable future.