The word ‘trilogy’ obviously refers to the number three, but the word also has connotations to a completion of a set of three. So obviously there was a ruckus when Affliction Entertainment aptly named their third MMA event Affliction: Trilogy. While company VP Tom Atencio isn’t promising anything past their August 1st event, he has said that he intends to keep Fedor Emelianenko employed for another 3 years.
Although the reigning WAMMA heavyweight champion’s impending free agency officially kicks off the very second his fight with Josh Barnett comes to it’s conclusion, it doesn’t keep Affliction’s front-man up at night one bit. Atencio is confident that when it’s time to belly-up to the negotiating table, he and his Russian comrades will be able to come to terms.
“Well, contractually, yes, but we have a great relationship with him, so we’re really not too concerned about that,” Atencio said regarding Emelianenko and his contract. “We’re gonna move forward with M1-Global, they’re our partners, we just haven’t finalized the little nuances of the contract. But yeah, we are looking to bring him on until 2012.”
If – more likely when – Affliction’s cards roll out, the easygoing VP knows that they can’t survive as a company if they keep riding the Emelianenko Express as Barnett will mark the soon-to-be 33-year-old’s third fight in 25 months.
“Fedor’s record is proven,” Atencio stated. “It’s unmatched. A 30-1 record, and the one was on a stoppage due to a cut. But Fedor, he needs some time off too. We can’t just keep bringing Fedor back [event after event].”
And that’s why he’s so amped about “Trilogy.” Although it’s a bit away from completion, the roster thus far is impressive. With the likes of the aforementioned Barnett, former UFC champ Vetor Belfort, former Dream middleweight king Gegard Mousasi and the ever-popular Tim Sylvia, this star-studded cast is more than qualified to carry the card without the presence of “The Last Emperor.”
“If you look at the fighters we have, you look at “Babalu” [Renato Sobral], we have Vitor, we have Paul Buentello, Tim Sylvia,” Atencio said to us. “So we have heavyweights, but we also have other weight classes that can definitely carry a card . . . we are looking at other main events, be it Vitor or Gegard. There’s other guys in this event that can be the main card, but we have chosen to have Fedor on the main card.”
“This is the fight the world has been wanting to see, anybody that knows MMA knows that this is the ultimate match-up,” Atencio continued. “Both are fantastic mixed martial artists, as well as friends, so it’s going to be an exciting night.
“So this is the pinnacle, we are reaching Mount Everest.”