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Affliction vs. UFC 100 on July 11? Only Makes Sense as a Ploy

Will Affliction put on its third MMA show on July 11, going head to head with UFC 100? It sounds ridiculous, but a lot of people in the MMA world think it's going to happen.

Sam Calplan of Five Ounces of Pain was the first to report that Affliction was thinking of counter-programming UFC 100, and now Tom Hamlin of MMA Weekly reports that those plans are going forward, with Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett both fighting on the card, though not against each other. Affliction COO Michael D. Cohen told Ariel Helwani of, "We are exploring several different dates including that July 11th date."

Obviously, if Affliction wants to become a viable MMA promotion, this is insane. The whole MMA world will be focused on UFC 100 and the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas that weekend. As great as Fedor and Barnett are, they're nowhere near the draws among North American MMA fans that Brock Lesnar and Georges St. Pierre are. Affliction's show would get buried in the hype for UFC 100.

So it really only makes sense for Affliction to do this if it's a ploy. Maybe Affliction sees this as part of an effort to get UFC to the negotiating table or get publicity. But Affliction can't possibly view a head-to-head battle with the UFC as a good way to grow as an MMA promotion.

I think both of Affliction's shows have provided some high-quality, entertaining MMA, and I'd love to see a third show like that, especially if it's headlined by Fedor against a top heavyweight opponent. I don't know if we're going to see a third show, but if we do, I do not believe it will be on July 11.