My Thoughts on Affliction

Affliction looks to be doing great.  They have a host of recognizable names under contract and Affliction: Banned on July 19th looks to be a good card.  I cannot guarantee much, but I can promise half the guys on their card will win their fights.  Affliction seems to have signed two more notable guys to fight on that card in Andrei Arlovski and Vitor Belfort.  Just look at who they have signed it looks like an all star cast: Fedor, Tim Sylvia, Ben Rothwell, Josh Barnett, Arlovski, Belfort, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Babalu, Mike Pyle, Mike Whitehead, Matt Lindland, Fabio Negao, Pedro Rizzo, and Aleksander Emelianenko.  They may not be done either.  I think they could sign Tito Ortiz.  Here are my thoughts.  Affliction’s roster kind of reminds me of the senior circuit of professional golf.  If ten years ago you looked at a senior gold tournament you may have seen names like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player along with a host of other well known guys, but they are in the senior circuit because they cannot compete with the younger guys anymore.  Now, I know some of Affliction’s guys can compete with anyone still, but none are up and coming.  They are all here and going.  Even their best guys are beyond their prime.  Don’t get me wrong they will attract crowds and make interesting match ups.  I will order it and watch with excitment, but I still think they are overrated.  Look at who they have signed…

Fedor: Universally ranked as the best heavyweight in the world, but refuses to fight top level competiton.  Sylvia will be the best guy he has fought in a while.  He could be the best heavyweight in the world, but he hasn’t proven it yet.

Sylvia:  Lost to Nogueira and Couture.  Is probably past his prime and when he gets on the ground he is done for.  He is over the hill. 

Lindland: More interested in politics then fighting now, and that is not an insult.  He is still a top 10 middleweight, but he isn’t going to be forever. 

Barnett: He isn’t old, but he has fighter mileage on him.  How much longer can he go

Pedro Rizzo: 5 years ago this would have been huge

Arlovski: Has been fairly boring in his last few fights. He isn’t the Arlovski of old. 

Belfort: Way past his prime.  Still can probably fight though.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Aleksander Emelianenko: In the shadow of their brothers.  Both are good and maybe underrated, but neither are their brothers.

Okay, so their guys will win fights.  Some are top ten guys for now, but the fact is they won’t be for much longer.  These guys are all on borrowed time.  Perhaps Affliction will attract more fighters and compete well with the UFC, but right now they are nothing more than the sernior circuit of MMA.   Go ahead sign the MMA stars of five years ago.  Go sign Cro Cop and Ortiz.  You may put one some good cards and make some money.  I will watch and see some good fights, but I am not watching to see the stars of MMA, I am watching because I am nostalgic.  If Affliction wants to do great it needs to develop talent.  These guys they have signed are just a band aid and will keep them going for a while, but not forever.

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