Update: Affliction Clothing Back in UFC Fold

By Sherdog.com Staff Jul 25, 2009
Affliction Entertainment has ceased all promotional efforts effective immediately, and has hashed out a deal to become a brand sponsor for its former rival, the UFC.

Yahoo Sports first reported of the industry shake-up, which Sherdog.com also confirmed with numerous sources.

UFC President Dana White remained elusive on the subject during an interview with ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.

“Affliction hasn’t made any real comment yet [on its future],” White said. “These guys are good at making clothes. We’re in the fight business. That’s what we do. There’s going to be a lot of interesting things happening over the next couple of weeks.”

White, however, hinted at plans for a major press conference on July 31.

“There are going to be a lot of crazy things,” White said. “I’m going to have a laundry list of things I’m going to mention.”

Affliction, which co-promoted two events with M-1 Global in July 2008 and January 2009, cancelled its Aug. 1 show on Friday morning, roughly 60 hours after it got word that Josh Barnett would not be licensed by the California State Athletic Commission to face Fedor Emelianenko in the main event due to an alleged positive pre-test for steroids. The sudden about-face has left 22 fighters left to scramble for new assignments.

M-1 Global represents Emelianenko as both a promoter and management team. Representatives from M-1 Global, all en route to the U.S. on Friday, could not be reached for comment.

In exchange for ad space on the coveted Octagon and its fighters, it was reported that Affliction had agreed to cease all promoting operations. The same deal was presented to Affliction last October, but was rejected by at least one of the company’s executives, said a source who was close to the negotiations.

Affliction began its relationship with the UFC in 2006, sponsoring fighters to wear its popular brand at events. The two companies then fell out over business practices and Affliction entered the fight game as a promoter. The clothing brand was promptly banned as a sponsor at UFC events.

This story was updated at 10:03 p.m. ET to include White’s comments to ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.
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