I am 100% torn on Affliction.
On one hand, Tom Atencio annoys the shit out of me wanting to fight Dana White and thinking getting in the ring later this month in Florida somehow makes him more committed to the sport than the guy who made it what it is in North America.
I hate that I have to wait six months between shows. Seriously, with the financial backers that are in place for this organization, you're telling me you can't run a show more than once every six months?
But at the same time, the six month gap means every Affliction card is loaded. I mean LOADED. Take the poorly named Affliction: Trilogy card set for August 1st at the Honda Center in Anaheim:
Fedor vs. Josh Barnett.
Sylvia vs. Buentello - admittedly not that awesome...
Babalu vs. Gegard Mousasi (pictured)
Vitor Belfort vs. Jorge Santiago
Jay Hieron vs. Paul Daley
Dan Lauzon vs. Chris Horodecki
Other than the Sylvia vs. Buentello bout, I'd pay to see the rest of the card.
And you have to give Affliction credit for bringing in a guy like Mousasi and finding a quality opponent for him.
The reigning DREAM middleweight champ is riding a 12 fight winning streak and has done it over top tier competition in various weight classes. After earning the win in the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix, Mousasi stepped up to fight in the same Super Hulk tournament as Jose Canseco and came away with a first round submission of Mark Hunt.
Now, he comes to North America to spread his name and keep notching wins, something I believe he will do against the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Sobral. Nothing against Babalu, but Mousasi is on the cusp of making the Keyboard Kimura Pound for Pound Rankings.
While I love the UFC having competition - because competition makes everyone better - I can't help but wish deep down that the Trilogy card is exactly what the name implies: the third and final chapter of Affliction MMA.
No matter how stack the cards are, six months is a long time to wait and you have to know that the UFC would snap up a bunch of the Affliction talent - as well as make a monster push to sign Fedor - and having all the best talent in the world under one roof is far better than anything having a twice a year competitor could bring.