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Affliction Going Back to Just Selling Those Shirts with the Skulls on Them

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Tragic, simply tragic news from the world of MMA today, as the Affliction MMA/clothing operation is, ahem, "simplifying":

⇥⇥After promoting two critically acclaimed but financially disastrous mixed martial arts cards, Affliction on Friday first canceled its pay-per-view card scheduled for Aug. 1 and then opted to get out of the promotional business.⇥⇥

⇥⇥Affliction released a statement Friday evening in which it announced “a collaboration with the UFC.” It confirmed that it will cease operations as a fight promoter and that its clothing division will become a UFC sponsor.⇥⇥

In retrospect, it's awfully hard to justify putting any confidence into a company called "Affliction," right? I mean, how could a company that's actually named after a synonym for "suffering" possibly go belly-up? What are the odds on that one?

The news that most people will get from this announcement, which was completely inevitable in the wake of Josh Barnett's positive steroid test and the subsequent collapse of Affliction's PPV deal, is that beastman Fedor Emelianeko is now unshackled from his deal with the Canadian franchise. Oh, and just in time to challenge Brock Lesnar! How about that!

Dana White, he of the healthy ego, will likely react to all of this news with a puffed chest and a charitable press release. Deep down, though, he must be relieved that Emelianeko, the only plausible opponent left for Lesnar, is probably free to deal with now. 

Sure, Emelianeko isn't yet committed to UFC--there's been no announcement about whether the Affliction-affiliated fighters have been completely released or if UFC is acquiring their contracts--but come on, there's no serious reason why Lesnar-Emelianeko can't eventually happen soon anymore.


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.