I’m really starting to dig this whole “Josh Gross at Sports Illustrated” thing. It seems like they’ve basically asked him to dig up the best and juiciest information and throw it into regular columns. This is way better than before, where Josh was spending all his time editing and organizing the 1000 articles from 1000 monkeys at Sherdog. The dude’s got resources out the ying-yang, and it’ll be interesting to see the dirt he digs up. If his anti-Dana bias bugs you, consider it a nice counter-balance to Kevin Iole, who’s quite possibly giving Dana a reach around right now.
The latest column is all about Affliction, and Gross gets the goods on the main lineup as it looks right now:
- Fedor vs Sylvia
- Barnett vs Rizzo
- Babalu vs Whitehead
- Lindland vs Negao
- Rothwell vs ??? (possibly Arlovski!)
While not quite the ultimate fanboy wet dream card, it’s pretty close. If Affliction pulls this off, it’ll be a pretty impressive feat. But to do that, they’re now going to have to deal with the California State Athletic Commission, also know as the WORST COMMISSION IN THE FREE WORLD. And they’re already setting up the hurdles that Affliction will have to clear:
After a similar situation arose when Fight Entertainment Group held an event at the Los Angeles Coliseum last June, Garcia now requires a bond that covers twice the fighters’ costs. Though Atencio denied rumors of a $6 million fight purse (he claims that Emelianenko’s reported $1.5 million and Sylvia’s $800,000 are inflated by public discussion), he said Affliction would have no issue covering the bond.
Aside from promoter/regulatory body issues, part of the licensing process requires that both Sylvia and Barnett, former UFC heavyweight champions who tested positive for steroids during their time at the top, provide urine samples under CSAC supervision.
My bet is this is just the beginning of requests from the CSAC. Even if Affliction is on the level and ready to burn the world’s largest pile of cash to make this happen, I anticipate some CSAC chicanery that will cause at least a few problems in the coming weeks.