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Affliction’s dumb belt tightening idea?

It might be time to pull out all those pictures of Tom Atencio looking concerned. The post-coital glow from Affliction 1 has worn off and now we’re into the early stages of Affliction 2 planning. I’ve already offered up my suggestion of how to cut the fighter budget in half, but Atencio apparently has his own scheme:

Then Dave Meltzer reports that Affliction lost millions from its first foray into mixed martial arts on July 19. In spite of a solid event, pay-per-view (PPV) numbers are alleged to be (at best – and possibly a big stretch) 100,000 buys. Good, but a far cry from the 250-300,000 buys Affliction needed to possibly break even.

Rumor has it, in fact, Affliction honcho Tom Atencio is already asking fighters to take a 50 percent pay cut for its sophomore effort in Las Vegas later this year.

However, at least on of its most talented assets — victorious Affliction “Banned” fighter Josh Barnett — has already made a public statement that his answer will be “NO” if indeed asked.

Here’s a genius idea: why didn’t you sign fighters to contracts that were worth 50% to begin with? When I was looking at everyone’s salary from their first show, I was thinking that Affliction was paying twice as much as they should have for nearly everyone. A shrewd businessman could have gotten most of the guys for much cheaper. But hey … hindsight is 20/20. Who knew that signing all the free agents around for retarded sums of money could backfire??? I don’t even think anyone in the MMA blogosphere saw that one coming.

Now Atencio is gonna learn who his real friends are. For all Barnett’s talk of the Affliction guys being his best buds in the world, he seems ready to give them a big FUCK YOU if they ask him for a financial break. If this whole 50% thing is really true, there’s a good chance you’re gonna end up with an Affliction 2 card stacked with soft-hearted mushes like Tim Sylvia. Is this the end of zombie Shakespeare? I fear it may be.