Luke from BloodyElbow seems to think so:
I’ll discuss more tomorrow. It’s very late where I am and I’m very tired. What I will say is that Affliction is absolutely dreaming if they believe they can rival the UFC. Their PPV was horrendous to the point of unwatchability at times. The inclusion of Megadeth was beyond bizarre and the epitome of the word perfunctory. By contrast, the UFC product was tight, sound, crisp and cogent all the way through. A little repetitive? Yes. A little unoriginal at certain intervals? Yes. But by far the more professional product that cared more about the sport? Unequivocally, yes. The Affliction show was a metal concert with MMA fights in between. The UFC show was a showcase of high-end fighters battling their hearts out. The contrast couldn’t be more clear.
If you hold last night’s Affliction card up and compare it against UFC Fight Night, yeah … it’s gonna come up looking pretty shoddy. But expecting Affliction to compete with the UFC right out of the gate is like expecting a virgin to give epic head like Jenna Jameson. Let’s make something very clear: Jenna has been sucking mad cocks for years, and has a rep for being hella good at it. Considering this was Affliction’s first shot at the shaft, I’d say they did pretty well.
A lot of people accused Luke of paying too much attention to the window dressing and not enough time to the fights themselves. But past Arlovski / Rothwell and Fedor / Sylvia, the night was pretty mediocre. Everyone who was supposed to win … won. And past Fedor and Arlovski there wasn’t one performance that anyone will be talking about a week from now.
In addition to being the new kids on the block, Affliction also operates under the burden that no one really believes yet that they’re gonna be around for a while. At least with the UFC, a bad show can still have meaning. As terrible as Brandon Vera’s performance was to watch, it gives us insight into where he stands in the UFC and what’s next. Anderson Silva’s KO of James Irvin was cool, but more importantly it serves as a message to the 205 division: The Spider is coming.
But until Affliction proves that they’re gonna be around for a while, each event of theirs will have to stand on it’s own singular merit. Barnett’s knockout of Pedro Rizzo was ‘aight, but what does it matter if it’s not one step closer to Fedor? What about Andrei Arlovski? What’s next for him? No one fucking knows. This is the main reason why Affliction left me feeling “meh”. To me, each UFC event is another chapter in a really good book. Some chapters are better than others, but they all move the story forward. But with Affliction, who knows how many chapters we’re going to get and if they’re going to continue with the same characters or what. I’ll stick around and keep reading, but I can’t shake the feeling that half the stuff Affliction is planning won’t ever see the light of day.