by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
With July 19 just around the corner, some questions still exist about Affliction’s upcoming debut show, especially involving the rules that will govern the upcoming fights in California. Affliction vice president Tom Atencio verified during a media conference call on Wednesday that the promotion will institute the standard unified rules for its show.
“Unified rules, so I’m pretty much going to adopt UFC rules,” Atencio stated when asked what rules would govern the debut event.
This ruling of course will allow the fighters to use elbows on the ground, which has been the most glaring difference between many of the U.S. fight promotions. While organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and EliteXC have always allowed elbows under the unified rules, other promotions such as the International Fight League and Strikeforce have taken away elbows as a legal maneuver.
Atencio addressed the idea of Affliction adding more title fights to future cards. The upcoming bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia will be for the WAMMA heavyweight championship.
“We have the WAMMA belt on this one, so if everything works out then absolutely,” Atencio he said about the addition of more title belts. “That’s going to be a bit of a struggle just because like I said before, no matter what you do you’re going to be criticized from one person or another.”
“We’ve been criticized for doing the WAMMA belt, but we also have people that accept it and embrace it. If we can bring a lot of different organizations together it makes a lot of sense, but that’s just it… if we can bring organizations together then it will be fine and we’ll have one undisputed champion.”
WAMMA has been trying to get a foot hold in the mixed martial arts world since unifying debuting in late 2007, billing itself as the “first ever MMA sanctioning body.” This will be the first time a WAMMA champion will be crowned.
For now, Atencio says Affliction is happy with their current situation, but he didn’t totally rule out the promotion doing an actual “Affliction” title in their promotion at some point down the road.
“You never know what’s going to happen in the future, but we’re working with WAMMA right now, and if the relationship continues the way it is then absolutely,” he said.
Numerous bouts on the Affliction card will take place in multiple weight classes, so it’s likely only a matter of time before the promotion considers adding a new champion to their its roster.