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[MMA] EliteXC + Affliction = Kimbo vs Fedor?


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As a single fight, Andrei Arlovski vs. Roy Nelson on next month's EliteXC "Saturday Night Fights" show on CBS doesn't do a whole lot for me.

If the "Pitbull" version of Arlovski who battered and stopped Ben Rothwell inside three rounds back in July shows up against Nelson, the bout could be over in a hurry, with Arlovski getting his hand raised and the scene shifting quickly to the next bout on the card.

It's what this fight means for the future of EliteXC and Affliction that has me counting the days to Oct. 4. Affliction's willingness to sublease Arlovski and Nelson puts fans a step closer to seeing, perhaps, the biggest fight to be made in mixed martial arts today ? Fedor Emelianenko against Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson.

At first blush such a match-up might seem laughable ? the world's consensus No. 1 heavyweight versus a guy who's fought in MMA three times against opposition with a combined record of 33 wins and 34 losses ? but tell me you haven't thought about it. I'm sure Affliction and EliteXC have. And, getting Arlovski and Nelson into the EliteXC mix on CBS is a move that demonstrates that both organizations are willing to back up the talk about their desire to work with other promotions to make big fights.

Few fights would be bigger than Fedor vs. Slice.

Randy Couture's recent reconciliation with the UFC put speculation about a potential Couture-Emelianenko fight back on the front burner. However, with EliteXC and Affliction forging a partnership, which could even lead to a merger down the road, it becomes more likely that both organizations would work together to keep the UFC from making a buck off of a Couture-Emelianenko fight. Matching Emelianenko and Slice is the best way for EliteXC and Affliction to generate interest in their respective promotions, rack up hundreds of thousands of pay-per-view buys, and kick sand in the face of the UFC.

There is certainly plenty of work to be done to turn Emelianenko into a fighting brand in the States. He's fought here only twice and has little recognition beyond the hardcore MMA fan base. Slice, on the other hand, is as mainstream a fighter as there is in MMA. On paper, the fight might be a skills mismatch, but it's a marketer's dream and would be huge.

After the UFC was unable to come to contract terms with Emelianenko last year, UFC President Dana White started publicly bashing the once-beaten Russian, criticizing the quality of his opponents and saying he wasn't even a top five heavyweight. While money has a way of helping a fighter forget about that type of criticism, I would think Emelianenko and his camp would find great satisfaction from still being able to land a huge payday without having to go through White and the UFC to get it. EliteXC and Slice would deliver such a windfall.

EliteXC and Affliction need to do something dramatic to break the UFC's stranglehold on the MMA market. Collaborating on a national stage on CBS is an intriguing first step, but there's another fight out there that has a whole lot more potential.

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Fedor is considered the world's greatest fighter, he would murder anyone. Sucks that he had to choose between UFC and Russian Combat Sambo, he would have three world championships.

Edited by A.B.L.N.N.
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