Will "The Donald" become MMA's newest bigwig?
Real-estate mogul-turned-TV star, Donald Trump, announced his most recent project to the world: his partnership with Affliction, the clothing brand involved with professional mixed-martial-arts (MMA).
What enticed Trump to merge with Affliction? The tremendous rise in popularity of MMA fighting, of course.
"I understand the business," Trump said. "But more importantly, I understand the fighters."
This particular sport resembles my business style of being fast paced, strategic, and aggressive ... remembering to never give up," added Trump.
Gary Brody, managing partner of Affliction Entertainment, said they have been working on the partnership for a couple of months now, and that it's a full-time deal.
With the very first partnership-dubbed Affliction Banned-scheduled for July 19, the anticipation among MMA fans is tremendous.
The card will feature Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko (27-1) taking on the former two-time UFC heavyweight title-holder Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia in the main event.
VP of Affliction, Tom Atencio, said he is strongly anticipating this fight. "Fedor is a champion," he said. "But I think if anybody can beat him, it can be Silvia."
Former UFC champion Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski has also signed on with Affliction to fight Ben Rothwell on the July 19 fight card. "I will do my best and I will win this fight," vowed Arlovski.
As far as the MMA organization, Trump announced that there will be a lot of differences in the near future. "This is going to be a much different formula in a year than it is right now," he said, without revealing any details.
"I really have great faith in the people," he said, adding, "I really think July 19 is going to be an amazing event. We're selling tickets like crazy."
When asked if he will be awarding the winner of the fight with anything, Trump paused before jokingly declaring the top fighter will get to sleep with the winner of the Miss USA pageant, which he owns. Hmmm ... sweet deal.
Banned's Main Fight Card
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Andrei Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell
Mike Whitehead vs. Renato "Babalu" Sobral
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Nascimento
Check out Affliction Banned at 9 pm EST on July 19, 2008 on Pay-Per-View.