Affliction Should Focus on Heavyweights

Affliction's first show was unquestionably more successful than anyone expected.  They built stars in their three main events, did well at the gate, and may have done very well on PPV.  The question going forward is how they can grow and maintain a solid fanbase that remains interested in the fighters.  I think the key is to focus on the one division where they have a distinct advantage over the UFC:  The heavyweight division.

The UFC needs multiple champions in multiple divisions because it runs shows once or twice a month, and title matches have to headline the shows to sell them.  This will not be a problem for Affliction.  They cannot run that often given the way they pay, and seeing as a major aspect of this league is to promote Affliction's clothing brand, I don't see them really needing to run any more than 4 to 5 times a year. 

Without running often, and without television, it will be nearly impossible to establish multiple divisions.  A fight like Babalu vs. Whitehead is utterly meaningless if there is no champion in the division, and there are no other fights in the division on the card.  The same goes for a fight like Lindland vs. Negao.  It is little more than an exhibition, and they just aren't going to be able to run enough shows to get all of these divisions going.  How much money did they spend on Lindland vs. Negao, and for what return?

Affliction should try to lock down the world's beat heavyweights outside the UFC.  They should go after Mark Hunt, Alistair Overeem, Mirko Crocop, and many others they did not bring in for their first show.  With only one title, Affliction would feel more like other pro sports leagues where every team in the league is aiming at the same goal.

This isn't to say they shouldn't ever have a fight in a lower weight class.  By all means, a swing fight at 155 or 170 to entertain fans between big heavyweight fights makes a lot of sense.  But it makes no sense to simultaneously try to promote three or four top tier divisions with guys like Matt Lindland, Babalu, and Tito Ortiz while also trying to maintain the heavyweight division.  It's a big waste of money without upside for a promotion running every four months exclusively on PPV.

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