Exclusive: Tom Atencio Talks Numerous Affliction Topics

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Following a blockbuster card in July that seen Fedor Emelianenko defeat former UFC Champion Tim Sylvia to claim the WAMMA Heavyweight title at the first Affliction show, the company is set to hold their second event on October 11th from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV. The main event of the card will see former UFC Heavyweight Champions, Josh “The Baby Faced Assassin” Barnett take on Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski in a heavyweight elimination match to see who will next get a crack at the number one ranked heavyweight in the world, Emelianenko.

MMANews.com spoke with Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio recently and he discussed numerous topics regarding the company including the idea of having a band perform at the shows, what bands could possibly be seen performing on future events, where the idea came from to use a ring instead of a cage, and the long term plans the company has to keep producing top notch MMA offfering.

Below are quotes from an interview conducted by MMANews.com's own Chris Howie when he spoke with Atencio.

On the idea of bands performing at the Affliction events and who could possibly perform on future events:

Chris Howie: You guys have the legendary Ozzy Osbourne playing on the next card and have had Megadeth play on the first show. Being a big metal fan I thought this was a great idea, yourself, are you a metal fan and where did this idea come from?

Tom Atencio: Absolutely, just like the fighters we have a great relationship with these bands as well. We do a whole signature series with Ozzy with pants and shirts and such and of course, I am a huge fan. We also work with Korn, The Misfits, The Damned, Lamb of God, and a few other bands. Korn was at our last event and we have talked to them about performing. Things worked out well with Ozzy so I would imagine we will have Korn perform at one of our future events as well.

On using a ring instead of the cage:

Chris Howie: You guys decided to go with a ring instead of a cage, what was the deciding factor in that? Was in to be different from the UFC or were there other deciding factors as well?

Tom Atencio: First and foremost it was to differentiate ourselves from other companies but beyond I spoke with Tim Sylvia and Josh (Barnett) and Fedor and other guys to see what they liked and the majority of them really wanted to use the ring. I think it is a little bit faster and tends to favor the stand up fighter. It was a combination of a number of different things. I was a big fan of Pride and I am also a big fan of the UFC but in the cage it tends to favor the grappler and that can get stale at times.

On future plans the company has for shows:

Chris Howie: You have said in the past that you would like to do three shows and then take it from there but with the success of the first show do you guys have plans to go more long term?

Tom Atencio: You know right now we are still looking at three events and depending on how they do we will take it from there. We need to make sure we are still a viable company and make sure we get to our goals and we will go from there. If the first three shows are successful then we will look at the next three and the three after that.

Chris Howie: In terms of going past the initial three shows, based on how things have gone so far are you forseeing more than three or is it wait and see what happens next sort of deal?

Tom Atencio: I have to focus on one thing at the time and right now my goal is three fights. We have the second card finished and once we get closer to the third show and have that one finalized I will look at going past that. Unfortunately for me it is not just the fight promotion that I do as I also have the clothing line as well. I don't have a lot of time for much [laughs]

On what he would rather focus on, running the clothing company or promoting fights:

Tom Atencio: I'd rather run the fight promotions. That has been my passion for years. I have been involved with MMA for over 15 years. I have fought professionally, I was a fight photographer, and I also helped establish the United States Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The clothing company is also a passion for me as well but personally I would rather do the fights.

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