10.27.2008

KY-Based AFL Taking Big Steps


From MMA Junkie:

With the void left on broadcast television left by the folding of organizations such as EliteXC and the IFL, many have wondered aloud which organization -- if any -- may next find themselves on TV.

One candidate currently in negotiations may surprise you: the Kentucky-based American Fight League.


Check after the jump for more from Junkie as well as my thoughts.


More From Junkie:

"We're working on it," AFL CEO B.J. Santiago today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "We're talking to some of the people in New York City. Just trying to see how that gets worked out. We've also talked to the USA network. There's a few out there that we're talking to."

The AFL has come under much scrutiny in recent months. The organization made waves with the signings of Tara LaRosa, Bobby Lashley and others. But those two have yet to see action for the organization, and promises of a large pay-per-view event never materialized. Coupled with sparse attendance at the AFL's only two shows in 2008, many believed the AFL was heading for certain demise.

Santiago said the organization simply slowed down its expansion to match the prevailing economic conditions.

"We're just doing things a little bit more methodically than some of the organizations that have gone out of business trying to be too over-aggressive," Santiago said.


At least they seem to be going about this in the right way; slowly, but surely. Santiago later commented that things were actually going quicker until EliteXC folded, but that clearly caused some apprehension with the various parties.

With this kind of a plan, it seems like the AFL might be able to stand the test of time. In addition to signing some good talent and big names (Tara LaRosa and Bobby Lashley, respectively), the AFL has a number of affiliate promoters across the nation. With that sort of network, the AFL can appeal to a large cross-section across the nation while using their big names to market local fighters.

Not to mention, there is obviously a whole new talent pool to draw from with the demise of EliteXC. Since the AFL is open to female fighters on their roster, they obviously stand a chance at grabbing Carano. And since they're willing to pay for guys like Lashley, I think they could handle a salary for Carano without a problem. Clearly, signing somebody like Carano could take their exposure to the next level.

With all of the EliteXC stable up for grabs, I'm interested to see who they acquire - the fact that they'll let their fighters fight outside of AFL events (i.e. Bobby Lashley) will, I'm sure, appeal to those fighters looking to stay outside the exclusivity of the UFC.

-PreView

Check out the AFL here.

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