A press conference announcing Affliction and M-1 Global’s August 1st professional mixed martial arts event “Trilogy” was held Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at Trump Tower in New York City. Speaking at the press conference were the “Trilogy” headliners; WAMMA Heavyweight Champion and number one ranked heavyweight fighter in the world, Fedor Emelianenko, and his challenger, “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Josh Barnett who is the number two ranked heavyweight in the world.
Also speaking at the press conference were Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr., both who are helping with promotion, and Vice President of Affliction Entertainment Tom Atencio. Fighters Gegard Mousasi and Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who will be facing each other also spoke at the event, as did M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelstein, and M-1 Global CEO Joost Raimond.
DONALD J. TRUMP (Chairman and CEO of The Trump Organization):
“This is going to be another amazing fight show. The last one was even greater than the first. I love working with Mark Cuban. HDNet is showing great fights.
“Many people said the last show was one of the greatest sporting events they had ever seen. If this one can come close it will go down as a great event. It’s going to be a really exciting show.
“The first two fighter were an amazing couple of evenings. This one is going to be a great event if it can even match the last two. Regardless it is going to be a really exciting evening in sports.”
MARK CUBAN (Owner of the Dallas Mavericks & Chairman of HDNet):
“It’s an honor for HDNet and me to be working with Affliction and Donald Trump.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for HDNet and it’s our goal to dominate mixed martial arts. Anything internationally dealing with mixed martial arts is going to be on HDNet.
“We’re excited to be showing an undercard that’s good enough to be on pay-per-view. It’s going to be an amazing event to see Fedor and Josh.
“This is getting bigger and bigger. The ground swell from people all over the world is great. That’s why you see UFC trying to get out to the rest of the world because M-1 Global is already there. They’re (UFC) losing that talent.
“What we’ve done is phenomenal and the best is yet to come. Josh and Fedor are fighting on a great card.”
“I’d like to thank the organizers of the event – Mr. Trump, Affliction, Mr. Cuban and Vadim. I want to thank Josh, a true friend, who I’ll meet in the ring. This won’t be the last show we are all involved in. Thanks for the support.
“Everyday I fight with my friend in training. It’s a sport. We’re athletes in the ring to compete. I’m confident our friendship (Barnett) will continue after the fight.”
“This is a fight a lot of people were expecting for a long time – press and fans, and even fighters. Make no bones about it; this is going to be a very serious endeavor. I think because of the nature of this bout between the two of us it heightens our status as professionals.
“Just because we’re friends doesn’t take away from us being fighters. Because of our status, mutual respect and visions in mixed martial arts, this fight needs to live-up to expectations greater than any other heavyweight championship. I’ll do my part to make it historical.
“Friendship has nothing to do with the result of this fight. We’re just competing against each other. Being a good friend, I should bring my best into the ring, out of respect (for Fedor). We don’t need personal grudges to fight. We want to be the best and show our best.
“Fedor can take Brock; I’ll take Mir, either way. We do what we do and the rest will drop like flies.
“If I am in shape, I can beat anybody in the world.
“I haven’t been in a street fight in a very long time, but I was born a fighter. I love to hit and get hit. There is no other way to describe it.
“If I was born in another time, I might be a Viking. That is just the way I am built.
“Fedor is a great thinker in the ring. And he always keeps control of the other fighter. It is all within his control. If he wants to take a break he can. If he wants to push the pace he can. He is in complete control.”
TOM ATENCIO (Vice President of Affliction Entertainment):
“We are back and stronger than ever. This card is stacked from top to bottom and I truly believe this is the biggest card, even for is. I’m up here with ‘The Baddest Man in the World,’ Fedor, and the No. 1 contender, Josh. I believe this will be the Fight of the Century.
“We’ve built a great base there (Anaheim). It’s in our backyard and California is definitely the Mecca of mixed martial arts. It makes sense for us.
“First and foremost, myself and our partners are fans. It’s the fastest growing sport in the world. We want to help move the sport along and it should be legal (in New York).
“Like Mr. Raimond said, we want the best fighters fighting each other. We work with M-1 Global, Strikeforce and Manny Fox from Adrenalin to get cards stacked from top to bottom like this. If people are spending money on a pay-per-event they should buy this and get their money’s worth.
“We’re building more talent. This is only our third event. The public acts like it’s our tenth or fifteenth show. Everyone else knows it’s only our third. It’s been a natural progression. After this show we’ll announce our next show.
“M-1 and Affliction have sat down with them (UFC). We want to let their top fighters like Mir and Lesnar fight ours fighters. We won’t get in the way, but they aren’t willing. I don’t know if it’s out of fear or what. As a fan I want to see it.”
DONALD TRUMP JR. (Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization):
“It’s great to see the progressive build-up of media here covering this sport. Some people thought we’d never be back after Affliction 1. Affliction 2 was amazing and we’re back again. I agree with Mark that the undercard could be a pay-per-view event.
“We love the California crowd and I’m looking forward to seeing you there.”
GEGARD “YOUNG VAGABON” MOUSASI:
“This will be my first time fighting in America. I’m looking forward to it.
“I was supposed to fight ‘Feijao’ (Rafael Cavalcante) but I’m fighting ‘Babalu.’ I will give my best.”
RENATO “BABALU” SOBRAL:
“Once more I’m part of this show. I am happy to be part of this family.
“I’m looking forward to my fight and Barnett and Fedor’s. I welcome Mr. Mousasi, and I look forward to seeing all of us together at the same time.”
VADIM FINKELSTEIN (President, M-1 Global):
“We’re here for the third time in Trump Tower. I hope this tradition continues a very long time.
“This fight between Fedor and Josh will entertain people all over the world. I believe it will be the most memorable fights in the history of sports.”
JOOST RAIMOND (CEO, M-1 Global):
“You’re looking at a tremendously exciting event with the best fighters in the world. With our partnership with Affliction and The Trump Organization, we have a truly global set-up as promoters.
“You may not be aware, but together with HDNet we have been running shows – M-1 Affliction Challenge – all over the world. It’s been exciting and HDNet is doing a wonderful job broadcasting in the United States. It’s being shown in 100 countries around the world.
“We have had numerous discussions with UFC about the Randy Couture deal last year. We want to choose the best fighters to fight. They (UFC) choose to keep their fighters among themselves. We’re calling them out — Affliction, Global M-1 and our partners. If UFC thinks it has the best fighters, bring ‘em on.
“UFC has had 15 (heavyweights) champions. Fedor, in seven fights, has beaten five of those champions. With the exception of Mr. Nogueira, Fedor didn’t spend more than 50 minutes total in the ring. I’d like to invite Dana White, Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar to the show so they can see real champions fight, Josh Barnett and Fedor.”