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Tom Atencio: "I didn't come out to compete with the UFC"

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Michael David Smith has a very telling interview with Affliction's Tom Atencio:

So there's a chance you won't have a third show?
No, I'm just trying to figure out what we're doing, that's all. I'm kind of between a rock and a hard place. The fans and the media treat me like I'm on my 10th show. I'm on my third show, and I'm just trying to make sure I don't make the same mistakes that I made in the other events. If there's things I've made mistakes on I try to fix them. I'm trying to be methodical about everything. I'm just trying to make sure that whatever we do, we're doing it right. And then on the other hand, sponsors and everybody else are treating it like it is my second show and trying to make me prove myself, and that's what I'm doing. So I'm kind of between a rock and a hard place. It's only my third show. It's not like I've done this before. It's not like we come from another organization of smaller fights. This is right out of the gate, we showed up, we did a huge show, we did a second huge show, now I'm just trying to figure out how we do our third show.

I've been pretty critical of Affliction at times, because frankly I've never understood their approach to MMA in terms of running a fight promotion.  Maybe it's the Virgo in me or something, but I've always had a plan whenever I do something especially if it involves money.  Yet, Atencio is still trying to figure it out.

I understand you just signed Din Thomas?
I believe so. I've been working on it. I don't know if he's signed the final paperwork, but we have definitely been working on Din. I think he's a great fighter.

It's a little weird to me that you're signing fighters when you're not ready to say you're going to have a third show.
It's not that I'm not ready, it's just that we don't have dates. We're moving ahead. It's just a matter of finalizing the dates. I've learned a lot in this industry, and one thing is not talking before I have contracts finalized. The fight in Las Vegas, we had the date and the venue but nothing was finalized, and toward the end we decided it wasn't a good choice. To me, I just want to make sure we're done before we start giving anybody information.

I reached out to Din Thomas about him signing with Affliction, and I never got a reply back.  So I'm still not sure if he has signed with them or not.  Honestly, I don't see why he would sign with them. Regardless, it's weird that Atencio's stance is always sort of 'out of the loop' if you will.  I mean how do you not know if he's signed the paperwork or not?  Either he has or hasn't, it's that simple.

So what's the message you want fans to hear directly from you?
First and foremost, that I'm a fan. I love this industry 100 percent. This is a dream come true for me. I couldn't be happier, because of what MMA has done for me and also the clothing industry. I hope I can continue to support this and I hope that the brand continues to be involved in this industry. I'm not saying that we're pulling out, I just don't want to get ahead of myself. I love this sport and want people to know that I'm a fan just like they are.