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Affliction PPV buys: Can Fedor Emelianenko be a big draw?

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"All Fedor’s wins and mystique hasn’t quite made him a top box office draw. In Japan, where Emelianenko has fought most of his career, he never had the mainstream appeal of fighters like Mirko Cro Cop, a spectacular KO artist, Bob Sapp, a freakish American who wasn’t a top fighter but had a huge personality, or Wanderlei Silva, an aggressive exciting fighter who had a legendary series of matches with national hero Kazushi Sakuraba. In the U.S., his last fight on pay-per-view, on April 14, 2007, when he faced natural middleweight contender Matt Lindland for Bodog Fight in Russia, drew a miserable 13,000 buys and essentially set that company on the fast road right out of business. Previously, as the main eventer on a loaded 2006 PRIDE show in Las Vegas, facing Mark Coleman, the show did about 40,000 buys, also considered a huge disappointment."

As Dave Meltzer points out, Fedor Emelianenko -- considered in some circles to be the top mixed martial artist alive -- is historically not a money-making machine when it comes to selling pay-per-view (PPV) events. That could be a problem, considering Affliction MMA is opening up its check book for the Russian to compete in the main event of its debut show, "Banned," against Tim Sylvia at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on July 19. However, the upstart promotion has supplemented the pay-per-view (PPV) card, which is priced at $39.95, with other great match ups. The million dollar question -- literally -- is will it be enough to be deemed a success. We should know the answer to that question in less than one week. T-minus six days until showtime.

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