Some might have missed it, however Affliction Entertainments VP Tom Atencio certainly didnt. During a commercial break in this past Saturdays TUF 9 Finale, UFC president Dana White publicly stated that he is intending to make a run at former UFC champ Vitor Belfort. The only problem is hes still under contract with Affliction with a fight right around the corner.
[White"> did say something [about Belfort">, Atencio told FightLine.com about Whites recruiting tactics. Im talking to [Belforts"> management, so were in negotiations. Where Dana came up with that, I dont know. Maybe hes just trying to stir the pot. Thats what he does and he does it well.
Although Atencio was gracious as always throughout the interview, you did get a sense that he may have been a tad irked by the fact that White was trying to dip into Afflictions talent pool.
The conversation even swayed towards other major sports, where if an owner openly discusses wanting a player under contract with an opposing team, that owner could be fined for tampering.
Maybe he wants to get hit with a tampering charge, Atencio jokingly told us about what he thought Whites motives were. I just dont know, I cant speak for Dana. Im sure he just wants to stir the pot, like I said.
Oddly, White may have jumped the gun in announcing his pursuit of Belforts services. Although the Brazilian has won his previous four scraps, the last two coming under Afflictions banner, what if he were to lose his Affliction: Trilogy bout against Jorge Santiago?
Would White and Co. show the same desire for a 32-year-old fighter that just dropped his last fight?
Interesting maneuver by White. Well just have to wait and see how this plays out.