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Report: Strikeforce-Affliction Merger Likely; UFC Turns Down Affliction Deal (updated)

Strikeforce LogoUpdate: Affliction and the UFC will announce on Friday that Affliction has folded its MMA promotion and will become a UFC sponsor. The fate of Affliction’s fighters is unknown.

Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole has broken news that a merger between Strikeforce and Affliction is in the works or may already be completed, though perhaps more interesting is the deal that didn’t happen with the UFC:

Affliction itself is fighting simply for survival. Several sources have said that Affliction and Strikeforce will have some type of merger with Strikeforce retaining its name. Affliction’s Tom Atencio denied any merger is imminent, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is in Italy on vacation and couldn’t be reached for comment.

However, two independent sources told Yahoo! Sports a deal is either completed or on the verge of completion.

White said an Affliction attorney flew to Las Vegas only days after UFC 100 and offered to fold and turn its contracts over to the UFC if the UFC would remove its ban on its fighters wearing Affliction T-shirts.

“I told him, ‘I hope you idiots stay in business,’ ” White said. “We had a record year in 2007. We had a record year in 2008. And we’re going to have an even bigger record year in 2009. I said, ‘I hope you … stay around in 2010 and burn every dollar you have.’ What they do is of no concern to me.”

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