Elite XC, ICON Sport, and Rumble on the Rock announced their official partnership earlier today at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Elite XC President Gary Shaw commented on the importance of the three promotions working together:
“It really is a major step,” said Director of Live Events for EliteXC Gary Shaw with ICON promoter T. Jay Thompson seated to his right and ROTR’s J.D. Penn on his left.
The new alliance’s first event will take place on September 15th at the Blaisdell Arena. Dubbed Elite XC - Uprising, the event will feature Elite XC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua defending his title against ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler. The event will be broadcast on Showtime.
“September 15 will be the biggest MMA event Hawaii has ever seen,” said Thompson, however the longtime Hawaii promoter predicted “it won’t be the biggest MMA event Hawaii will see in the future.”
Shaw also talked about future Elite XC-promoted events that will take place in Hawaii:
“Coming to Hawaii was important to EliteXC,” said Shaw. “As I said before, I believe this is really the home of mixed martial arts. Next year we’ll be back. We won’t be back in ‘07, but I guarantee to you … we’ll be back here in ‘08.”
The complete card for the Uprising event was also announced during the press conference:
Murilo Rua vs Robbie Lawler - EliteXC Middleweight Championship
Nick Diaz vs Mike Aina
Joey Villasenor vs Riki Fukuda
Renato Verissimo vs Jake Shields
Gina Carano vs Tonya Evinger
Jaw Suk Kim vs Brandon Wolff
Kala Halohe Hose vs Jeff Cox
Mark Oshiro vs Nui Wheeler
Mark Kurano vs Jose Diaz
Justin Bucholz vs Kolo Koka
Tyson Nam vs Albert Manner
The preliminary bouts will be streamed for free at Pro Elite’s official website. The main card will be broadcast on Showtime.
Update 1:33 PM: The Fight Network is reporting that Pro Elite, the parent company of Elite XC, is currently in serious discussions regarding the possible purchase of ICON Sport.
Icon Sport promoter and matchmaker Patrick Freitas confirmed Thursday that Pro Elite, parent company of EliteXC, were still in serious discussions regarding the purchase of the Hawaii-based mixed martial arts promotion. Freitas stopped short of calling any deal imminent, but the conceded the two promotions have been in negotiations for months.
“I think it’s no secret that Pro Elite and Icon are talking about the acquisition of Icon, but anything could happen,” Freitas said.
According to Freitas, should the deal be consummated, Pro Elite would purchase the rights to the company and would hire Icon Sport president T.J. Thompson and Freitas to run events as consultants. The Icon Sport brand would remain intact. The relationship between Pro Elite and Icon Sport began in March when Proelite.com streamed the Icon Sport middleweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Frank Trigg.
Coming off a highly successful, well-received debut on July 27, Showtime Networks Inc. and Mixed Martial Arts organization EliteXC are proud to announce the second installment of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series live on Showtime Saturday, Aug. 25, at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) at Vicksburg Convention Center in Vicksburg, Miss.
The cage main event will feature two of the most talented, colorful and charismatic fighters in MMA, the unpredictable “Krazy Horse” Charles Bennett (18-3-2) of Ocala, Fla., and Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela (5-2-2) of Covina, Calif. in perhaps the most eagerly awaited grudge rematch in MMA history.
There is no love lost between “Krazy Horse” and “Joe Boxer,’’ who fought to a controversial, hotly disputed draw on Aug. 5, 2005. The two-round fight ended with “Krazy Horse” unconscious and flat on his back. The grudge rematch is slated for three, 5-minute sessions, as are all the televised fights.
“These fighters have been stewing to get at each other for two years,” said Gary Shaw, EliteXC Live Events President. “When their scheduled June 22 bout was postponed due to extenuating circumstances, the anticipation only grew larger. Both men guarantee that the bout will not go the distance, and I guarantee it will be a match you won’t want to miss.”
Today Pro Elite and Showtime held media conference call promoting their new show “ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series” which is scheduled to debut Friday, July 27 at 11 PM EST live from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California.
Present for the call was Doug DeLuca, Gary Shaw, and Ken Hershman.
Summary of the conference:
• Showtime plans on holding four ShoXC events before the end of the year. There were no specific dates mentioned for final three shows but they did say they would like to hold one in August, October and December.
• The main event this weekend will be K.J. Noons vs. Edson Berto. Also on the card will be a King of the Cage/Gladiator Challenge welterweight championship unification match between Jeremiah Metcalf and Aaron Wetherspoon.
• EliteXC plans on holding a card September 15th in Hawaii. The card is expected to feature an EliteXC middleweight title bout between Murilo Rua vs. Robbie Lawler. Shaw stated numerous times that the bout agreement has not yet been signed.
• Shaw was not sure when Frank Shamrock would be returning, but he did say that Shamrock won’t be fighting Nick Diaz in September. Diaz recently went on the record calling out Frank Shamrock saying “I watched his last fight and no disrespect intended, but I think I would whoop his ass.” Diaz is currently serving the suspension he received from the NSAC after testing positive for Delta-9-THC following his gogo-plata victory over Takanori Gomi. Due to the positive test the NSAC decided to change the result of the fight to a no contest.
• Gina Carano’s future is bright with EliteXC, she signed a multi-year contract with the company. The face of female MMA.
• There has been interest in bringing Frank Trigg into the mix at 185 lbs.
• Jeremy Lappen was involved with the Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou deal. EliteXC thought they had him as they flew him into the last event and treated him very well and then at the last minute someone threw him a large offer that Shaw was not willing to match. Rumor has it K-1 offered Sokoudjou “significantly more money” than the $200,000 per-fight that Pro Elite offered.
• Gary Shaw hinted at implementing a 160 lbs. weight class. Shaw stated that through his experience in boxing he knows that there are guys who fight at 160 lbs. that cannot get to 155 lbs. so it provides them with another option. Nick Diaz would be a perfect fit for the potential division.
GracieFighter.com is reporting that Nick Diaz has requested a fight with Frank Shamrock. Earlier this year Gary Shaw had announced that his promotion had signed Nick Diaz and his debut was expected to come sometime in May. Obviously things changed as Diaz took a fight with PRIDE against Takanori Gomi. Now it finally seems like Diaz’s EliteXC debut will be coming in the near future.
“I watched his last fight and no disrespect intended but I think I would whoop his ass.”, stated Diaz. A formal offer of intent has been delivered to the promoters to set this fight up and now we await their response.
Diaz is currently serving his 6 month suspension he received after he tested positive for marijuana. With the suspension came a $3,000 fine and his gogoplata victory over Takanori Gomi was changed to a no contest. Diaz still has about 3 months remaining on his suspension.
LOS ANGELES - Gina Carano has pulled out of the “Dynamite!! USA” June 2 mega-MMA fight card at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum due to illness, EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw announced today.
Carano, of Las Vegas, Nev., was scheduled to clash with Jan Finney of Springfield, Ohio, in one of the featured EliteXC fights on Showtime on June 2.
“I just feel terrible about this,” said the popular, crowd-pleasing Carano, who spent part of April in Thailand filming a television reality series. “I don’t know how or where I got sick, but I have not felt right since returning to the United States.
“I almost never get sick, but this has really done a number on me. I thought I could work through it but I am not feeling better and it has prevented me from training.”
Said Shaw: “Obviously, we are very disappointed that Gina can’t perform, but anybody that knows me knows that I am not going to put an athlete into the ring if he or she is not 100 percent fit.
“Our EliteXC fighters need to be in peak health because we put them in the best fights on Showtime.”
A new fight will be announced shortly, Shaw said. It will be one of three matches that will appear on Showtime during a live one-hour telecast that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The six-bout pay-per-view portion of the June 2 event will immediately follow the Showtime presentation live on pay-per-view (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Today Pro Elite and FEG held a national media conference call promoting their upcoming show “Dynamite!! USA” which is scheduled for June 2nd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Present for the conference call was Kevin Burke, Gary Shaw, Monica Petty, and Royce Gracie.
Summary of the conference:
Usually, I would not make a post to highlight one specific interview, but this one is awfully informative. The UFC’s Dana White was interviewed on CBS Sportline and had a lot of things to say. Among them…
* Confirmed that UFC 70 will likely be on SpikeTV
* Confirmed that Rashad Evans is the expected opponent for Tito Ortiz at UFC 71.
* Reiterated that he wants Rampage Jackson to fight Chuck Liddell for the LHW title at UFC 71 in May.
* Was very candid once again about his interests in buying the Pride promotion, admitting to having been in negotiations with them.
* Mentioned guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, and Dan Henderson as fighters he’d love to have fight under the UFC banner.
* Hinted at the possibility that they are negotiating with the Nogueira brothers since their contract is up soon with Pride.
* Clarified his position on the Kurt Angle rumors, yet was very complimentary to Angle as well as Brock Lesnar.
* Admitted he’d like to see Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner back in the UFC.
* Continued the war of words with Jerry Millen, Gary Shaw, and Frank Shamrock.
News and Notes
- WEC veteran Cole Escovedo is now suffering from paralysis from the waist down due to a staph infection…
According to a post by Laura Escovedo on MMA.tv and confirmed by Reed Harris of the WEC, Cole contracted a staph infection back in December that went unchecked because he just thought it was a spider bite or something of that sort. By the time he was diagnosed in January with staph, the infection made its way into his spine and paralyzed him from the waist down.
Cole was hospitalized and underwent an operation to alleviate some of the fluid that had built up on his spine due to the infection. He has since been released from the hospital and is now at home with a walker and is set to begin therapy.
At the time of publication, it was unknown whether Cole’s paralysis is a permanent or, hopefully, a temporary condition.
- More news on the whole Kurt Angle situation and who he might be signing with:
With a lighter schedule working with rival promotion Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) and a recovery from numerous health issues, 38-year-old Angle says he’s poised to enter the MMA world in 2007 with a number of suitors courting the former Olympian. At the top of the list, says Angle, is the newly formed Elite XC, which enjoyed a strong debut this past Saturday on the premium channel SHOWTIME.
“It looks like I’m going to sign with them (Elite XC) but then all of a sudden Dana White comes along last week and calls Dixie Carter (President of TNA) and says ‘Why is Kurt going to Showtime? I want to talk to him; he should be fighting for Spike, for UFC.”
Pro Elite’s Gary Shaw issued a “no comment” this morning regarding any contact they’ve had with Angle. Dixie Carter, President of TNA, who would not comment on Angle’s negotiations with any company but did confirm that the wrestler’s TNA contract allows him to do MMA, but only if TNA agrees it is best for him. Inquiries to the UFC were unanswered; while Angle says he’d need at least six to eight months of solid training before entering the cage or ring for a mixed martial arts debut.
“I can’t go in there with just my amateur wrestling skills,” said Angle. “I need to learn every facet of fighting, I need to learn how to protect myself with striking, submission holds, some jiu-jitsu and how to strike a bit better.”
- KOTC Canada’s next event, Capital Chaos, will take place on March 28th at the Robert Guertin Arena in Hull, Quebec…
- Elite XC Head Gary Shaw stated that a rematch between Renzo Gracie and Frank Shamrock will most likely take place this fall.
- Our rumors section has also been updated…