Jeremy Lappen. Photo by Esther Lin/CombatLifestyle.com.
After several fighters under their stable filed breach of contract notices following its demise late last month, EliteXC and its parent company, ProElite Inc., has given notice to the managers and agents of some of their biggest stars that they intend to promote events once again starting in early 2009.
The managers of notable fighters such as Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, and Robbie Lawler all filed for breach of contract after ProElite announced its intention to cease operations in October, giving the once promising organization 30 days to pay said fighters and fulfill promotional obligations or watch them become free agents.
However a notice handed out by ProElite over the weekend states that contrary to popular belief, the company is not filing for bankruptcy and is merely scaling down their staff in order to cut financial losses.
Andy Geer (left) and Dave O’Donnell. Photo courtesy of Ring Pics.
Just like his King of the Cage counterparts under the former umbrella of ProElite, Cage Rage promoter Dave O’Donnell is determined to continue to run his ship as if nothing happened to his organization’s parent company, starting with Cage Rage’s “Contenders 11” show on November 1.
From MMA Weekly:
Dave O’Donnell, the one constant since its inception, told MMAWeekly.com of the demise of the brand’s parent company, “For Cage Rage it is business as usual. The next show is Contenders. It’s still going ahead. I can tell you that much.”
An interesting statement, and one that begs the question: so if ProElite pulls out of MMA with EliteXC, does that mean they are going to sell their umbrella brands back to their previous owners? “Put it this way, one way or another we will still keep going, maybe it’s eventually under another name, maybe it’s not, but we will still be here, that’s all I can say,” added O’Donnell.
The thought of continuing to promote under a different entity has become a strong possibility with multiple suitors likely planning on bidding for the ProElite brand names once the company officially goes under by the end of the week. Then again, ProElite could easily sell back the naming rights to both Cage Rage and KOTC seeing that potential buyers likely won’t hold any interest in them at the moment.
In the wake of the collapse of ProElite, King of the Cage has issued an official press release regarding the matter, stating that they intend to continue to operate as normal as possible:
King of the Cage, Inc. (“KOTC”) is fully aware of the reports surrounding the financial difficulties of ProElite, Inc. (“PE”) and the reports that PE has filed or may soon file a bankruptcy case. KOTC is currently reviewing and investigating the situation and has determined that no bankruptcy case has yet been filed by PE .
Although KOTC is a wholly owned subsidiary of PE, it has maintained its own independent operational structure since its acquisition by PE. While there may be some short term impact on KOTC’s operations, KOTC intends to fulfill all of its existing obligations and to conduct all of its scheduled events. KOTC further intends to resume normal business operations as quickly as possible and to continue to grow its brand as it has for the past 10 years.
We will provide further updates as more information becomes available.
Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
High network television ratings, the financial backing of two media giants, and the greatest amount of visibility for an MMA promotion to date proved to be not enough for ProElite and its figurehead brand, EliteXC, as another organization that attempted to dethrone the Zuffa empire has likely come to a crashing halt.
The news of ProElite’s demise has quickly spread throughout the mixed martial arts community and as expected, so has reaction. However the story of the downfall of one of MMA’s most influential companies is just beginning as facts regarding ProElite’s insurmountable debt, failed sale, and questionable tactics will likely surface within the next few weeks following its expected cessation at the end of this week.
Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
That’s the hot rumor going around the web right now. The closest confirmation thus far is a report on GracieFighter.com.
We are confirming that EliteXC has folded. What this means for our fans and supporters is that there will not be a Nick Diaz vs. Eddie Alvarez fight on November 8th. However Jake Shields in the UFC has now become a real possibility. We will be updating our site for future developments.
GracieFighter.com is the official website of the Cesar Gracie Fight Team, among whom they count as members Jake Shields and the Diaz brothers. Thus they have an inside track on all info regarding their fighters.
Further word comes from the On The Mat website:
Gary Shaw. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
Things haven’t been going that well lately for EliteXC. After a predicted ratings bomb for their latest show on CBS this past weekend became a reality, the UFC and Spike TV, which ran a replay of UFC 84: Ill Will on Saturday night to counter-program the event, have decided to rub their success in a key demographic in EliteXC’s face through a press release sent out to the media earlier today.
As you can see, they didn’t hesitate to essentially pants EliteXC in front of everyone at the mall: (Yeah, that happened to me before, so what?)
Need proof the UFC is the preeminent mixed martial arts brand in the world? On Saturday, July 26, more men 18-34 watched a repeat…a repeat…of a UFC event on Spike TV than a LIVE telecast of a Pro EliteXC championship card on CBS. Despite being available in over 17 million
less (you can pay me for my editing skills later Dana) homes, Spike TV drew 27% more Men 18-34 for a re-broadcast of “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” from (9:00-12:00am ET/PT) than CBS’s live show (9:00-11:00pm). Spike TV’s telecast tallied 433,000 Men 18-34 to CBS’s 341,000.
Oh snap! Talk about a press release with an attitude. Guess what? It gets even better:
Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
Less than two months after their first bout ended in disappointing fashion, Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith will duke it out once again for the EliteXC middleweight title during the organization’s second network television event on CBS this Saturday night.
The two spoke about their upcoming battle on a pre-fight conference call with the media yesterday that also included female fighters Shayna Baszler and Cris Cyborg as well as ProElite chairman Doug DeLuca. As usual, Lawler kept his answers short and sweet, just letting everybody know that his focus was on this weekend’s fight with Smith and nothing else.
“Really, I don’t care,” Lawler said when asked about his previous fight with Smith. “I look at it as a new fight and I kind of look at it as we’ve never fought before. I’ll be ready to go. I’m not focusing on that anymore. I’m focusing on this next fight and I don’t care how that last one went. I just need to go out there and get the job done on Saturday.”
Meanwhile Smith revealed that he was especially happy that a rematch between the two happened so soon. With his eye and foot injuries suffered in the first bout completely healed, Smith discussed his training for the fight and how he feels that a different regimen this time around may result in seeing an even better fighter this weekend.
Paul “Semtex” Daley. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Despite announcing his intention to retire from mixed martial arts earlier this year, welterweight sensation Paul “Semtex” Daley will return from a brief hiatus from the sport to go up against undefeated Slovenian Bojan Kosednar at Cage Warriors’ latest “Enter the Rough House” this afternoon.
However shaking off a little ring rust isn’t Daley’s biggest problem these days. His latest woes involve his current relationship with EliteXC parent company ProElite, with whom he has one-fight left on his deal with the organization.
“I’ve got a few things I want to get out in the air with regards to Pro Elite, Cage Rage and the future,” Daley said in a recent interview with Fighters Only Magazine. “I’ve got no contract with Cage Rage, my contract stands with Pro Elite. My fight with Cage Warriors seems to be a problem with the guys at Pro Elite.
“They tried to get me to fight for Cage Rage, which I wasn’t going to do on the principle that I’ve agreed to fight in my hometown,” Daley continued. “They’ve gone about it in a not so pleasant way, I think they could have gone about it a lot better. I can’t say much more for legal reasons but I think Cage Rage have had a lot to do with it.”
While it’s pretty easy to see why ProElite would want to use Daley in a Cage Rage show being that they are in a working partnership with the promotion, Daley claims that the company originally had no problem with him fighting for Cage Warriors this weekend but has since changed their stance on the situation.
Smith tapes his hands before working out for the media. Photo: Esther Lin/EliteXC
“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler of St. Louis will defend the EliteXC middleweight title against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith of Sacramento in the main event on the second primetime broadcast of CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on Saturday, July 26, (9 p.m.-11 p.m. ET/PT).
In a second world title fight, Jake Shields of San Francisco and Nick “The Goat” Thompson of Minneapolis will collide for the vacant EliteXC 170-pound belt.
Stockton’s Nick Diaz will face Thomas “Wildman” Denny of Victorville, Calif., in a lightweight match and Shayna “The Queen Of Spades” Baszler of Sioux Falls, S.D., will take on Brazil’s undefeated Cristiane Cyborg in a women’s fight at 140 pounds at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif.
The event is presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.‘s live fight division, EliteXC. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. PT. The first live fight is at 3:15.
Preceding the two-hour, four-fight broadcast on the CBS Television Network will be a three-fight, one-hour telecast live on Showtime (8 p.m. ET/PT).
In the main event, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva will face Justin Eilers for the EliteXC heavyweight crown. In other Showtime fights, promising Wilson Reis will meet Brian Caraway at 140 pounds and talented Rafael Feijao will be opposed by an opponent to be determined in a light heavyweight fight.
K.J. Noons. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
Elite Xtreme Combat has announced the complete card for it’s upcoming “Return of the King” event, which will take place on June 14th at the Neal Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The event is slated to be headlined by an EliteXC lightweight title bout between current champion K.J. Noons and top contender Yves Edwards. An additional lightweight fight between future DREAM title challenger Nick Diaz and Muhsin Corbbrey has also been signed to take place. Additional main card bouts also include former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs Tony Bonello, Ron Waterman vs Dave Herman, and Rafael Feijao vs Wayne Cole.
Newly crowned ICON Sport middleweight title holder Kala Kolohe Hose will headline the undercard against an opponent yet to be determined. His original foe, former hockey enforcer turned mixed martial artist Geoff Bumstead, has been removed from the card due to unknown reasons.
In a change of pace, the preliminary fights will be streamed on ProElite.com following the conclusion of the main card, which will be televised on Showtime starting at 10 PM ET.
The current fight card for the show is as follows:
K.J. Noons vs. Yves Edwards - EliteXC Lightweight Title
Nick Diaz vs. Muhsin Corbbrey
Murilo Rua vs. Tony Bonello
Rafael Feijao vs. Wayne Cole
Dave Herman vs. Ron Waterman
Kala Kolohe vs. TBA
Mark Oshiro vs. Chris Williams
Kaleo Kwan vs. Mike Aina
Lolohea Mahe vs. Chris Bernard
P.J. Dean vs. Dean Lista
Russell Doane vs. Dwayne Haney
Kepa Madeiros vs. Carl Barton