Showtime hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming EliteXC: Uprising event scheduled to take place on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fighters featured on the call were ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua through the use of an interpreter, Jake Shields, and Gina Carano. Other officials participating in the call were EliteXC President Gary Shaw and ICON Sport President T. Jay Thompson.
Sensational news for Mixed Martial Arts fans in the United Kingdom. Cage Rage, Britain’s original MMA brand and leader since 2002, is about to get bigger – and better.
ProElite, Inc., an entertainment and media company dedicated to producing world-class MMA events, today announced the acquisition of Cage Rage Championships (CRC), Britain’s premier MMA organization.
The formal announcement of the new partnership was made by Gary Shaw, President of EliteXC, the respected live fight division of Los Angeles, Calif.-based ProElite.
“This is an exciting day for all of our organizations, but the biggest winners will be fans in the U.K.,’’ Shaw said. “In a short span of eight months, EliteXC has already got the well-deserved reputation for staging sensational fights with the world’s top fighters.
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.
According to an email I received today, ProElite.com and Grapplers Quest have joined forces.
We are excited to tell you ProElite.com members that ProElite.com has partnered with Grapplers Quest, the world’s leading grappling organization focused on delivering high-profile professional grappling superfight tournaments, the world’s largest amateur open events for all ages and skill levels; branded Grapplers Quest grappling videos and DVDs, photos and products; a searchable database of over 32,000 qualified grappling academies; and news and forums.
Yes, that’s a mouthful because Grapplers Quest is huge!
The partnership brings together ProElite.com’s all-encompassing MMA social network and Grapplers Quest content to deliver ProElite.com’s audience a deeper and richer MMA and grappling online experience.
ProElite.com will be streaming upcoming Grapplers Quest events too. For the hard-core MMA fans, we don’t need to tell you how many MMA stars have either competed in or currently compete in Grapplers Quest tournaments. Top MMA stars like BJ Penn, Matt Serra, Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian, Matt Hughes, Keith Jardine many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling superstars including Marcelo Garcia, Saulo Ribeiro, Dean Lister, Marc Laimon, Jeff Monson and many more, have all graced the mats of Grapplers Quest over the years.
The first event of the 2007 season co-sponsored by ProElite.com and Grapplers Quest is The Official North American Grappling Championships, Saturday, October 6th at St. Peters’ College in Jersey City, New Jersey featuring $12,000 in prizes. Don’t miss the Greatest Grappling Show on Earth at ProElite.com!
For more info on Grapplers Quest, go to their ProElite.com page: http://grapplersquest.proelite.com
Also, be sure to check out the grappling forum on ProElite.com (http://www.proelite.com/forums/12346) for more information on Grapplers Quest and upcoming events.