Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
The negative fallout from EliteXC’s second show on CBS is continuing. Yesterday the UFC and Spike TV blasted the organization for drawing lesser numbers on their network television broadcast than a replay of UFC 84: Ill Will in certain demographics last Saturday night. Gary Shaw and Doug DeLuca’s resignation from ProElite were also announced on Tuesday as well.
One of the things EliteXC heads DeLuca and Jeremy Lappen continually harped on in the weeks leading up to the event was the tremendous ticket sales they were enjoying. DeLuca stated that five days out from the event, they had already sold half of the available tickets and were expecting a sellout.
“We’re definitely well over half sold already,” DeLuca said during a pre-event conference call on July 22. “That was as of the weekend. I know we picked up a full head of steam on Monday. I’m really not too sure where ticket sales are at exactly, but we are fully expecting it to be a complete sell out.”
It turns out that DeLuca fibbed a bit.
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.
Gina Carano. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
At a pre-fight press conference to promote this past weekend’s Affliction: Banned event in California, FSN Executive Vice President George Greenberg hinted that the network was set to begin airing EliteXC programming in the near future, potentially making the organization the fourth such MMA brand to be featured on the channel.
“For us here at FSN…. we’ve shown UFC, we’ve shown PRIDE, we’ve shown the IFL, and we’re about to start showing ProElite,” Greenberg said. “I can really say that we’re careful of what we put on air in terms of a television product and I can say that everyone that has been associated with the process does the same thing.”
Video of Greenberg’s quote is here. His words harken back to a comment made by ProElite chairman Doug DeLuca last week during another conference call to promote EliteXC’s upcoming “Unfinished Business” event on July 26th.
“I can’t talk too much about it now, but we’re probably going to announce another broadcast deal pretty soon with a cable network that will do similar to what you’re saying, where you’ll see all our brands in action,” DeLuca reportedly said during last week’s phone call.
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.