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.
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