The “Unfinished Business” Fallout Continues


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.

The California State Athletic Commission released a report regarding the ticket sales EliteXC did for the show earlier today. Let me try and break it down in the simplest terms - The total number of tickets printed for the event was 8,541, even though the Stockton Arena would have been able to hold roughly 10,000 people with the floor setup. Only 3,701 of the tickets were actually sold. EliteXC gave away 2,817 complimentary tickets, leaving them with 2,023 left and nothing else to do.

To say that EliteXC lost a good amount of money on this show is probably going to be an understandment. Along with the $72,245 lost because of terrible ticket sales, EliteXC paid the participating fighters a total of $533,501. Newly crowned EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva was the highest paid fighter based on figures released today by the CSAC, receiving a base salary of $200,000.

Other notable amounts - Robbie Lawler ($90,000), Nick Diaz ($60,000), Jake Shields ($45,000), Nick Thompson ($25,000), Justin Eilers ($20,000), and Rafael Feijao ($20,000). Despite headlining the show, Scott Smith only received $14,000. Let’s hope that he received a bonus of some kind for his efforts. Putting on two great fights in a row and taking a rematch against Lawler on short notice while recovering from a broken foot certainly proves that he deserves it.

Whether they want to admit it or not, EliteXC’s future with CBS is now dependent on the success of their scheduled October 4th show in Florida, which will appear on the network. They have luck on their side as both Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano are expected to fight on the card. While expectations for last weekend’s event were considerably low between both EliteXC and CBS, the network is going to expect the same amount of success in October that it experienced in May.

EliteXC has mentioned multiple times through filings with the SEC that it is losing money and will have to consider halting operations if the trend continues. The organization won’t be going down without a fight though - They have four events scheduled between August 15th and October 4th. While the two ShoXC events will likely do how they normally do on Showtime, the dark horse throughout this whole thing will be a regular EliteXC event on September 20th.

There has yet to be any indication of who might be on the card, although Paul Daley, Dave Herman, and Joey Villasenor are all rumored to be participating. One fighter who certainly will not is Robbie Lawler, who will reportedly be taking a break after fighting twice in less than two months. While Jake Shields is a potential headliner, he really doesn’t have a legit contender to face at this time in the welterweight division. A potential move up to middleweight is possible.

However I don’t think EliteXC will have to look very far for the answer. Nick Diaz has began to state in interviews that DREAM officials have decided to scrap a planned welterweight title bout between himself and Hayato Sakurai in September. With two straight EliteXC wins, Diaz has certainly made himself a contender once again in the lightweight division, so how about that rematch with K.J Noons?

The third bit of EliteXC-related information released by the state of California today was the official list of medical suspensions stemming from last weekend’s card. The fighter that could be taking the longest break is Travis Galbraith who has been temporarily suspended for six months due to a possible broken rib. All of the remaining fighters received mandatory breaks of 45-60 days for precautionary reasons.

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