Josh Gross from Sherdog.com contacted EliteXC president Gary Shaw about several reports and rumors pertaining to the mixed martial arts promotion.
It’s been rumored that EliteXC is close to completing several acquisitions of smaller MMA promotions including King of the Cage and ICON Sport. While Shaw did not comment on the record, Gross claims that sources on all sides of the deal have said “talks are heating up.”
There were also rumors that Gladiator Challenge and Cage Rage were the objects of EliteXC buyout affection but neither promotion is mentioned in Gross’ report as being involved in buyout talks.
According to Gross, a deal with ICON Sport is close to being finalized and there is talk of Robbie Lawler fighting Murilo “Ninja” Rua for the EXC middleweight title on September 15 in Hawaii. However, Gross cautions that a deal has yet to be signed.
Shaw was willing to comment on the record about Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, who reportedly has spurned the promotion and is now expected to sign with K-1 Hero’s in Japan.
“We’re sorry that we lost him,” Shaw told Sherdog.com. “I guess K-1 is either throwing a lot of money or a lot of promises around. I would have thought that he would have wanted to fight in the United States. I guess that won’t happen now.”
Gross is reporting that Sokoudjou has been offered “significantly more money” from K-1 than the $200,000 promised by EliteXC. It’s important to note that Sokoudjou has still yet to officially sign with a promotion.
It’s interesting to hear that EliteXC is on the verge of completing these acquisitions considering they showed a sizable loss in their recent SEC filing. Is it possible that the company is on the verge of securing more financing? One would hope that they have a strong plan on how to monetize the acquisitions of the new promotions because DVD sales alone won’t pay for the purchase.
In regard to Sokoudjou, you’ll never hear me say a fighter is overpaid simply by the sheer nature of what they do for a living. He’s a good guy and a immensely talented fighter so congrats to him if he inks a lucrative deal in Japan. However, with that kind of money being thrown around can you blame the UFC for not landing him? That’s a lot of money to offer a guy who has only fought five pro MMA fights, no matter how much upside he has. The UFC is not a publicly traded company but Dana White is still accountable to the Fertittas and has to show some sort of fiscal responsibility.
You can read Gross’ full report by clicking here.