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EliteXC conference call notes

EliteXC held a conference call on Sept. 6 to promote their next card on Sept. 15 in Hawaii that will be airing on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET.

There were a lot of people on the call at different times so I might be leaving someone out but EliteXC live events president Gary Shaw, Gina Carano, Robbie Lawler, and Jake Shields were all on the call. Nick Diaz apparently was supposed to be on but never called in. I was kind of bummed because I’m real interested in what he has to say at this point.

Here are the highlights:

– Gary Shaw kicked it off but couldn’t talk long because he’s in the UK so that he can help complete the Cage Rage deal that was announced today. Gary indicated that they also have an agreement with Spirit MC in South Korera (Denis Kang has fought for this promotion) as well as letters of intent with Icon Sport and King of the Cage. Rumble on the Rock wasn’t mentioned but I believe that deal is done.

– I asked Shaw about Krazy Horse’s performance on the 8/25 ShoXC. I thought he might duck the question, but he didn’t. Shaw said he was disappointed with The Horse’s performance and that he felt he could have trained harder. But he still supported Bennett and also indicated that he sustained an injury to his hand in the first round. It doesn’t sound like The Horse is going anywhere.

– I asked about if we might ever see Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi II inside of an EliteXC cage. It doesn’t sound like something they are working on but Shaw didn’t rule it out. If Gomi isn’t signed to the UFC then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t see a rematch.

– Diaz vs. Mike Aina will be at 160 lbs. I asked if they plan to go with both a 155 lbs. and 160 lbs. division. Shaw said they are discussing the two weight classes and that 155 lbs. could be merged into 160 lbs.

– Ninja came on the call and via a translator he said that rumors about him leaving Chute Boxe are not true.

– Shaw was asked about expansion plans for the women’s division. He said he has identified three new female fighters he’d like to sign and hopes to have announcements ready by 9/15.

– The next ShoXC will be on Oct. 26 with another one scheduled for Dec. 7.

– Jake Shields indicated that he’s looking forward to fighting Renato “Charuto” Verissimo and that the match had been scheduled two other times prior but that the fights fell through.

– I asked Shields if EliteXC has talked to him about instituting a welterweight title and he said they have. He said he hopes to fight for it in his next bout.

– I asked Shields about his feud with Frank Trigg. He said that the match had been set for October in San Francisco and that both verbally agreed. When it came time to return contracts, Trigg never signed his and then wouldn’t answer his phone. Shields said he’s still open to the match but isn’t sure it’s worth pursuing right now.

– Someone asked a followup about the difference in weight class between Shields and Trigg. Shields said he’d be willing to fight at 185 if the offer is right. I am pretty sure he said the offer he had this time around wasn’t enough for him to fight Trigg at middleweight.

– Shields has one more fight on his EliteXC contract after the Charuto fight. He said he likes EliteXC and hopes to stay.

– Someone asked about the WEC but Shields said he hasn’t given serious consideration to fighting for them (maybe I missed something, does anyone know if the WEC tried to sign him?). I think the question was brought up because he holds a win over Carlos Condit, the current WEC welterweight champ. I think Shields sounded like he was open to fighting Condit again.

  • Paragraph 2, leaving not living…:)

  • Fujin says:

    Isn’t K-1 considering a 160lb division as well?

    With this ProElite “cooperation” business, we might see some interesting fights.

  • Jeremy says:

    Sam, has anyone ever asked Shaw once the belts are unified what they plan on doing with them. I mean can someone still fight for just the Icon Middleweight belt, and if so, why? I just don’t really understand the whole unification process, especially when acquiring whole organizations to do so. It would seem to make more sense to just disolve the other organization all together into EliteXC. Do we really need to see Frank Shamrock be the Icon, Strikeforce, Cage Rage, EliteXC Middleweight Champ? Doesn’t it make more sense to have the belt holders fight and be the EliteXC Middleweight champ only?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Fujin: I’ve heard rumors about a 160 lbs. division in Hero’s but haven’t heard anything concrete.

    Jeremy: Actually, the Icon title will not be on the line. If Lawler loses, he’ll still have the Icon Sport middleweight title.

    I am also confused by the whole unification and acquisition process. Lawler is a good example. He just signed a new four fight deal with EliteXC. Suppose he loses and is still the Icon middleweight champ… Icon looks like it will be acquired by Pro Elite… so will Lawler go back and defend the title on a local Icon show that wouldn’t be televised on Showtime or PPV? If so, why would you have a talent like Lawler competing for you in a non-televised fight? I realize EliteXC has non-exclusive contracts, but wasn’t the point of them so that they could entice talented fighters to fight for them by allowing to compete for other promotions? EliteXC and Icon Sport will be the same. Why would you have top fighters not fight on Showtime or PPV? EliteXC doesn’t have such a deep roster that they can afford to have guys fight outside of their contract in non-televised matches for promotions that they own.

    I’m talking in circles here but yeah, Jeremy, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

    I think Dave Meltzer said it best in this week’s print Observer: if you already own a promotion, why would you buy another promotion unless you bought it through a firesale type situation.

  • Jeremy says:

    Yeah Sam, it totally makes no sense to me as it is coming across from EliteXC right now. That is a perfect quote from Dave too. That’s why when the UFC bought Pride I never thought they would run another show, it makes no sense unless you do some kind of World Title separate from each promotion. For example the LHW Champ in each promotion fight each other at the end of the year for bascially bragging rights to the best LHW for that year or what not. Which is what the UFC mentioned was in their original plans I believe.

    The reason I was under the unification impression is because of the fight network posting from last night:
    “EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw announced during a teleconference today that the Saturday, Sept. 15 bout between EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua and Icon Sport Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler will unify the two titles. “One fighter will walk out with both belts,” Shaw said. The bout, which will headline EliteXC “Uprising” at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, will be contested under unified MMA rules. “

  • Sam Caplan says:

    I’ve been told that it isn’t a unification match. Gary sort of talked about the match being a unification match in a round about way so I could understand why someone would report it that way. And if Lawler wins, he will be walking out with two belts. If Rua wins, my understanding is that he’s walking out with one.

    I will call T.J. Thompson from Icon today and try to got official word. He’d have to sign off on the Icon title being on the line.

  • […] The EliteXC conference call for their Sept 15th event was held today and being the stoner he is, Nick Diaz forgot all about it and didn’t call in. Sam Caplan did, and here’s a breakdown of what was revealed: […]

  • Jeremy says:

    Ah, adding to the confusion. Good luck Sam and thanks in advance for finding out what you can. Perhaps if TJ has time ask him about his understanding of how this whole unification process works, if he knows? Thanks again.

  • robnashville says:

    I think EliteXC is doing these partnerships and acquisitions with an eye more towards having organizations with good local event promotions experience and contacts than with the unification process at this point. Shaw isn’t getting any money Showtime till next year so he is looking for promotional ties with groups that can guarantee a strong gate, something that can help him try to break even until he starts receiving dough from showtime to put on cards. You mentioned this when talking about the shows he has done so far in some of the southern casinos, ie he is looking to minimize his risk and keep expenses down.

    With the example you gave above about lawler signing with Elite and still doing shows with ICON, I think the reasoning behind doing this is you would have a guy that is still a local draw which would bring a good gate, but at the same time his appearances on Showtime would give him a nat’l cache, which would eventually increase sales on a PPV. I’m not so sure that EXC will purchase ICON/Rumble or strikeforce, but instead work with them in putting shows on Showtime and PPV, while letting the local guys handle event promotion and providing some of the fighters.

  • hey sam,

    always look forward to your articles here or on junkie. one comment i wanted to make about the shields-trigg match in san fran. both jake and frank were on the gracie fighting champ card in miami that subsequently was cancelled. frank got hosed on that deal and decided he didn’t want to accept offers from smaller orgs without some sort of “retainer” or purse up front. the people in san fran were supposed to fly to la and take care of that with frank’s manager ricco and it never happened. therefore, trigg decided not to put himself in the same position where he could get burned. also, the contract said 175 when he clearly has stated he intends to stay at 185 for now. at the same time, jake has stated he would move up to 185 so that should never be an issue.

  • Sam Caplan says:


    Thank you for the clarification.


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