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ProElite and EliteXC’s folding all but official

While officials from ProElite, CBS, or Showtime have yet to be quoted on the record as confirming reports that EliteXC’s Nov. 8 show that had been scheduled to take place in Reno, Nevada has been canceled and that the promotion has closed its doors, there appears to be little doubt Tuesday morning that reports of ProElite’s demise that surfaced Monday afternoon are in fact true.

While top officials with the company have yet to confirm the reports, nobody with ProElite has been quoted as disputing them. Given the nature of the content, one would think that the company would be assertive in response to such news if it were erroneous.

Dave Meltzer also reported in the premium area of the Wrestling Observer that sources had confirmed to him that the promotion will be ceasing operations and further evidence of the apparent end to the promotion comes from quotes attributed T. Jay Thompson, whose ICON Sport promotion was acquired by ProElite in 2007. In addition to running ICON, Thompson also served as a consultant to EliteXC and was a cageside fixture for most of its major events.

Thompson told MMA Weekly that he received a call from EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen on Monday morning informing him that ProElite had filed for bankruptcy and that all of the company’s employees are going to be let go.

Through its public reporting through legally-mandated filings with the SEC, the fact that ProElite was in financial peril was plain to see for everyone. However, it had been expected that CBS would move forward and save EliteXC through an acquisition in light of the strong ratings generated by the fight promotion during network broadcasts on May 31 and Oct. 4.

However, Thompson indicated that plans for CBS to acquire ProElite fell-through thanks in large part to the controversy that preceded and proceeded the Oct. 4 planned main event between Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock that ended up turning into Seth Petruzelli TKO’ing Slice just 14 seconds into round 1.

“I was there cageside and watched the whole thing happen,” Thompson is quoted as telling MMA Weekly. “I think (CBS) got cold feet watching. The way the Ken Shamrock pullout was handled, all the way from the beginning to the end with Seth Petruzelli. Watching Jared Shaw jumping up and down and screaming as a representative of the company, I think (it) was disgusting and embarrassing.”

13 COMMENTS
  • Tony Fennen says:

    Where is Vince? Calling WWE…. there is a chance to buy a top 3 organization. EliteXC + WWE = $$$

    Just a thought

  • Pete says:

    Not sad in the least. Maybe now Jake Shields can join the UFC and show everyone how one dimensional he truly is. Let Jon Fitch give him a beat down or even Diego. Kimbo to Afflicition. I hope Strikeforce doesn’t rush to fill the void. Strikeforce out of all the smaller US promotions seems to have the most sense in promoting their fights and not paying more for fighters than they can afford. The have an better business model than EliteXC and I believe they have a better business model than Affliction in the long run.

  • rob says:

    Well all of you UFC fanboys got what you wanted. Yeah they had a piss poor business model – yeah they were banking heavily on the success of a streetfighter – yeah Jared Shaw, is well, not what I would want to lead a promotion, but to say they didn’t have great fights, or put on good shows is just being blind. I understand that most UFC fans don;t really follow MMA – so if you’ve never heard of a fighter that means he’s not good – but the ShoXC cards were (most of the time) great. After all the -ish that Dana talked about EXC I hope none of them go to the UFC – I do agree with Pete that Strikeforce can become what EXC was supposed to be. And I am sad becuase another outlet for watching fights is over – and isn;t that was it’s about – the fights, and not Mauro and Quadros – or the strippers – or whatever, the fights. Maybe now DREAM could be broadcasted in the states – I know fanboys you won;t watch that either. (Note: if you follow MMA and not just the UFC – don;t be stupid – you are not a fanboy)

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I’ll be sorry to see Elite fail. The more MMA the better. Maybe we can steer some federal bailout money their way. That way I’d have something to show for the cost of the bailout besides a sore sphincter.

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    Who’s on the list of ‘must acquire’ (“must” being a very relative term) for the UFC? Who will they be quick to scoop up?

    Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith, Nick (I Toke You So) Diaz, would be at the top of the list — especially Lawler, as talk of Anderson Silva’s potential retirement rumbles become more of a roar.

    Were it not for the cage v. ring question, I would think Affliction would scoop up Carano and Santos – that could be an interesting aspect for Affliction to explore. Carano is an incredible draw and Affliction has been very ‘cagey’ about P.R. type stuff.
    Affliction will also pick up Kimbo. Look for Ortiz v. Slice . . .

    What’s some other names the UFC would be interested in, I wonder…

  • Justin Van Hook says:

    Well, goodbye free mma, let’s hope Strikeforce and NBC can work something out. I guess I better stay away from mmajunkie.com, all the “I told you so” fools will be all over this story. Why a fan of the sport would ever be happy at the prospect of fewer shows is mind-boggling to me. Sure EliteXC had all kinds of shenanigans going on behind the scenes, but they put on some great fights and I for one will miss them.

  • dpk says:

    I think the UFC must haves are Shields, Lawler, and Alvarez. Guys they will make solid offers too but not overpay for are Antonio Silva, Dave Herman, Nick Diaz, Benji Radach, Villasenor, Smith and Rua. I would also expect UFC to offer low level contracts to Feijao (He trains with Silva and the Nog brother, so he has a good camp to sell his case to UFC), and Brett Rogers (8-0 265LBS HWs are not easy to find)

    i think WEC will and should make offers for Nick Thompson, Paul Daley, maybe KJ Noons (I doubt he’ll take it), and Wilson Reis. I’m sure a few other will be in there too.

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    dpk – Do you think Rua will be more or less attractive to the UFC depending on how his brother Shogun fares in his next UFC fight?.
    I had forgotten about Rogers – good catch there.

    I don’t think there has to be less fights because Elite goes in the tank; I think there can be more and better fights if the UFC has a bigger roster. I’m all for competition, but the NFL has shown a superior product and its competitors (USFL, XFL) have gone the way of the dinosaur.
    So far, the also -rans are simply proving the UFC’s capacity to offer a better product via production values and matchups.

    Elite doomed themselves and it appears that Affliction is doing the same. The UFC’s infrastructure is simply superior. Let’s not forget that the UFC weathered some very lean, tough times and were able to grind it out and now show profitability. I don’t see Affliction having that same long-term ability to support their product, and Elite simply ran out of gas just outside of Kettleman City. (It’s a metaphor for travel on the I-5 in California – Kettleman City is in the middle of nowhere, but sure looks attractive when you’re on “E”. I don’t know who Elite expected to be their “Kettleman City Savior”, but it just didn’t happen.)

  • HexRei says:

    I don’t think the UFC will be picking up Ninja anytime soon. His record is too mangled, he hasn’t had many quality wins lately and his recent rather ugly loss to Radach didn’t improve that much. Although the UFC could use another contender for the MW division, If A. Silva retires as planned, that issue will become less pressing. And would Ninja even want to fight Anderson? Didn’t they train together at Chutebox, and aren’t those guys notorious for refusing to face each other?

  • Tony Fennen says:

    Funny that all this talk of failing and Pro Elite Stock (PELE.PK) is up $.75 in the last 2 hours.

    Usually companies that are failing dont do this.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    I’m sad to hear about EXC.
    But bless them for bringing on the entertainment big time,even if it was circuslike at times.
    Can I still make fun of $kala?
    Ideally other organizations can learn from their failure.
    Let the Alvarez sweepstakes begin.

  • Steve says:

    i hope WEC picks up Wilson Reis, that would be sweet.

  • Patrick says:

    “Funny that all this talk of failing and Pro Elite Stock (PELE.PK) is up $.75 in the last 2 hours.”

    Unless the stockholders/buyers anticipate a buyout or remaining assets at a higher rate.

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