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What’s Next: Predicting where EliteXC’s top fighters will go

While EliteXC did not have a roster as deep in talent as its primary competitor, the UFC, the promotion was not without its share fair of good fighters. Some might say that EliteXC suffered from a lack of stars, but one could also counter that the company failed in being able to generate more interest in many of its talented fighters.

With the promotion set to formally file for bankruptcy later this week, it means that a great deal of fighters contracted to EliteXC are about to become unemployed. However, a lot of those fighters will not remain unemployed for long, as they will draw a great deal of interest from other fight promotions.

With that in mind, I decided to formulate a list of the promotion’s top fighters and break down who I think will end up where and why.

Kimbo Slice – This is a real tricky one. First, you can completely rule out the UFC. Let’s say UFC President Dana White was merely posturing with all of his recent anti-Kimbo statements, it still means he’s boxed himself into a corner. If he were to sign Slice now, he would take a ton of flack for it. But I believe he was sincere in his remarks and that there is no way we’d see Slice in the UFC. Maybe White actually would consider extending an invite for Slice to compete on The Ultimate Fighter, but season nine will not involve heavyweights and Slice may not want to sit on the sidelines until season ten. Oh yeah, there’s also the fact that there’s ZERO CHANCE he will compete for free on a reality television show. He’d probably do a YouTube street fighting reunion tour before he’d fight for free.

The options left for him really aren’t all that appealing. Slice could be an even bigger star in Japan than he is in the U.S. DREAM wants to do something big for its “Dynamite!!” show with K-1 on New Year’s Eve and Slice could be the next Bob Sapp. Sengoku is also apparently looking to make a splash for its live network show in Japan on Jan. 4 and they might have interest as well. But how viable of an MMA market is Japan right now?

Before competing for EliteXC, Slice fought an exhibition fight against former boxing champion Ray Mercer in Atlantic City for the now-defunct Cage Fury Fighting Championships. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Slice takes a step backward so he can take a step forward. If an up and coming promotion wants to make a splash, they could do so with Slice — so long as they are willing to show the money.

Also, don’t rule out Shane McMahon going to father Vince and trying to convince him that a Slice crossover to pro wrestling could be huge. Even if Slice has no interest in doing pro wrestling long-term, he’d have to think twice about a $1.5 million-to-$2 million payday for being involved in a short-term, high-profile feud that would culminate at Wrestlemania.

Affliction can’t be ruled out but matching him up would be very tough in a heavyweight division that includes Fedor, Josh Barnett, Tim Sylvia, Ben Rothwell, Roy Nelson, Pedro Rizzo, and Pau Buentello. Slice vs. any of those fighters would do well at the box office, but he’d be nothing more than a short-term fix. I don’t think his management will want to enter into a situation where Slice is viewed as disposable.

One thing that I would throw out of left field is for M-1 and whatever channel picks up Fighting Fedor to pay Slice to be one of the cast members of the forthcoming reality show. Paying a fighter to appear on a reality show probably has never been done, but attaching Slice’s name to the project might make it an easier sell to bigger television platforms. As of now, the star of the vehicle, Fedor, is largely unknown to the American mainstream. In Slice, they’d have a pretty recognizable co-star. They could hold Slice out until episode eight and match him with a total tomato can to ensure he remains on the show for an optimum amount of time.

Gina Carano – I read an article where a writer said “Poor Gina Carano.” Poor Gina? I don’t think so. The reality is that Carano was grossly underpaid and by becoming an unrestricted free agent, she’ll have much more leverage when negotiating a new contract. Affliction has said it has no immediate plans to promote a female fight. However, Affliction Entertainment Vice President Tom Atencio is a big fan of Carano’s and Affliction has a female-clothing brand “Sinful” that it would like to grow. What better way than to do it with Carano?

Before competing for EliteXC, Carano fought for Strikeforce, which still promotes female fights. I know that Strikeforce officials were none too happy with Carano when she left for EliteXC but the promotion needs more nationally-recognizable drawing cards. Carano’s quarter-hour ratings during her two CBS appearances clearly demonstrate she’s a national star. Strikeforce owner/promoter Scott Coker is a smart businessman and he’s not going to cut off his nose to spite his face. I don’t know for a fact, but I’d be willing to wager a lot of money that they’ll look at signing Carano.

And if CBS and SHOWTIME start their own promotion, Carano could be at the top of their list.

Frank Shamrock – What if ProElite and EliteXC had taken Frank Shamrock up on his offer to fight Kimbo as a replacement for his brother Ken? Granted, Kimbo’s camp ruled it out, but they also initially said they weren’t going to fight anyone other than Ken Shamrock the night of Oct. 4 until it became a financial no-brainer. What if they had offered an additional $250,000-300,000 to make Slice vs. Frank Shamrock happen? Sure, that’s a lot of additional money, but Shamrock beating Kimbo wouldn’t have looked as bad as Seth Petruzelli beating Kimbo and you know Shamrock wouldn’t have made the mistake of letting everyone it was in his financial best interest not to take the fight to the ground (which is not something we support, but loose lips sunk EliteXC’s ship). If Frank Shamrock had fought Kimbo, EliteXC would still be in business. Shamrock owed two more fights to EliteXC and now is only contracted for one more fight with Strikeforce. You’ll never see Shamrock in the UFC again but I don’t think he’s done competing. Shamrock is unique in that he doesn’t need a promotion behind him in order to survive. He’ll likely freelance and take fights next year vs. Ken Shamrock, Cung Le, and Tito Ortiz and make anywhere from $6-10 million doing so. Much like Carano, Shamrock will do just fine following EliteXC’s collapse.

Jake Shields – I’d be surprised if he wasn’t signed by the UFC by week’s end. I am dead serious. This is as about as big of a no-brainer as there is on this list. Shields will likely have to take a cut in pay, but his only other options are Strikeforce and Affliction. But long-term, it makes sense Shields to try and create leverage for himself towards a second UFC contract. His second deal will be far more lucrative than his first once he gets wins over some of the best in the world at 170 pounds. Now is the time to go after Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Thiago Alves while he’s still in his athletic prime. The only other option is to keep feasting on b-level competition in second-tier promotions due to the UFC’s monopoly at welterweight. Shields is a true athlete and I think he’ll take the cut in pay just for the opportunity to compete in the Octagon.

Robbie Lawler – Lawler is not the lock to go to the UFC that some people think he is. He is managed by Monte Cox and Cox is pretty creative when it comes to finding multiple opportunities for his fighters. He’s not going to allow his client to be put in a situation where the only company he can negotiate with is the UFC. Let’s remember, Lawler was not with EliteXC from day one and despite showing significant improvement competing for ICON Sport, the UFC still didn’t make a strong attempt to bring him back. Anderson Silva vs. Lawler in an unofficial UFC middleweight champion vs. EliteXC middleweight champion bout is intriguing, but far from likely. It would not surprise me to see Lawler competing for Affliction.

Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante – Feijao is managed by Ed Soares, the same manager for Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. Feijao not only trains under Silva, but also interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He’s completely destroyed his competition since moving to light heavyweight. The UFC is without question the odds-on favorite to be Feijao’s new home. It’s just a question of both sides agreeing on the money. If Feijao is unwilling to take a slight cut in pay, things could get tricky. But I see Feijao taking a step back for a three-fight deal so that he can improve his negotiation leverage following a couple of wins over name opponents.

Antonio Silva – Normally he’d be a no-brainer to go to the UFC but normal circumstances no longer apply to Silva. UFC Vice President of Talent Relations Joe Silva has already been quoted in the past as having an interest in Silva. However, he remains under suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commision. He will get his day in front of the commission by month’s end and in the unlikely event that the suspension is completely overturned, Silva will be able to advance directly to the UFC and collect much more than $200. If the suspension is upheld and he’s out for the year, he might have to fight a few times outside of the UFC before he receives an offer. However, if it’s reduced to six months, he’ll still likely receive an offer as he’ll only have three months left on the suspension to serve.

Eddie Alvarez – If B.J. Penn defeats George St. Pierre on Jan. 31 for the UFC welterweight title, chances are you won’t see him back in the UFC lightweight division. Without Penn at 155 pounds, the division will lack a big-time draw. While Alvarez is not yet a drawing card in the States, he has all the tools needed to be one of the cornerstones of the UFC’s lightweight division. However, Alvarez is managed by Monte Cox so Zuffa will not be able to get him on the cheap. Even if DREAM folds, parent company FEG is still expected to promote MMA matches on its K-1 shows. Alvarez created a lot of momentum for himself during DREAM’s lightweight Grand Prix and apparently loves competing in Japan. K-1 will reduce the number of MMA fighters it has under contract, but Alvarez is definitely worth keeping around. He also has a contract with Adrenaline MMA and Cox could certainly explore other opportunities for Alvarez in the States. As much as I would love to see him in the UFC, I believe that you’ll see him compete 3-4 times a year in Japan and 1-2 times a year in the U.S. for a promotion such as Affliction or Strikeforce.

Another option to consider is Philadelphia. With MMA having failed so many times as a national business-model, we’re going to see a shift towards regional-based promotions. A lot of people talk about the Strikeforce model but they are successful because they have hometown heros in Cung Le and Frank Shamrock. Well, Alvarez could easily be the Le and Shamrock of Philadelphia. MMA is technically legal in PA but shows aren’t taking place because the rules haven’t been voted on by the House of the Senate yet. As of now, it’s possible the first MMA show in Philly could take place in early-2009 and if that’s the case, a local promotion could build a cottage industry around Alvarez.

Nick Diaz – Personally, I’d love to see Diaz in the WEC so we could see Carlos Condit pushed, but I just don’t see that happening. Diaz is good enough to compete for the UFC at welterweight. However, one Diaz brother might be enough for Zuffa. Considering they were so down on Nick Diaz that they let him walk after he won a UFC fight tells us all we need to know. Zuffa is likely out, and so is Japan, unless Sengoku makes a bid because Diaz has already competed for DREAM and is believed to be owed a significant amount of money. If I was a betting man, I say he ends up competing for Affliction. I think Diaz’s persona will mesh well with a brand that is trying to market edgy clothing.

Wilson Reis – There’s a lot of negative things that can be said about EliteXC, but not everything they did was bad. They missed out on some talent but also brought a lot of new fighters to the forefront such as Feijao, Dave Herman, Brett Rogers, Fabricio Camoes, and of course, Wilson Reis. Reis has exploded from a highly-regarded prospect on the Philly and Jersey MMA scene to a highly-regarded featherweight competitor on the national scene in just little over a year. He’s gained a lot of momentum in a short amount of time but the best is still yet come from the 23-year old jiu-jitsu black belt. Is he ready for Urijah Faber? Not yet, but give him 12-16 months and he will be. And while he’s not ready for Faber, he’s most definitely ready for the WEC’s 145 lbs. division and I believe he’ll end up there sooner rather than later.

Joey Villasenor – I actually believe we will see Villasenor end up in the UFC some point within the next 6-to-8 months. He has the Greg Jackson association and the UFC went after a lot of secondary guys that were on the IFL roster because they were good fighters who could be acquired at an affordable price. I see the UFC finding itself in a situation in the next six months where they need a late-replacement for a PPV fight at 185 and for them to turn to Villasenor.

Murilo “Ninja” Rua – Rua is coming off a loss and the UFC rarely signs fighters in those situations. He also will likely command more money than the UFC is willing to pay. I see Strikeforce as a great option because they aren’t averse to spending money on International talent and he would be an interesting opponent for Cung Le.

Scott Smith – Smith may not have the best record in the world but he’s a great television fighter and has gained a lot of exposure thanks to a stint during the fourth season of TUF, his highlight-reel knockout over Pete Sell during the show’s live finale, and his two CBS appearances against Lawler. The UFC likely will take a pass but Affliction and Strikeforce should both make a play for Smith. Strikeforce likes fighters with California ties because it promotes so many shows in its home base of San Jose, so it appears to be a great fit for Smith.

Paul Daley – I think he’s another lock for the UFC. The UFC wants more starpower in the UK and Daley has the potential to be every bit as big as Michael Bisping, thanks to his outspoken nature and exciting fighting style. With Bisping, Dan Hardy, and Daley all onboard, the UFC would have a nice trio of UK-based fighters to spearhead their European aspirations.

K.J. Noons – The argument as to whether Noons is free to leave EliteXC with two fights left on his contract is a moot point. He can now go wherever he wants. The WEC’s lightweight division is the best place for Noons but Zuffa won’t be an option as long as he is represented by Mark Dion, who is believed to be involved in litigation against the company as a result of the whole Brandon Vera situation. Sengoku is a possibility but I think Noons would also be an ideal fit for either Affliction or Strikeforce.

Dave Herman – Herman is quite the enigma but he’s 11-0 as a fighter with a solid wrestling pedigree. When I saw him compete live for the first time against Mario Rinaldi on the Feb. 16 undercard for “Street Certified,” I thought to myself “How did the UFC not get this guy?” He’s competed twice for EliteXC since the Rinaldi fight and has been totally dominant. He is young and athletic with the potential to be a star and the UFC should sign him immediately.

Brett Rogers – Rogers is another fighter I am surprised EliteXC beat the UFC to the punch on. As with Herman, the UFC should sign Rogers for its heavyweight division because you can never have too many undefeated heavyweight prospects on your roster. A future heavyweight division of Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, Herman, and Rogers would look pretty nice. But whether or not Herman and Rogers sign with the UFC will come down to money. Being that they don’t have any wins over top fighters, the UFC may feel like they are unproven and that they should signed to entry-level contracts. Meanwhile, their management might see them as undefeated fighters who have received national exposure via CBS and SHOWTIME. It behooves the UFC to lock them up but I could see them falling through the cracks and ending up with Affliction.

Benji Radach – Radach has a crowd-pleasing style and is 6-1 since ending a three-year hiatus from the sport. The UFC told him he needed to win a fight outside of the organization to garner an offer, and he not only got a victory, but he got it on national television. The thing is, he made at least $40,000 for his last EliteXC fight and with a virtual monoply on the industry, I don’t see the UFC coming close to offering him that. Affliction and Strikeforce are likely his best options.

Cris Cyborg – Whevere Gina Carano goes, Cyborg, and all of EliteXC’s division should follow. Then again, if I had millions of dollars to invest, I’d look at the possibility of going out and signing Carano, Cyborg, Tara LaRosa, Sarah Kaufman, Kaitlin Young, Julie Kedzie, Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger, Marloes Coenen, Amanda Buckner, Roxanne Modaferri, Rosi Sexton, Michelle Watterson, Elena Reid and do an all-female promotion with divisions at 115, 125, 135, and 145. Female-only promotions have been done before and failed but one has never been done with all of the top females competing under the same promotional banner. I think there’s a business-opportunity there for someone to capitalize on.

Yves Edwards – Edwards is already scheduled to compete for Strikeforce later this month against the promotion’s current lightweight champion, Josh Thomson. Edwards has beat him once before so a win isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. If Edwards holds the Strikeforce lightweight title, the promotion will probably be able to keep him very active. A loss could mean that he’ll need to return to the regional circuit to fill out his dance card.

These are just some of the more notable names. But much like with the IFL and BodogFIGHT, I didn’t realize just how good of a roster of talent EliteXC had until it was gone. So much like the IFL and BodogFIGHT, EliteXC was guilty of not being able to properly market its fighters and bulld more stars. There’s a whole list of talented fighters that we will see end up competing on the regional level with quite a few of them only needing a win or two before getting another shot with a major national promotion. The names are many and include Fabricio Camoes, Phil Baroni, Nick Thompson, Hector Lombard, Bao Quach, Cyrille Diabate, John Alessio, Jon Murphy, Conor Heun, Edson Berto, Giva Santana, Seth Petruzelli, Matt Makowski, Mamed Khalidov, Shane Del Rosario, Jared Hamman, Po’ai Suganuma, Aaron Rosa, Lyman Good, Paul Bradley, Torrance Taylor, Malaipet, David Douglas, Bryan Caraway, Abel Cullum, Zach Makovsky, Thomas Denny, and Jesse Brock.

  • Patrick says:

    Kimbo Slice – Affliction

    Gina Carano – WEC If a female division is formed. Strikeforce is the WEC doesn’t form a female division.

    Frank Shamrock – Strikeforce/Affliction

    Jake Shields – UFC

    Robbie Lawler – Toss up, WEC/UFC/Affliction/Strikeforce are all options.

    Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante – UFC

    Antonio Silva – Affliction

    Eddie Alvarez – Affliction, UFC is a small small small small possibility.

    Nick Diaz – Strikeforce/Affliction

    Wilson Reis – WEC

    Joey Villasenor – Strikeforce/Affliction

    Murilo “Ninja” Rua – Affliction

    Scott Smith – UFC, Strikeforce is a possibility.

    Paul Daley – Toss up between all options, WEC is most likely in my opinion.

    K.J. Noons – Affliction

    Dave Herman – Affliction

    Brett Rogers – UFC or Affliction

    Benji Radach – Strikeforce/Affliction

    Cris Cyborg – Wherever Gina goes.

    Yves Edwards – Strikeforce/Affliction

  • Nick Travaglini says:

    Sam, Nick Diaz was paid in full from Dream. Link is below. Good article.

  • Nick Travaglini says:

    I am really excited for the idea of Wagney Fabiano and Wilson Reis int he WEC to challenge Faber. With both of them as challengers, I have actually forgotten about Kid Yamamoto for 5 minutes.

  • modogg says:

    Sam, I see no mention of the AFL. I may have the wrong acronym, but it is the organization that invested in Bobby Lashley and some other fighters. It would seem a good place for some of the female fighters and maybe one or 2 of the names mentioned above. I saw Afliction mentioned quite a bit, but with their recent cancelation and no long-term plan, i can’t imagine they would want to invest much more into fighters. They got their name out there, now they can make their money selling their clothing

  • Patrick says:

    Blasphemy, how could you ever forget about Kid Yamamoto!?

  • Tom O'malley says:

    Top notch article Sam. This is why you are the best!

  • William W. says:

    Don’t forget Jaime Jara and Seth Kleinbeck!

  • Matt Cava says:

    “Female-only promotions have been done before and failed but one has never been done with all of the top females competing under the same promotional banner. I think there’s a business-opportunity there for someone to capitalize on.”

    that would be awesome. would prob never happen. but would be awesome.

  • ihateemo says:

    Great article.

    This is actually pretty exciting! I’d especially love to see Shields in the UFC. He’s been talking about going up to middleweight but if he signs he has a whole cornucopia of potential opponents and will be kept busy for a long time. The welterweight division is definitely crowded, yet I don’t think there is such a thing as having too many good fighters.

    I also hope Radach returns to the UFC to bolster the middleweight division. His fight against Rua was incredibly entertaining. Imagine him taking on Chris Leben with his “Face Smashing Fu”? Yikes.

    As for Gina…lovely Gina. I’m sure she’ll be fine.

  • obamasaidknockyouout says:

    Great piece, Sam. You hit the nail on the head regarding the talent of Elite, great analysis.

  • Tony Fennen says:

    Kimbo = (taking a pay cut where ever he goes) my guess DREAM or a Regional Promotion
    Gina Carano – Strikeforce or ShoXC (which I believe is separate from EliteXC)
    Frank Shamrock – Strikeforce
    Jake Shields – UFC
    Robbie Lawler – Not the UFC
    Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante – UFC
    Antonio Silva – Affliction or UFC
    Eddie Alvarez – Dream (anyone that gets him will be happy)
    Nick Diaz – Strikeforce/Affliction
    Wilson Reis – WEC
    Joey Villasenor – Strikeforce/Affliction
    Murilo “Ninja” Rua – RETIRE
    Scott Smith – Regional Show
    Paul Daley – UFC UK
    K.J. Noons – OBGYN
    Dave Herman – UFC

    Brett Rogers – UFC or Affliction

    Benji Radach – Strikeforce/Affliction

    Cris Cyborg – Wherever Gina goes.

    Yves Edwards – Strikeforce/Affliction

  • ultmma says:

    lol if all the fighters lean to Affliction than that company wont make it until October of 2009

    This is how dominate the UFC is (in case it wasn’t already obvious enough) Affliction is their number 2 competitor by default

    Their resume: 1 show with a overblown budget, limited TV deal thru HD net, and the best heavyweight division on the planet

    emphasis on 1 show

    yikes mma fans, yikes

  • Justin Van Hook says:

    The real question is, What happens to Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm? I guess it’s back to SportFight.

  • Shatner says:

    I hope Carano,Lawler,Noons,and Ninja end up in Strikeforce.I think Daley will end up in UFC because they seem to be in love with the UK and have spent a lot of money making the move there and he is a bigger draw than Paul Taylor or Terry Etim,also hope Shields ends up in the UFC because that’s where the top 170lb.fighters are and it will show how overrated he is.This also makes things interesting for Tito I wonder where he’ll end up now.As for Nick Diaz I could care less.

  • nick says:

    Any word on whats going on with “Kid” and the marijuana charges in Japan?

    Great article by the way, I agree for the most part.

    I would love to see Antonio Silva in the UFC. He’s a promising heavyweight who could cause some problems in division.

  • Patrick says:

    “Kid” knee’d the marijuana charges in the face in 4 seconds, viciously knocking them out.

    He then punched their mother and ate their sister.

  • EdWhitson says:

    Awesome article, thank you.

  • EdWhitson says:

    Hey, who did the UFC sign again from the IFL? Massenzio, the Miller brothers, Matt Horwich, Brad Blackburn, the guy who fought Brandon Vera and looked shaky (forget his name). Who am I missing ?

  • Brandon says:

    Hectar Lombard will go to the UFC… guy has loads of talent and I believe he was very close to signing with them before

  • Matteo says:

    It would now seem it was a bad idea for Zuffa to have merged their MW/LHW Divisions into the UFC..

    With Pro Elite folding. Zuffa could have cherry picked all the higher end talent for the UFC and all the ShoXC Prospects for the WEC.

  • NJMMAFAN says:

    so y did people repeat his post? the fighters will go wherever the best offer is, no need to speculate. cant believe petruzelli wasnt mentioned on there considering he destroyed elitexc single push kick/jabbedly

  • rider says:


    This whole article is hearsay and a moot point… You are assuming they are free agents…

    So far not one fighter has received their release.

    For all we know all their contracts can be tied up in bankruptcy court for many many months.

    Editor’s Note: Hearsay and moot? Assuming? LOL. Rider, I am not sure how long you’ve followed MMA, but if history has taught us one thing, fighter contracts are very hard to transfer from one company to another even during standard acquisitions. PRIDE and IFL contracts could not be transferred to Zuffa and all of the fighters had to sign new deals. Do you for a second actually believe that a company will be able to acquire fighter contracts through bankruptcy court? The contracts the fighters signed were with ProElite, Inc. and not with any other company. C’mon now, use some common sense.

  • dpk says:

    I think something that may be in the back of these guys minds, is that even if Zuffa offers a little less money, at least they offer stability. Affliction has already postponed its 2nd card by almost 4 months, and for guys who were just in a training camp for a card that was cancelled two weeks out, that cannot be appealing to think of going through that again. I agree with the above poster who said that this would have been a prime time to stock the WEC MW/LHW divisions, but I’ve said all along that UFC should just add 135/145, and make WEC a minor league (I really think this will happen in the next 2-3years, I imagine they are just waiting for some TV contracts to play out, and be re-negotiated). One thing in my opinion to keep an eye on, is if UFC somehow signs Big Foot, Herman, and Rogers, then I really think Affliction is done for, they need young talent that hasn’t been through UFC, and might over pay to get these guys.

    I think the UFC must haves are Shields, Lawler (if he came in and fought at 91 or 92 I think they could let him coach TUF 9, and fight Bisping at the end), and Alvarez (especially if BJ beats GSP).
    Guys they will make solid offers too but not overpay for are Antonio Silva, Dave Herman, Nick Diaz (I personally think he would be a better fit in WEC), Benji Radach, Villasenor, Smith and Rua.
    I would also expect UFC to offer low level contracts (between 6K/6K, and 12K/12K 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 they need guys to fight Condit. An offer to KJ Noons would help their LW(I doubt he’ll take it), and Wilson Reis. I’m sure a few other will be in there too. I’m also curious to see if a few EliteXC guys end up on the next season of TUF, IFL was well represented after it collapsed.

  • rider says:

    Sam, so you are confirming that all these fighters are free agents?

    I repeat again… not one fighter has received a release yet…

    So they are NOT free agents at the moment,

    Please use some common sense before publishing your hearsay.

    Editor’s Note: Okay, so the first argument didn’t work for you (that their contracts could be acquired through bankruptcy court) so you’ve moved on to a new one with even less validity. Where does the article say that the fighters are currently free agents? Do your research. If you did, you’d know that managers for many of the fighters listed in the article have already begun to negotiate with other promotions.

  • Patrick says:

    Rider, he didn’t say they are free agents yet, he said they are “about” to become unemployed, and then he “predicted” where they will go.

    It’s an opinion piece, try reading it first and having some basic comprehension of the topic before you start critiquing the write up without a base to stand on.

    It’s a subjective piece that is trying to shine the light on the potential destinations for potential free agents.

    When did all these freaking arm-chair journalism critics start appearing here, it’s like 2-3 of them every damn post.

    Editor’s Note: Patrick, you raise an excellent question in your last sentence. My theory is that there are a great deal of people that are threatened and or jealous of the success of this website.

  • rider says:

    Subjective? I called it hearsay because he is assuming these fighters are “free agents”.

    Maybe you guys should read the article again because here’s a direct quote from your “article”:

    “K.J. Noons – The argument as to whether Noons is free to leave EliteXC with two fights left on his contract is a moot point. ”

    No your article at this point is moot… The fact is if Sam did his homework he would know that not one of these fighters listed are in fact free agents…

    and their contracts could be held up in bankruptcy court for months unless they get a release… Some of the fighters contracts won’t be in default for up to a year!

    So what you call “journalism” is what I call a sherdog fanboy forum post.

    Hellboy hansen and other fighters couldn’t fight for how long after the pride purchase?????

    Whichever fighters aren’t released before bankruptcy is filed will have to wait until their contracts are in default to then have a right to demand a release otherwise whoever buys up the assets can sue the fighters and whatever organization is stupid enough to sign them without a release in hand.

    And neither strikeforce or Zuffa will sign any of these fighters unless they have a release in hand.

    So again please don’t confuse real journalism with a “fanboy” post.

  • Bill says:

    I don’t see Jake Shields being able to compete with Fitch, Sanchez, Kos, Alves, Hughes, Pariysan, or any of the top welterweights that the UFC has. He will improve over time, but for now, I think hes out of his class with the names above. Antonio Silva would be a good addition to the UFC’s heavyweight division. He has alot to improve on, but the HW division is not nearly as loaded as the the WW division. I would also like to see Rua and Radach go to an organization that will be seen on tv or ppv, they are very exciting, win or loose.

  • Patrick says:

    ““K.J. Noons – The argument as to whether Noons is free to leave EliteXC with two fights left on his contract is a moot point. ””

    You address this by saying that the article is a moot point whereas the article points correctly to the fact that the 2 fights existing on the EliteXC contract are now essentially buried. If you have any experience with basic contracts, there are typically “outs” for those people contractually obligated to perform services to a company that no longer exists. These “outs” may only come into play if the company is not purchased or reinstated in a specific time period, however they almost ALWAYS are there in order to protect the obligated entity.

    The two fights will not happen, the fact that the contract states they are there is now besides the point, the only thing that will hold Noons for example is the time period in which his “out” may take place. The two fights are no longer an issue and thus are a “moot” point.

    “Subjective? I called it hearsay because he is assuming these fighters are “free agents”.”

    Clearly you are not familiar with the definition of the word SUBJECTIVE.

    “No your article at this point is moot… The fact is if Sam did his homework he would know that not one of these fighters listed are in fact free agents…”

    He didn’t say “right now these fighters are free agents completely, and at this very moment”, he alluded to the future state of being a free agent after EliteXC washes away. Reading comprehension is a terrific and underutilized tool these days I guess.

    “and their contracts could be held up in bankruptcy court for months unless they get a release… Some of the fighters contracts won’t be in default for up to a year!”

    ZOMG you totally made an assumption that some won’t be in default for like A YEAR… How dare you post such heresay. I hope my sardonic tone was strong enough there to reach through your monitor and throttle you.

    “Whichever fighters aren’t released before bankruptcy is filed will have to wait until their contracts are in default to then have a right to demand a release otherwise whoever buys up the assets can sue the fighters and whatever organization is stupid enough to sign them without a release in hand.”

    Or they could have written clauses in their contracts detailing what will occur to them should their contractual obligations end up in this very situation.

    “And neither strikeforce or Zuffa will sign any of these fighters unless they have a release in hand.”

    No really? Of course they won’t, however you can’t say when that release will be, what form it shall be in, or what any outcome of the situation is, you’re railing against heresay, opinion, and assumption while committing the very sins you mistakenly flog people with. For all you know, all of these fighters could have just been granted a release 12 minutes ago, even if that’s not the case, why is it such a sin to speculate on where they may or may not end up?

    You have no basis for argument here, everything you’ve said is essentially self contradictory because of the basis of your critique and lack of any real analysis or what you are writing or what the original post had written within.

    God forbid Sam, or any other writers of this blog express their opinions and thoughts on a matter without first consulting a damn psychic.

  • islandguy says:

    Kimbo Slice will do well in Japan where they like the freakshow aspect and he can fight Bob Sapp or some retired sumo or Butterbean or anyone and lose every time and still have career.. Hope he has been wise with the half a mil he just won…


  • rider says:

    So you think the fighters have a clause in their contract that gives them an out for this specific situation?

    Please get some experience in the real world before you make an argument…

    The fighters only have the standard clauses which primarily is a certain number of fights guaranteed in a certain time frame and obviously the payment. Absent this guaranteed by the contract they don’t have a right to a release.

    Since you don’t know anyone who has one of these contracts please go find someone with one so you don’t look so foolish.

    I’m sure Sam can track one down or at least take the time to confirm what I already know since he is a “journalist”.

    So let’s now call assuming all these fighters as free agents… which we know they are not – and let’s take it even a step further and assume that Proelite will just happily release all these contracts which so far they haven’t … and based on those assumptions let’s write a blog post fantasizing some possible outcomes and call it journalism.

    It’s getting pathetic…

    My whole point in all of this is instead of creating a fanboy forum post get on the phone and figure out why these fuckers are hesitating to give these fighters their release so they can at least benefit from free agency instead of them trying to whore these contracts out.

    You know like real journalist stuff.

    And I warn you before you reply… wait a week before you look even more foolish.

  • dpk says:

    rider – Why is this even an argument. Since this story broke, all fans have been wondering about this very topic. All Sam did was write an article that gave his educated guess on where these fighters would end up. Sam, I enjoyed the article, and am really not sure what this guys agenda is.

  • Rider's Mom says:

    Mr. Caplan.

    my son rejects your reality, and would like to substitute his own.

  • Patrick says:

    “The fighters only have the standard clauses which primarily is a certain number of fights guaranteed in a certain time frame and obviously the payment. Absent this guaranteed by the contract they don’t have a right to a release.”

    So you know this to be an absolute fact, that the fighters are not provided with safety nets to protect themselves from contractually forced “dead time” if the contracting organization dissolves?

    Or are you assuming that this is the case and then providing an opinion on what you believe the state of affairs is/could be?

    “So let’s now call assuming all these fighters as free agents… which we know they are not”

    No, you assume they are not free agents, some fighters could have very well already been released from their obligations. Unless you work for EXC or manage every single one of these fighters… you’re providing an assumption.

    Have you ever read an editorial? An opinion section? Anything where people are allowed to express free ideas without overarching solid evidence, allowing them to postulate on what could be the state of nature in the future? Or do they not have that in whatever totalitarian anti-free thought and expression place you live in?

    It’s an opinion piece you idiot, how many times do I have to explain that Sam didn’t say they WERE in fact free agents, he explained what he believes will happen, not what is exactly the state of affairs at this given moment.

    You’re dense as hell man, I can’t think of any other reason that this wouldn’t be getting across to you, it just surprises me that any human being can be so damn dense.

  • Patrick says:

    On top of all of this let me remind you what it says at the very top of this site:

    “Your destination for MMA insider news and OPINION”

    But I guess nobody is allowed to predict outcomes or offer opinions because you say it’s not good journalism and that it’s all “fanboy” crap. Guess nobody is allowed to say Silva will beat Cote, or that Couture will submit Lesnar, or that Mir will upset Nog, or that anything will happen at all.

    Your basis for argument is flawed, and it’s absolutely mind boggling to me that you can’t see it.

  • rider says:

    “dead time”…. You are mentally challenged. Please if you don’t understand what you’re talking about quit embarrassing yourself.

  • Patrick says:

    Uh, what’s wrong with referring to useless waiting around time between obligation and release without potential for fights as dead time?

    Are you on crack?

  • Truth says:

    just let it go people…obviously you won’t agree with each other….that’s fine, but quit making me scroll down so far to read something that isn’t personal between the two of you…both of you think the other one is a moron, so if you’re both so knowledgeable, then obviously, you’re both morons…take this squabbling to myspace or something….

  • Patrick says:


  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    I’m insanely bored at work and read ALL of that.

    Rider, you’re dumb.

    That’s pretty much the conclusion I came to.

  • screwface says:

    “K.J. Noons – OBGYN” LOL

    thx that was a geat laugh. good article Sam, but what about you? Im guessing your a ‘free agent’ now too as well or am i wrong :)

  • candleface says:

    when elitexc collapsed I was so scared about what would happen to Kimbo and Gina. I hope they start a reality show called, “Gina and Kimbo do America.” And that white dude from Kimbo’s Youtube videos could be on there yelling, “Finish this ferg!” and Gina would just go around smashing everything like the Incredible Hulk. GINA SMASH!

  • Rider. says:

    I just like to argue with everything people write, because i have such a sh*tty life, and have nothing better to do than be a keyboard warrior. Pay no attention to me because I am going to hang myself, because I hate my life.

  • do it says:

    what about tonya evinger?

    I think gina, tonya, and cyborg will all go to strike force and gina will get her first loss to tonya then they will both fight cyborg and then we will see evinger vs carano 3 for a belt.

    why wouldn’t diaz go to UFC?



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