With recent news that Strikeforce has acquired select assets from ProElite, Inc., there has been some confusion about the status of ProElite going forward.
However, ProElite CEO Chuck Champion is quoted in a recent press release as saying that the company will continue to exist and intends to promote MMA shows under its King of the Cage brand.
“With the sale, ProElite can now operate substantially debt free,” Champion is quoted, “and devote more resources to the development of our King of the Cage brand which founder Terry Trebilcock has managed profitably from its inception. Terry is one of the most capable leaders in the MMA space. He’s staged hundreds of successful events and I’m confident that under his guidance King of the Cage will continue to be a major force in the sport.”
While ProElite sold approximately 42 fighters contracts and a vast majority of the EliteXC tape library to Strikeforce, it still retains ownership of King of the Cage, ICON Sport, Cage Rage, Rumble on the Rock, and a partial stake in the South Korean-based SpiritMC. Additionally, the company still owns the EliteXC brand name, its interactive web site, ProElite.com, as well as over 100 fighter contracts that could be utilized on King of the Cage shows in the future.
Champion has come under a great deal of scrutiny since EliteXC stopped promoting shows in October and executed mass layoffs. While Champion and his skeleton staff worked towards a sale of assets, many of the company’s top fighters suffered financial hardships as they were forced to sit on the sidelines. However, the former YouBet.com CEO believes last week’s deal with Strikeforce was a win/win for all parties involved.
“Getting to this point has been a long hard road and I’m grateful to Showtime, Strikeforce, the fighters and their managers for their patience and their perseverance,” said Champion. “The company has managed its way through a very difficult time and it has done so in a way that has built bridges rather than burn them. Everyone involved deserves a lot of credit for the outcome.”
As a part of ProElite’s deal with Strikeforce and the subsequent absolution of its debt to CBS and Showtime the company will no longer have its events televised on the CBS Corp.-owned networks. However, Showtime still holds a 20 percent ownership stake in ProElite. ProElite also has an existing television agreement with Fox Sports Net and continues to shop a fighting-based reality television show through a prior agreement with television producer Mark Burnett.