Published reports indicate that Strikeforce acquired a total of 42 fighter of approximately 150 contracts from ProElite during last week’s acquisition of select assets.
The San Jose-based promotion is believed to have the option of acquiring additional contracts from ProElite in the future, but as it stands now, a great deal of fighters will continue to remain under ProElite control.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that two fighters that will remain under contract to ProElite are EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva and former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua.
Once considered a hot commodity, Silva’s stock has declined in recent months due to the fact that he defied a one-year suspension in January that had been handed down by the California State Athletic Commission due to a positive steroid test.
Had Silva not fought on January 4 for the Japan-based Sengoku promotion he could have been reinstated as early as July. However, the commission is now expected to meet in the next several months to vote to revoke Silva’s license and in turn leave him ineligible to fight in the United States on an indefinite basis.
Sources indicate that Silva’s stock was also hurt by the fact that he received $200,000 following EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” in July for his heavyweight title victory against the late Justin Eilers in a bout that headlined a Showtime broadcast that served as a prelude to CBS’ telecast of Saturday Night Fights. Half of the six figure salary had been paid in the form of a guarantee with the other half coming in the form of a win bonus.
Having earned $35,000 for his knockout loss to Benji Radach this past October during EliteXC’s “Heat” event, Rua’s contract was also deemed to be too pricey. Despite having become the first-ever EliteXC middleweight champion following a second round TKO over Joey Villasenor during a combined Strikeforce and EliteXC event in July of 2007, Rua is just 2-2 in his last four bouts.