EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw raised a few eyebrows during a conference call last Thursday to promote this coming Saturday’s debut telecast on CBS. When asked by a reporter if there were any plans to add a heavyweight title, Shaw indicated it’s something that’s been discussed and could happen by year’s end.
“Right now we’re close to doing a heavyweight title,” Shaw confirmed. “We’ll probably do the heavyweight title in 2008 and Kimbo’s there and James Thompson is there and obviously Junior Silva is right there at the top.”
In addition to Silva, Slice, and Thompson, other potential contenders for the title could include Brett Rogers, Jon Murphy, Ricco Rodriguez, and Dave “Pee Wee” Herman. Rogers and Murphy are scheduled to go head-to-head this Saturday, while Herman will be fighting on an EliteXC show in Hawaii against UFC veteran Ron Waterman. Rodriguez, a former UFC heavyweight champion, has not competed for the promotion since losing a split decision to Silva during the promotion’s “Street Certified” event this past Februrary.
It will be intriguing to see if EliteXC does in fact institute a heavyweight title before the turn of the calendar year, as doing so would make it likely that Silva and Slice would have to cross paths. Silva would prove to be Slice’s toughest challenge to date in MMA competition. Slice, who only has two pro MMA bouts under his belt, would be giving up a lot of experience if he was matched up with Silva.
EliteXC currently has active titles for its lightweight and middleweight divisions. A welterweight title was supposed to be instituted this past March but was canceled after Jake Shields injured his back training for a bout against Drew Fickett. The bout was re-scheduled for June but was postponed again after Fickett was forced to withdraw due to injury. A new date has yet to be announced.
Shaw also revealed plans last week to add a women’s title and mentioned both Gina Carano and Kaitlin Young as leading contenders to fight for the title.