Promoter says "Contenders" cancellation unrelated to canceled EliteXC show
Less than 24 hours after news surfaced that ProElite, Inc. had canceled an EliteXC event scheduled for Sept. 20 in New Mexico, a second event -- scheduled to be held tonight in the U.K. under the ProElite banner -- has also been scrapped.
Tonight's "Cage Rage Contenders 11" event in East London, U.K., was canceled by parent company ProElite just 24 hours before its scheduled start.
Cage Rage officials claimed the cancellation was in no way related to the fate of the Albuquerque, N.M., EliteXC card.
"This show has only been canceled so we can concentrate on our November Contenders show," Cage Rage promoter Dave O'Donnell told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Our November event will be a big deal as it will be the culmination of a reality TV show and will be broadcast live on Nuts TV. We do not want to spread our resources too thin."
Cage Rage, a six-year old promotion purchased earlier this year by ProElite, has been under public scrutiny in the U.K. for a perceived lack of quality competitors and matchmaking on its cards. Recent layoffs have left the organization with just three full-time front-office employees.
O'Donnell could not offer specific names at this time but said "some" of the fighters scheduled for tonight's event will be moved to a later Cage Rage event. The remainder will be released from their contracts.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Contenders event series serves as a feeder system for Cage Rage and also showcases new, young talent -- not unlike EliteXC's ShoXC series.
On Friday EliteXC broadcaster Maura Ranallo broke the news that the Sept. 20 EliteXC event, which was expected to be headlined by Joey Villasenor, had been scrapped. EliteXC has yet to make an official announcement.
Some of the event's scheduled fighters, including British fighter Paul Daley, were unaware of the cancellation until contacted by MMAjunkie.com. It's likely that some of the fighters could be rescheduled for EliteXC's third event on CBS, which takes place two weeks later in Florida.LINK