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EliteXC’s ‘Impending Doom’ Averted for Now

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grappler0000

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Though its coveted spots on CBS and Showtime rival any other broadcast deals currently enjoyed in the sport, it’s unlikely any promotion is envious of EliteXC this week.

Nearly nineteen months into operation, Pro Elite -- the parent organization to EliteXC, ShoXC, King of the Cage, Cage Rage, and ICON events –- has found itself centerstage following a recent succession of incidents that have put the company’s ability to get the job done in question.

Last week, EliteXC’s welterweight champion Jake Shields, who’s clocked in under nine minutes for his trio of victories in the cage, went public with his intentions to accept a more challenging bout with a top-five middleweight through another promotion.

Just a few days later, news prematurely leaked out that a scheduled Sept. 20 event at the Pit in Albuquerque would be cancelled –- this before main event draw Joey Villasenor had even been notified.

On its heels, private negotiations between Mark Dion, manager to EliteXC lightweight champion Karl James Noons, and the promotion have gone public and seem to get uglier by the day.

The icing on the cake came with Thursday’s announcement that EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva had tested positive for the steroid Boldenone following his July 26 title victory.

SEC filings this week show Pro Elite is almost $55 million in the red, largely due to operating expenses incurred from its 15 flagship events to date, as well as its investments in other organizations (still running events themselves) that the company purchased to bolster its stable of fighters. In comparison, the UFC spent $44 million in four years before it struck oil with “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV series.

EliteXC has certainly seen better weeks, and the memory of their May 31 debut of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS in primetime -- which garnered heaping amounts of press and the most eyeballs of any live MMA event ever broadcasted with an average 4.9 million viewers –- seems to be fast fading.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, if Pro Elite can get to it in time. If changes were ever needed in the organization it would be now, and changes are being made.

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Post #1   8/22/08 4:00:51PM   

grappler0000

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Is it a sign of weakness in the UFC that Randy [Couture] didn’t want to stay there and go fight Fedor [Emelianenko]? I don’t know that that’s a sign of weakness for the UFC saying that they don’t have any good heavyweights.”


Rule #1 for EliteXC management: When defending the company's grave situation during interviews, make a parallel to the UFC...it makes everything seem less tragic.

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Post #2   8/22/08 4:05:08PM   

Darnok

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“Smaller organizations have postponed events and that’s been a signal of their impending doom, which I do understand why people sort of jump to that conclusion, but not with us,” says Lappen.


No but the 55 mil in the hole is a pretty big signal.

Post #3   8/22/08 5:02:36PM   

Darnok

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It's kinda of a refreshing change to see Sherdog bashing an org besides the UFC. I guess now that Affliction is here everyone else might as well quit.

Post #4   8/22/08 6:35:50PM   

telnights

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Well 55 Mil in the hole when the org is still this young is a huge deal. With all the problems EliteXC is having with fighters and money I don't see it lasting more than 6-8 months before its dead in the water. This is good news for the UFC and Affliction as the can pick over the remains. I see a bidding war happening to buy up EliteXC's remain contracts.

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Post #5   8/23/08 2:16:38AM   

prozacnation1978

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they won't last early next year
i still don't think they will pull in the numbers for the next show even with kimbo slice as head liner

Post #6   8/23/08 11:10:29AM