Eddie Alvarez Talks Future & More!
Eddie Alvarez 'Waiting for a Fight'
Lightweight rising superstar Eddie Alvarez took some time to talk with PDG about the fall of EliteXC, his DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix experience, training and what the future holds for his mixed martial arts career.
PDG: Your scheduled fight against Nick Diaz was canceled when EliteXC went bankrupt last month; what were your thoughts when you got the news?
Alvarez: It was very unfortunate as I was about five weeks into my training for the fight. I was really looking forward to that fight and the whole situation just basically sucked. It was very important for me to win a title in America on national television. Shit happens and it wasn't the first time in my career. There was a similar situation when I was fighting for Bodog. I'm looking forward to moving on and signing with another American company that has a television presence.
Pro Elite attempts to stop CBS and Showtime public auction
We reported earlier this week about the intentions of Showtime Networks Inc. to host a public auction on November 17 with whatever remains of Pro Elite Inc., including the video library, fighter contracts and other items.
Pro Elite Inc. was indebted to the premium cable network to the tune of 6.3 million dollars, which was accumulated through various loans. Showtime is apparently under the impression that because Pro Elite defaulted on the loans that the company has the right to take possession of its most valuable assets moving forward.
Pro Elite, however, sees it differently. In fact, according to the Media Daily News the organization plans to take legal action to try and stop the auction from happening.
CSAC Suspends ProElite's Promoter's License
Pro Elite/Elite XC’s and King of the Cage’s licenses are suspended. They were suspended yesterday, when after looking into the matter carefully the exact situation was determined. However, it is not due to any type of contracts.
The primary reason that Pro Elite/Elite XC’s and King of the Cage’s licenses have been placed on suspension is because of their financial states and the fact that Pro Elite, the owner of King of the Cage, has suspended operations and their tangible and intangible assets are being auctioned on November 17.
CALIFORNIA STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION
Armando Garcia, Executive Officer
PRO ELITE FOR SALE AT PUBLIC AUCTION
The pieces of fallen mixed martial arts promotion Pro Elite, Inc. are on sale.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated Nov. 4, executives from Showtime Networks and parent company CBS Corporation announced that the assets of Pro Elite, Inc. would be sold to the highest bidder in a public auction scheduled for Nov. 17.
“Showtime gave the Issuer a notice pursuant to the Security Agreement, as amended, that it intends to sell all of the Issuer’s personal property, whether tangible or intangible, to the highest bidder at a public sale,” the filing states. “Showtime reserves its rights under the Security Agreement, as amended, and applicable lawto adjourn or cancel the sale and thereafter dispose of such property in a public or private sale or in any other manner provided by applicable law.”
The filing comes only days after Pro Elite sent a letter to fighter managers stating the company was in the process of downsizing and planned to put on another card in early 2009.
Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President for CBS Primetime Television, had no comment on the sale.
EliteXC Responds To Notice Of Breach, Promotion Not Dead Yet?
Reports of EliteXC's death may have been greatly exaggerated. Yesterday ProElite, EXC's parent company, notified several fighter managers the company still intends to promote mixed martial arts events. They're also disputing bankruptcy filing reports and "trying to buy more time to get more money or whatever" according to Cesar Gracie.
KJ Noons Now Wants Nick Diaz Rematch
First KJ Noons said he didn't want a rematch with Nick Diaz after their first fight was stopped after round 1 (Diaz couldn't continue-cuts). Now in a recent radio appearance Noons says that since the fall of EliteXC he would be up for a rematch. As long as it makes sense.
Scott Smith offers a fighter’s perspective on the fall of EliteXC
Former EliteXC middleweight contender Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith was set to face Cuban Judo Olympian Hector “Shango” Lombard at Elite XC “Night of Champions” on November 8 live on Showtime from the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
It was supposed to be the last event for Elite XC in 2008 … and it was shaping up to be perhaps the promotion’s best offering to date. Two world title fights were on the line, including a 185-pound showdown between division champion Robbie Lawler and Joey Villasenor and a 160-pound dream match up between Nick Diaz and Eddie Alvarez for the vacant lightweight crown.
Smith had trained hard and was prepared to make the most of the opportunity, until a late night phone call changed his career forever.
“I was hearing rumors and I actually got a call from a guy that works for the UFC and he was like ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ and I was like I don’t know, you probably know more than I do. Then my manager called and said it was pretty much a done deal.”
Little more than two weeks after its biggest star, Kimbo Slice, lost in just 14 seconds to replacement journeyman Seth Petruzelli in front of 4.5 million people on CBS, Elite XC was forced to close its doors forever.
EliteXC: A Lesson in Expectations Management
There are many golden rules within the business world, but in regards to selling yourself, your company, or your product, none are more important than this: never over-sell, never over-hype, never over-promise. It’s basic expectations theory.
When an organization makes a promise, they set an invisible bar of expectations within the minds of their customers. Then, for better or for worse, they’re stuck with the task of meeting those expectations; because, obviously, if you don’t meet the expectations of your customers, they’re not going to be happy.
While it seems like common sense, there is a host of academic research behind expectations theory. Perhaps that’s why I’m so surprised that a guy like Jared Shaw – someone so quick to pull out his Harvard School of Business case studies against KJ Noons – has managed to commit one of the greater selling sins in recent memory.
Under the management of EliteXC and the Shaws, Kimbo Slice has been promoted as this “street certified,” legend-slaying monster – a veritable MMA God. Unfortunately, they did such a good job of duping the general public that most actually believed the hype.
To the mainstream, Kimbo Slice, was as advertised; and, their expectations followed accordingly.
Sadly, those expectations were brutally exaggerated and MMA’s first, real foray into the mainstream should be considered a failure if for no other reason than the damage that Seth Petruzelli managed to inflict, with one glancing right, to the chin of both Kimbo’s and MMA’s credibility. And that’s even ignoring the controversy surrounding “Standgate.”
As a result, the general public - and perhaps just as important, the mainstream media - is very weary of our sport; all thanks to those brutal expectations that were unwisely, and perhaps even unfairly, thrust upon a fighter that was not ready and a sport that knew as much.
Now, the rest of the MMA community is left with the task of picking up the pieces and learning from the mistakes of the past.
So to all of you would-be promoters out there, know this: you’ve got a fine line to walk, between under and over-selling – tread it carefully. You can’t dupe the consumer and live to operate another.
Robbie Lawler's Manager Thinks He Can Get EliteXC Champ Out of Contract Quick
Robbie Lawler manager Monte Cox thinks he's got an escape hatch for his fighter, from Sherdog:
Cox filed a breach of contract notice last Wednesday with Pro Elite -- parent company to EliteXC, Icon Sport and Cage Rage -- prior to the company’s pending bankruptcy filing and the closing of its Los Angeles offices on Friday. Cox said the letter was received by Jeremy Lappen, head of fighter operations for EliteXC, and passed on to the appropriate parties.
"There’s a warranty clause in the contract that you can challenge if they have enough money to fulfill the contract," Cox said. "Obviously, right now, they do not. I notified them of what I considered to be breach of contract and they have 30 days to respond. They have to prove they can fulfill it or we’re a free agent."
ProElite Consultant T. Jay Thompson Spills Some Beans
CBS Sports has an interview with T. Jay Thompson (former promoter of the SuperBrawl and ICON Sport promotions, and later a consultant to ProElite) up with some nice bits of information.
Regarding Gary Shaw:
I just didn't like Gary and that I didn't like him morally or ethically. That's just the reality. I was hoping I was going to come in and learn from him. I really was. I was excited to come and work with another promoter that had more big show experience than me. I didn't find him smart, I didn't find him engaging, (and) I didn't find him to be compelling. I am amazed that he's gotten where he's gotten.
THE HUMAN SIDE OF THE ELITEXC COLLAPSE
JT Steele started his career at ProElite, Inc. as an intern when the company was first formed in November of 2006. Hungry to get into the MMA business, he worked for free during the day while completing a law degree at Southwestern University by night.
In a short time, Steele became a paid employee of the company, a beneficiary of the rapid growth the company experienced in 2007. Steele worked in talent acquisition, fighter contracts, and regulatory affairs under Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, eventually gaining the title of Senior Manager of Fight Operations. Steele had met Lappen while interning for the World Fighting Alliance in its short-lived comeback.
Steele was at ground zero when EliteXC’s deal with CBS fell through, and says the fallout shocked rank and file employees.
“It happened so fast,” he said. “Literally, faster than any of us could have ever anticipated it. We were forced to shut down almost immediately. I think a lot of people didn’t anticipate that.”
EliteXC fighter faces toughest test yet: unemployment
The past few weeks were exciting for middleweight Joey Villasenor. He had prepared vigorously for his rematch with Robbie Lawler.
Though Villasenor was stopped in 22 seconds the first time they met, he was confident things would end differently Nov. 8 in Reno, Nev. Villasenor, who turned 33 on Friday, was feeling good.
Where to now? Joey Villasenor founds himself without a job after EliteXC closed its doors.
In a little more than two weeks, he planned to enter the cage and exact revenge on one of mixed martial arts' top middleweights. Plus, he could earn a much-needed $60,000 -- $30,000 for the fight and $30,000 to win.
Just two more weeks and Villasenor would put a few bucks into his savings account that serves as a retirement fund. But two weeks is a long time when the event's promoter is struggling to make ends meet.
EliteXC’s Top 10 Moments
News of EliteXC’s demise shook the mixed martial arts world on Monday, as an entire stable of fighters suddenly found themselves without a place to work. Any number of reasons behind the 2-year-old promotion’s downfall could be chiseled into its tombstone:
Foray into mixed martial arts failed for boxing promoters.
Organization walked down the same green mile as the World Fighting Alliance, the International Fight League and Bodog Fight.
Promotion unraveled after scandal involving street fighter and UFC retread.
While EliteXC offered just as much controversy as excitement, it enjoyed many bright spots during its 20-month run.
Are CBS and Showtime Planning on Staying in MMA?
Yesterday, MMA Payout noticed something important in the SEC report by EliteXC CBS/Showtime had declared ProElite in violation of the terms of their $6.3million loan. This creates a possibility that CBS/Showtime will seize all the assets of the company, including the fighter contracts.
Now Josh Gross is hearing a bit more talk along those lines:
Perhaps the most interesting bit of information from this mess deals with the contracts of ProElite's fighters. One of the managers I talked to said Elite might not be able to free fighters right away as CBS might have a right to the contracts. The network had a promissory note with Elite which didn't get paid. Like a lien on property, their only assets to collect are the fight contracts. This contradicts suggestions on Tuesday that fighters under contract to ProElite before it went belly up would likely be free and clear to negotiate with other promoters.
There's no evidence that the suits at CBS can run an MMA organization but maybe they'd let someone competent from within the EliteXC ranks rise up and run the show.
VILLASENOR TALKS ELITEXC AND WHAT COMES NEXT
As the fallout from the shutdown of EliteXC continues, some of the fighters hardest hit by this news were the competitors for the upcoming Nov. 8 show in Nevada. None may have taken a bigger hit than top middleweight contender Joey Villasenor, who for the second time in just three months had the rug pulled out from under his fight schedule.
Originally set to be a part of the Sept. 20 show that was eventually canceled as well, Villasenor was gearing up for a rematch against Robbie Lawler on Nov. 8, but now that fight has been scrapped as well.
"Yesterday my manager called me and he said I have some bad news for you and I said, 'Robbie Lawler got hurt?' and he said, 'No, it's worse than that, Elite folded,'" Villasenor told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview. "I knew that they were in turmoil, but I was really banking on Nov. 8 happening.
"I felt good going into the fight that I would beat the No. 3 ranked middleweight in the world and have a great plan for my future, but these things happen and now we just have to prepare for what's next."