Some Upside From ProElite's, EliteXC's Demise
Sam Caplan identifies it:
Another thing you will see with the fall of ProElite is the rise of regional MMA. With MMA on the downturn in Japan, a lot of talented fighters could be stuck in a state of purgatory. Granted, Strikeforce will be very interested in a lot of the aforementioned names, but the reality is that the WEC, UFC (which will likely have to purge some of its roster if it pursues a significant amount of ex-EliteXC fighters), and Strikeforce can only have so many fighters under contract. A lot of fighters who were fighting and winning on the national level are suddenly going to find that their only options will be to fight for less for U.S.-based regional promotions and improve their market value with the major national promotions that remain, or retire.
Existing regional promotions will look to secure talent that falls through the cracks while several promotions will form out of the void that has been created by the collapse of so many national promotions. A fight such as Rogers vs. Herman, which had been discussed as a strong possibility of taking place for EliteXC in 2009 for the promotion’s heavyweight title, might now be contested on a regional show. And once these regional promotions sign a few significant names, they will become immediate candidates to land a broadcast deal with HDNet.
What's Next for Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano and Jake Shields?
Dave Meltzer ponders what's next for the three biggest players in EliteXC's roster:
Elite XC’s two biggest attractions, Slice and Carano, are unlikely to be moving to the sport’s highest-profile group. UFC president Dana White has repeatedly said he won’t use Slice, who made his reputation as a backyard streetfighter on YouTube videos but is not the caliber of even a mid-level MMA pro. White also has said he’s not interested in promoting women’s fighting, although Carano’s success as a draw may cause him to reconsider. Her match with Kelly Kobold two weeks ago ended up adding more new viewers than any MMA match on television in the U.S.
Several agents for fighters have been in contact all day with the UFC. Some, like welterweight champion Jake Shields, would be welcomed into the promotion.
Carano will likely be fighting in an ad hoc basis. She is too marketable and popular to never be used, but without a strong financial backer to build women's MMA or divisions she'll be forced to fight opponents in a one-off basis. Luckily for her, she doesn't have all of her eggs in one basket with her various ventures. She'll still have a public profile with or without MMA.
Shields is in an excellent spot and I would be surprised if he didn't go to the WEC or UFC (more likely the latter).
As for Slice, that's tougher to predict. He is exceptionally popular, but do major promotions like Strikeforce or Affliction - who realize how limited his talent actually is - want to follow in EliteXC's footsteps with meaningless match-making? Part of the impetus to put those matches together was simply to keep EliteXC afloat on the back of their most popular star. Does Strikeforce want to follow that precedent? I seriously doubt it, although I could imagine a world where Affliction tries that. While it's impossible to dismiss Slice's appeal, EliteXC offered the perfect hand-in-glove scenario for him to thrive. Unless promoters are willing to make the same accomodations, where does he go?
ELITEXC INSIDER DETAILS COMPANY'S DOWNFALL
In an interview with MMAWeekly.com Monday evening, Icon Sport founder T.J. Thompson said crisis management, or lack thereof, brought Pro Elite down.
Thompson history with Elite began in August of 2007 when he sold his Hawaiian MMA promotion Icon Sport to the then-expanding company. As part of his deal, he entered into a five-year consulting deal with the Los Angeles-based company and participated in many strategic talks with its executives.
A 15-year industry veteran who got his start promoting fights in the backrooms of bars to a couple hundred fans, Thompson got a call Monday morning from EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, who informed him that the company had filed for bankruptcy and everyone in the company would be let go.
Thompson said it was CBS, not Showtime, who backed out of an impending deal to purchase the ailing fight promotion. Last Tuesday, he spoke with Elite CEO Chuck Champion, who said the company had a fifty-fifty shot of surviving.
“His opinion was that the deal was either going to close in the next two to four weeks, or it was going to crash a lot faster than that,” Thompson said.
- CBS RATINGS NOT ENOUGH, ELITEXC CLOSING UP SHOP
ProElite, Inc., parent company of Elite Xtreme Combat, is throwing in the towel on mixed martial arts.
Several sources MMAWeekly.com spoke to said notifications had been sent out on Monday informing managers that the company was ceasing its fight promotion operations by the end of this week and it had begun the process of letting its employees go. One source even said that ProElite had already begun clearing out its corporate offices.
GINA CARANO EXCITED FOR CYBORG AND TITLE
Keeping her undefeated record intact with her last fight, Gina Carano is doing some promotion for her appearance in the new "Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3" game, but then her focus will shift to a proposed match-up against Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos early next year.
Carano is currently doing a media tour for the video game, but she spoke to MMAWeekly Radio on Wednesday about her next fight, which is likely to be against Cyborg, possibly in February.
"That's what I'm hearing too, and I'm real excited about it," Carano said about the match-up. "Maybe it will be for a title, maybe it will be a main event, I don't know. I'm just really excited about this fight because everybody else is excited about it and I just think it's an awesome match-up. I can't wait to train for it and I'd like to see where I'm at."
On the same night that Carano defeated Kelly Kobold, her next opponent, Cyborg, was also on the card. She was able to watch the fight and it actually made her feel more at home for the show.
Ken vs. Frank! beware: not set in stone
The brothers Shamrock are fixin to step in to the cage against one another.
given ken's fragility and Franks penchant for running his mouth, this is still far from a certainty.
However, its exciting as hell, i only wish this was 6 or 7 years ago
Brett Rogers vs. Paul Buentello to be added to Nov. 8 EliteXC show
A clash of heavyweight titans Brett “The Grim” Rogers and Paul “The Head Hunter” Buentello is expected to be officially announced by EliteXC as having been added to its Nov. 8 event at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com confirmed the news with Rogers’ trainer, Mike Reilly of Team Bison in St. Paul, MN earlier this morning. Reilly indicated that bout agreements are expected to be signed within the next few days but that verbal commitments from both fighters have already been secured.
“Brett is very excited to be getting back into the cage after such a long layoff and is excited to be taking on such a great opponent,” Reilly told Five Ounces of Pain. “Paul presents the biggest test of Brett’s career. He’s a great fighter and we have a ton of respect for him and we’re really excited to step up to that next level challenge.”
Rogers last competed on May 31 during EliteXC’s “Primetime” event in Newark, N.J. Fighting Jon Murphy in what will go down as the first-ever mixed martial arts fight ever broadcast on primetime network television in the U.S., Rogers improved to 8-0 following a first round TKO over the former Syracuse University linebacker.
ELITEXC GATE REVENUE & MED SUSPENSIONS
FINAL GATE INFORMATION
There were 6,854 paid attendees for $677,793 in gross gate revenue. An additional 847 tickets were given out as “comps,” adding up to $97,542 in uncounted revenue. 7,701 people attended the event in all.
At the post-fight press conference, EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen originally reported that 9,414 fans attended the event with 7,723 paid attendees for a live gate of $826,000.
Undercard fighter James Edson Berto was suspended for 30 days following his TKO loss to Conor Heun.
Lead-off main card fighter Murilo “Ninja” Rua was suspended indefinitely by the commission following his knockout loss to Benji Radach. He will likely need to be cleared by a doctor to be eligible to fight again.
Heavyweight Roy Nelson was suspended for 60 days following his TKO loss to Andrei Arlovski.
Main event attraction Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson was given the least amount of suspension, with 30 days on the DQ list for his 14-second TKO loss to Seth Petruzelli.
Ferguson’s would-be other half, Ken Shamrock, was not suspended by the commission due to the fact he did not fight on the card.
Carano is Mother Teresa with four ounce gloves
Kim Couture ripped Jared Shaw for 'peeking' at a naked Gina Carano during the infamous EliteXC 'Heat' weigh-in two weeks ago. Yahoo! Sports tracked down Carano and she had nothing but nice things to say about EliteXC and Shaw:
"Jared is doing well. He's maturing as a person as we all are. It's just a little awkward. I'm not mad at anybody. If someone was trying to sneak a peek then alright, I'm sure a lot of other people would've."
St. Gina, who may be the nicest person on god's green earth, also refused to criticize the way that she weighed-in sans clothing. Couture thought Carano could've been weighed in behind the curtain away from prying eyes:
"I'm okay the way the weigh-ins went," said Carano. "We can definitely do things better in the future but I can do things better in the future to try to get down to 140."
Cyborg vs. Carano in works for February
Cris Cyborg aggressive style was a great surprise for the American crowd, who loved to see the Brazilian fighter in action inside EliteXC’s octagon. After two victories, the Chute Boxe athlete now might face Gina Carano, the experience and undefeated fighter, who’s pointed as the major representative of the American female MMA. After seven fights in career, both might face each other in the octagon, and the expected fight is in works for February of 2009.
“I think it’ll be in February, and it’ll be cool. Everybody wanna see this fight, we both fight on the last event and won, and it’ll be great”, said, imagining how the fight would be. “I’ll keep my Muay Thai like I did in my last fights. I’ll stand with her, and I think she likes it too, so why not? It’ll be a huge fight and someone is going down”, analyzes the fighter, keeping an eye on the EliteXC belt: “they didn’t say if it’s going to be for the belt, but I think it’ll be”.
Facing Carano would be the biggest challenge in Cyborg’s career, but the Brazilian fighter doesn’t wanna steal her representative place in the MMA world. “She’s the MMA face out there (laughs), and I don’t wanna steal her place… She can be MMA face, I’ll build my place everyday”
Exclusive: Interview with KJ Noons
It has been a rocky road between EliteXC and former lightweight champion KJ Noons over the last few months. EliteXC had been adamant about the fact they wanted to see Noons defend his title against Nick Diaz on October 4th when the organization held its third card on CBS but negotiations fell through.
The fall out would lead to EliteXC stripping Noons of the belt that he had won from Diaz when it was vacant title, stating that they felt Noons was ducking Diaz for a rematch.
DETAILING THE KIMBO-PETRUZELLI INVESTIGATION
Last week, the Florida State Boxing Commission opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of fight fixing in the main event of EliteXC’s “Heat” between Seth Petruzelli and Kimbo Slice.
According to Alexis Antonacci, press secretary for Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the investigation will release its findings in a week to a week and a half.
Representatives from the DBPR will first interview the promoters of EliteXC; presumably Jeremy Lappen, Head of Fight Operations; Jared Shaw, Vice President; and Chuck Champion, CEO.
Antonacci said Petruzelli and Kimbo, along with other fighters on the card, may or may not be interviewed.
RADACH EXPECTS ELITEXC TITLE SHOT IN FEBRUARY
It had been nine months since Benji "Razor" Radach competed in mixed martial arts when he stepped into the cage to face Murilo "Ninja" Rua at EliteXC "Heat" on Oct. 4. Slated to kick off the third installment of EliteXC on CBS, Radach delivered, knocking out Rua at the 2:31 mark of the second round.
"It was amazing. We definitely got it going," the middleweight fighter told MMAWeekly.com. "I just wanted to get right in his face and see what it was all about. You know what I mean? See what he was all about. And he's a tough dude."
Radach came out of the gate firing, stunning Rua with punches and looked as if he may get an early finish. Rua weathered the early onslaught and survived the round, inflicting his fair share of damage on Radach as well.
"Everything that I threw seemed to find it's home. It was hitting him, and some huge impacts. I couldn't believe, like I would see him stagger. He was hurt," said Radach. "He was looking through me instead of at me. I would go for a finishing shot and miss, and he'd have his bearings right back. He had such good composure."
Shamrock Brothers sign to fight each other
Estranged adoptive brothers Ken Shamrock and Frank Shamrock have both signed contracts in principle to fight each other in 2009, according to a new article by Michael Woods of ESPN.com.
The two have expressed a public interest in fighting each other for the past several years and plans appeared to be in motion earlier this year to stage a fight between the two sometime in 2008. However, the proposed bout was put on the back burner following Ken’s first round knockout loss to journeyman heavyweight Robert “Buzz” Berry during a ProElite-promoted Cage Rage event in London this past March. Shamrock was released from his ProElite contract following the loss.
A further shadow of doubt regarding the bout was cast after Frank suffered a broken arm in a TKO (medical stoppage) loss to Cung Le during a co-promotion between EliteXC and Strikeforce later the same month.
Whether the bout comes off is far from certain, as Frank Shamrock went so far as to launch a “Blood Brothers” website earlier this year with a countdown to a pay-per-view event that was never formally set. However, the younger Shamrock is quoted as telling ESPN.com that both have agreed to move forward with the fight.
Interview with Paul "Semtex" Daley
Paul was nice of enough to take some time to answer a few questions regarding his recent fight with Jake Shields at EliteXC:Heat, what his plans for the future are, his contract status with ProElite and what he thinks about the recent FSAC investigation into EliteXC.
PETRUZELLI COULD BE TWO WEIGHT CLASS FIGHTER
The future for EliteXC fighter Seth Petruzelli got a lot brighter on Oct. 4 after his 14-second knockout of Kimbo Slice, but according to EliteXC executives he may stay at heavyweight or even compete in two weight classes.
Before the chance to fight Kimbo came along, Petruzelli was all set to do battle against Aaron Rosa, a former training partner of UFC legend Tito Ortiz, at light heavyweight.
With Petruzelli’s newfound fame, the question immediately becomes what’s next for EliteXC’s newest star?
One possibility is an immediate shot at top 205-pound EliteXC fighter Rafael “Feijao” Calvancante, who has been rumored as part of a light heavyweight title fight for some time now, but according to EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw, the company would like to give Petruzelli more time than four weeks to prepare for a bout of that magnitude.
“I think that could be a great fight at 205,” Shaw commented on a fight between Feijao and Petruzelli. “I haven’t even had a chance to have a conversation with Seth Petruzelli since I saw him at the press conference, so I’d like to figure out where he’s going to feel comfortable. He used to campaign as a heavyweight.
Diabate Turns Down Feijao Fight For EliteXC LHW Title
Cyrille Diabate has turned down an offer from EliteXC to fight Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante on November 8 to determine the first EliteXC Light Heavyweight Champion. According to EXC's Jeremy Lappen, Diabate felt he wouldn't have enough time to prepare for the fight. Now it's not known if Feijao's fight on 11/8 will be for the title.
ShoXC Oct 10th: Herman vs. Schall - Results (SPOILERS)
Dave “Pee Wee” Herman defeats Kerry Schall via technical knockout (strikes) in round one
Anthony “The Recipe” Lapsley defeated Mike Stumpf via majority decision
Mamed “Cannibal” Khalidov defeated Jason Guida via technical knockout (strikes) in round two
Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm defeats Rafaello Oliveira via technical knockout (cut) in round one
Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko defeats Robert McDaniel via technical knockout (knee to the body) in round one.
Jared “The Spider” McMahon defeats Jacob Hey via submission (rear naked choke) in round one
Jeff Cox defeats Jay Ellis via submission (guillotine) in round one
Matt Jaggers defeats Orville Smith via unanimous decision
Tiawon Howard defeats Johny Hughes via submission (rear naked choke) in round one
Deray Davis defeats John Kuhner via submission (armbar) in round two
Josh Barnes defeats Jeremy Norton via technical knockout (strikes) in round one
Jeremy Lappen: We Gave Seth a Knockout Bonus Before the Fight Started
I didn't want to post anything else on this, but the situation is getting more and more ridiculous every day.
It's hard to know what to make of Jeremy Lappen. He tried to clarify his numerous contradictions today with Michael David Smith of Fanhouse.com, and instead admitted Seth Petruzelli told the truth the first time he spoke:
Regarding the controversy over whether EliteXC paid Petruzelli a bonus (or, as some would call it, a bribe) to keep the fight on his feet, I pointed out to Lappen that he had seemed to contradict himself about what, exactly, EliteXC offered Petruzelli.
Lappen was quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying that EliteXC does not give submission bonuses, while he was quoted by ESPN as saying that Petruzelli was offered a submission bonus. Lappen said both stories misquoted him.
"They're both wrong," Lappen said. "We have given submission bonuses in the past but they're not as common as knockout bonuses. If the question is, 'Have we ever given submission bonuses?' The answer is yes. But we give knockout bonuses more often. We gave Seth a knockout bonus before the fight started. That was part of the deal."