Sports Illustrated confirms that EliteXC is officially out of business.
Huge story continues.......
The following comes from Josh Gross of SI.com:
ProElite, EliteXC out of business
Less than two years following the formation of ProElite, Inc., the group notified employees and fighters Monday it was shutting its doors effective immediately, multiple sources confirmed to SI.com.
Representatives for ProElite, EliteXC and Showtime did not return calls for comment.
Through its partnership with Showtime and later CBS, which in 2008 agreed to broadcast four live EliteXC events in primetime, EliteXC gained a tremendous amount of visibility. The company, however, hemorrhaged tens of millions of dollars during its 22 months in operation.
In September, Showtime, which owned a 20 percent stake in ProElite, entered into preliminary negotiations to purchase a controlling interest in the company. When those negotiations failed, said a source inside ProElite who asked not to be identified, funding dried up and the company was forced out of business.
Beginning with Rumble on the Rock, ProElite purchased numerous MMA promotional brands around the world, including King of the Cage, Cage Rage, ICON, and Spirit MC. While these companies remained in operation, the focus was EliteXC, which held 17 events starting with its first card Feb. 10, 2007.
EliteXC's third card with CBS on Oct. 4 was also its last as a promoter. Headlined by the controversial Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, the event made headlines with discussion surrounding the legitimacy of the main event between Ferguson and Seth Petruzelli. The bout is currently under investigation by the Florida State Athletic Commission.
After debuting on May 31 to an audience of 6.5 million viewers, EliteXC's ratings on CBS fell significantly in its second effort drawing just 2.7 million in July. In its last event the numbers appeared to bounce back nicely, with an average audience of 4.5 million.
Kelly Kahl, senior executive vice president of programming operations at CBS, declined to comment on ProElite's demise.
EliteXC was scheduled to promote its final event of the year Nov. 8 on Showtime, however the manager for lightweight Nick Diaz, who was scheduled to fight Eddie Alvarez that night for the organization's 160-pound belt, said he was told the event would not take place absent a last-minute "miracle" investor.
So what does this mean for Elite XC fighters?
What's next for Gina Carano, Kimbo, Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, and Nick Diaz? Dana White doesn't let his feelings hide when discussing Kimbo. "He sucks," said Dana recently. So I guess the hype machine will be searching for work. I figure Japan would be a good option for him to gain exposure, sharpen his skills, and have some tough fights.
Gina Carano is special. The UFC does not have a women's division and I don't think it's something Zuffa would invest in with only a couple of stars to pick from. Somehow I still think we will see Gina and Cyborg at some point, just not in the UFC.
Jake Shields will sign with the UFC. He almost did before signing with Elite XC. Now he can see how good he is (calling out GSP) by testing his skill set against the best 170lb fighters in the world.
Will Dana and company re-sign Nick Diaz? I hope to hell they do, it's time to see the Diaz brothers run wild together. Imagine Nick Diaz vs. Kenny Florian or Joe Stevenson or even B.J. Penn? I would love to see those fights go down, I'm sure I'm not the only one. People forget how young Nick is. He's been a professional since his late teens.
I'm sure they will bring Lawler back. No reason not to. The middleweight division is weak enough as it is. He could bring name recognition and a championship claim to the picture. I'd love to see Silva eat him up in the first round. Lawler wouldn't do too much, but it would be nice to see a little reunion unless he chooses Japan.
Technically, Elite XC going out of business won't be a horrible thing. The UFC will showcase MMA the way it's supposed to be, and how it's been prior to some boxing promoter BS that may have damaged the sport's credibility according to some.
If this holds true, the next few months are going to be crazy! Unless Ted Turner pulls a WCW like purchase immediately, it's back to boxing for the Shaw's. The great fighters will find work and, thank god, no more Kimbo for awhile.
I just better get to see Gina again, and not on American Gladiators.
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