Strikeforce Inks Deal With Pro Elite

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LOS ANGELES, CA. – In a transaction signaling the dawn of a new era in the world’s fastest growing sport, world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) organization Strikeforce®, has acquired certain fighter contracts from ProElite, Inc, the parent company of former Strikeforce ® co-promoter, Elite Xtreme Combat (EliteXC).

Strikeforce® also acquired other specific assets of ProElite, including a library of EliteXC events, which were distributed live on either CBS or Showtime Networks.

“This is a tremendous development that will bolster the Strikeforce® roster and allow us to produce even more competitive matchups between top fighters,” said Scott Coker, Founder and CEO of Strikeforce®. “Some of these athletes have been on the sidelines for a while now and are eagerly waiting to return to competition. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to do so in the next few months.”

Strikeforce® and EliteXC joined forces to deliver the first live SHOWTIME PPV® MMA event, “Shamrock vs. Baroni,” on June 22, 2007. In the headlining contest, former UFC middleweight champion and MMA legend Frank Shamrock submitted knockout artist Phil “The New York Badass” Baroni in the second round, where upon Shamrock became the first Strikeforce® World Middleweight Champion.

On March 29, 2008, the two promotions collaborated once more to deliver a live telecast on SHOWTIME® featuring one of the sport’s most anticipated showdowns — Shamrock versus undefeated world kickboxing champion Cung Le. In a battle that has since been proclaimed “Fight Of The Year” by critics, Le seized the Strikeforce® middleweight crown by pouring on a relentless offensive and fending off Shamrock’s counter attacks before breaking the defending champion’s arm with a hard roundhouse kick. Shamrock retired from the bout after the third round of a five round match.

A martial arts promoter for over 23 years, Coker has gained widespread acclaim among industry colleagues and the media, including Rolling Stone magazine, Yahoo! Sports, and The San Jose Mercury News. Coker elevated his 14-year-old Strikeforce® organization to become a major player in the World’s fastest growing sport. Strikeforce’s® inaugural MMA event hosted a capacity crowd of 18,265 at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on March 10, 2006. The live gate figure also broke the then all-time record for attendance at an MMA event held in North America.

EliteXC burst onto the MMA scene with “Destiny,” the first live, SHOWTIME®-televised MMA fight card in history, on February 10, 2007. Held at Southaven Mississippi’s DeSoto Civic Center, the main event pitted Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert, Renzo Gracie.

The promotion made history again by bringing, for the first time, a live MMA event to the CBS Television Network on May 31, 2008.

Showtime Looking To Buy EliteXC?

Sherdog:

Showtime Networks filed public notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday announcing its intention to enter preliminary negotiations for the purchase of Pro Elite Inc.

Showtime, a subsidiary of the parent conglomerate CBS Corporation, already enjoys broadcasting deals with the Los Angeles-based company on both its premium cable channel and CBS. Showtime also has a 20% ownership stake in Pro Elite.

The potential acquisition could not come at a more opportune time for the fledging company, as Pro Elite faces a $55 million deficit accrued during its two years of operation.

It looks like Pro Elite’s rapid buyout of a lot the smaller mixed martial arts promotions (Cage Rage, Icon, ROR, KOTC…..) has finally caught up with them.

According to SEC filings, Pro Elite needed to raise 3.3 Million to continue operations, but fell short only obtaining 1 Million from Showtime which must be paid back by June 18, 2009 to fend off Showtime from holding “First Priority” interest stake in the company.

Paul Daley Rants About Double Standard At ProElite

Former Cage Rage world champion Paul “Semtex” Daley had a lot to say to Fighters Only Magazine about the threats by Pro Elite to force him off the Cage Warriors card this Saturday Night.

UPDATE: Paul Daley defeats Bojan Kosednar via KO at 4:53 in the first round.

Here’s the rant:

“They tried to get me to fight for Cage Rage, which I wasn’t going to do on the principle that I’ve agreed to fight in my hometown….They’ve gone about it in a not so pleasant way, I think they could have gone about it a lot better. I can’t say much more for legal reasons but I think Cage Rage have had a lot to do with it.”

“There wasn’t a problem initially, but then other people, outside sources, got involved. Me just fighting on Cage Warriors didn’t seem to be a problem, then there was a date clash with Cage Rage, a lot of fans think the Cage Rage card is not as strong as it has been in the past.”

“I am the Cage Rage world champion, but I don’t have a contract with them. As the champion, what they were offering me to fight and how they were treating me was not how I feel I should be treated considering what I’ve achieved.”

“I know Cage Warriors and Cage Rage are rival promotions but I have no loyalty to Cage Rage as there’s no contract there. Before Pro Elite got hold of the reigns at Cage Rage, they [Cage Rage] didn’t really wanna know who I was. I was always an upset for them, me winning both belts, me beating their poster boys, and you know, it’s just one of those things. Now I’m getting a bit of recognition and moving away from them, they’re realising their fans don’t give a fuck about their fighters and it was really me who was putting bums on seats. They’ve lost one of their star fighters.”

“They’ve basically said if I fight it’s going to be in the hands of the legal team. I hope that I can work it out with Pro Elite, on a personal level they’re good people.”

“I tried to explain to them, this is a full-time job for me. I need to fight to get money, they did offer me to fight on Cage Rage on the same day, for a number of reasons I can’t list, I didn’t take that. On a personal level, I felt that I had already agreed to fight for Cage Warriors so that was what I was going to do.”

“They [Pro Elite] did offer me a fight on the July 26th card against Rory Markham, who we all know has signed with the UFC, so I thought it was a ploy to stop me fighting on Cage Warriors. I felt that if I had accepted the fight, they would have just cancelled on me.”

“A lot of other guys had fought twice in the same month for two different promotions, a non-Pro Elite and then a Pro Elite event — I said look, I’ll fight July 12th and I’ll fight July 26th, not a problem. I feel confident in this fight and all being well I would get out uninjured and with a victory and I’d fly straight to America. They didn’t want to hear any of that.”

“If I had been Nick Diaz, it wouldn’t have been a problem. The guy smokes weed, starts riots on TV, doesn’t make weight, fights whoever the fuck he wants, and there’s no problem there. It’s a bit of a piss-take really.”

“I’m gonna fight 100%. Cage Warriors are behind me, I said I’m going to fight no matter what, nothing is going to stop me from fighting on this event. A lot of people, a lot of friends and family are going to be there, I’ve trained really hard, my whole team’s had a good ten week training camp. I’m really looking forward to fighting for Cage Warriors.”

“I went with Pro Elite because I thought they thought of the fighters, but this has just been a major problem.”