Representatives from DREAM and ProElite, parent company of EliteXC, announced a new partnership between their respective organizations at the DREAM.3 pre-fight press conference. The partnership will include the sharing of fighters and referees, in addition to co-promoting events in both the US and Japan.
ProElite executive William Kelly explains:
“In the last year ProElite and EliteXC and other brands have made a lot of progress, and some of our progress is due in part to our relationship with FEG and now with Dream. We are sharing fighters. We are sharing referees. We intend to do co-promotions with Dream both in Japan and in the U.S.”
It all of sudden makes a lot more sense why ProElite CEO Doug DeLuca pulled rank and allowed Nick Diaz to go to Japan to fight in DREAM.3 at the last minute.
Other plans include eventually promoting an EliteXC show in Japan, and working to co-promote events on CBS and Showtime.
This is significant news in the world of mixed martial arts. The UFC’s brand is just too strong for any one organization to compete head to head with them. The other organizations are going to have to work together to have any chance, and that’s exactly what these two appear to be doing. Mainstream success for EliteXC on network television coupled by a strong partnership with DREAM would certainly propel them in the right direction.
However, those are still very two big ifs. We are still three weeks out from EliteXC’s network television debut, and their second show, assuming it happens, will most likely be a better indicator of whether or not EliteXC is capable of attracting the mainstream audience. There’s also no guarantee that this newly formed partnership will work out in the long-term. Time will tell.
Kimbo Slice fighting in Japan is just not something that has ever crossed my mind. I bet when he was fighting in the boatyards, he never imagined it either.