It appears that CBS wants to strike while the iron’s hot. The network has requested two more EliteXC events after the first event, EliteXC ‘Primetime,’ did big ratings late last month. The next event could be scheduled as early as July 26, with a second coming in October.
However, as Dave Meltzer of Yahoo Sports reports, the deal has yet to be finalized, mainly due to EliteXC’s lack of depth in their roster and ratings draws beyond Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano.
Timing is of the essence in getting an arena booked and beginning local publicity for a show that is now only six weeks away.
That isn’t the only obstacle to a potential July show, as neither of the big draws from the first card, Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano, will be available for this date. Slice suffered injuries to both thumbs in his match with James Thompson on May 31 and Carano asked for a fall date for her next match. Both are expected to be the headliners for an October show.
Without that hook, there is a major question of what kind of ratings drawing power the show will have, particularly in July when viewership levels are down, although pressure to draw a big number would also be down.
The current plans are to book three championship fights on the card. If Scott Smith is ready to go, he would get a rematch against Robbie Lawler for the middleweight title, which would serve as the show’s main event. Jake Shields would finally get his shot at welterweight gold, although his opponent is still up in the air. The remaining championship fight would go to the heavyweights with Antonio Silva and potentially either Brett Rogers, the winner of the Dave Herman/Ron Waterman fight on tonight’s card, or the IFL’s Heavyweight Champ, Roy Nelson as Silva’s opponent.
There are also looking at having a women’s match to create a top contender for a women’s title fight between the winner and Gina Carano. The title bout would take place in October and be contested at 145lbs, since Gina has been unable to make 140lbs.
It’s certainly an ambitious plan that would be impressive if EliteXC can pull it off. If they can, I would imagine most hardcore fans would have to be satisfied with the card, if this is how it turns out. The question however becomes, how many of the 4.85 million that tuned in to see the first show will tune back in for this one, especially without Carano or Kimbo?
That said, it beats the problems EliteXC would have had if the first show had tanked.
July could be a huge month. We’ll let you know what’s going on as soon as we know.