Under New Ownership, Pro Elite Rises From The Ashes For August Return (Update)

When Strikeforce was acquired by Zuffa, many fans, fighters and managers were very concerned that fighters would lose all their leverage without a strong number two promotion to negotiate with. Well, that may not be a concern for much longer if the Stratus Media Group has anything to say about it. The group recently acquired a 95% stake in what was left of Pro Elite, former parent company of EliteXC, and they intend to make a run at filling the void Strikeforce left.

It appears they’re going kick things off sooner than later too, because MMA Weekly is reporting that they’ve already targeted an August date for their first show and hired former Strikeforce matchmaker Richard Chou and former ICON owner T. Jay Thompson to run the promotion.

According to sources speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Monday, former ICON owner T. Jay Thompson and former Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou have been brought on board to run the show at Pro Elite.

Additionally, the promotion has targeted a late August date for their return to action, and they are currently scouting locations for the show.

With most of the world’s top fighters under contract with Zuffa, it’s going to be difficult to build a recognizable roster, but Pro Elite does seem to be interested in some of the name talent that is available. According to MMA Weekly, they’re looking at Andrei Arlovski among others.

Sources have also indicated that former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski is one of a handful of fighters that have been in negotiations to fight for the organization when they return later this year.

There’s virtually no way they’ll be able to compete with the UFC under current market conditions, but I could see them becoming another regional-sized promotion like Shark Fights that features former UFC talent. I wouldn’t count on them reaching the level Strikeforce did, but at least they’ll give fighters another option while they’re still around. Could be a new home for Nate Marquardt and maybe even Tito Ortiz (if he loses Saturday).

Update: ProElite announced today that their first event will be held on August 27 at the Blaisdell Arena in Waikiki, Hawaii. No fighters or match-ups were announced.

  • http://twitter.com/Warriordave927 warriordave927

    I think a merger between certain promotions such as Titan,shark fights,bamma,mfc,and pro elite might give them a bigger market because they’ll have a bigger audience and a wider stable of fighters,and rather than do shows in certain parts of the country or the world they can maintain ties in those areas but also a have opportunitys in other cities,I think this is the only way there will ever be a serious #3 in the market,because as we all know most casual fans only like fights with big name involved ,so getting any recognized talent outside of zuffas or bellator under one brand might help

    • Buttcheeks

      You always have something to say!
      Guess that’s why your #1 on the commentator list.

      • http://twitter.com/Warriordave927 warriordave927

        Is that a good or bad thing

  • The Jester

    All the small promotions are just a hindrance to the growth of MMA as a whole. People who are fans of baseball think only about the MLB and people who are fans of football think only about the NFL. No body thinks about or cares about baseball is Europe or Asia or the CFL or the UFL. The best way for MMA to grow to it’s highest possible point is to make the UFC MMA. Just like it is in all the other big sports

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Silliman/514229401 Matt Silliman

      I’m pretty sure the UFC is already there.  They are the elite level of MMA, just like NFL is the elite level for football.  I”m not sure how smaller promotions hurt MMA.  They probably help MMA more than anything.  They are a great place for younger talent to grow and gain a shot at the big leagues.  With no MMA in college you need a place for undiscovered talent to grow and shine.

      • http://twitter.com/Warriordave927 warriordave927

        100% agree with you because without small promotions the ufc wouldn’t be able to recruit new talent,so it does help the growth of mma as a sport,as a matter of fact I think the number of promotions that are popping up shows how popular the sport is

  • Bill

    knowing the team that is in place at corporate, I would have to disagree with the last paragraph that they will not achieve what Strikeforce did.  The executives at the company have personally and individually played with far more money in their lives than Strikeforce has seen as a company. You don’t get to that level in the entertainment industry by not being able to build large global conglomerates. Just my $.02.

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