Multiple reports are surfacing that ProElite/EliteXC will be closing its doors as early as Friday of this week. If true, it appears EliteXC ‘A Night of Champions’ scheduled for Nov. 8, featuring the highly-anticipated vacant lightweight title match between Nick Diaz and Eddie Alvarez, will be canceled.
EliteXC “Night of Champions,” scheduled for Nov. 8 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev., is in jeopardy of cancellation as the promotion heads into what may be its final days of business, Sherdog.com has learned from numerous anonymous sources.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer said he had not received word that the event would be cancelled as of Monday afternoon, though Sherdog.com was told by a source that some, if not all, of the fighters scheduled to compete on Nov. 8 have been notified that the event may not take place due to a lack of funding.
A notice posted Monday evening at graciefighter.com read, “We are confirming that EliteXC has folded. What this means for our fans and supporters is that there will not be a Nick Diaz vs. Eddie Alvarez fight on November 8th.”
The writing has certainly been on the wall for quite awhile, however, there was strong speculation that CBS/Showtime would end up purchasing the promotion and save it from the grave. That doesn’t appear to be the case though. OnTheMat.com is reporting that not only has CBS passed on purchasing the organization, but so has Affliction.
According to report on MMAPayout, the deal was all but done until StandGate happened.
Multiple sources told MMAPayout.com in the week leading up to the 10/4 event that the deal was all but complete with the paper work already drafted. There were even preliminary conversations regarding the return of Gary Shaw to the equation. The deal ultimately collapsed under the weight of Standgate and possibly CBS’s financial condition.
This news doesn’t necessarily mean CBS is done with MMA though. Apparently, speculation is now centering around a potential Affliction and CBS partnership. Even if a deal isn’t made between the clothing company/MMA promoter and the Tiffany network, there is certainly an abundance of quality fighters for Affliction to sign who have all of a sudden found themselves as free agents. It will certainly be interesting to see who goes where.
I’ll update this post as more info becomes available…those reading this through a feed reader may want to flag this post since updates won’t show up as a new post once you’ve marked it read.
As for CBS’s future in MMA, Meltzer claims CBS will do one of two things:
1) Wash their hands of MMA
2) Go with Affliction
He claims that Affliction’s payroll is so high that they would need PPV and need 175,000-200,000 buys to break even with CBS, but CBS isn’t going to pay that kind of money for a show with Fedor headlining.
I would love to see Affliction on CBS. Who wouldn’t? Great fighters, great fights, on primetime network television, but this is certainly the problem Affliction faces with putting a card on free television. I don’t necessarily think they shouldn’t go for it though. It really comes down to how much are they willing to lose before they start making it back and what kind of deal they can get with CBS. The option to buy ownership into the company would be a major concern if I was Affliction.
The pieces of the puzzle seem to be within Affliction’s grasp. It’s just a matter if it makes sense for them to grab them and if they do, can they put them all together?
[UPDATE 10/21/08 01:12AM ET] – It appears the wheels are already in motion to secure EliteXC’s roster. Sergio Non with USA Today has a quick story on Nick Diaz.
Depending on the contracts, EliteXC’s fighters have to wait varying periods before they can sign with other promotions — 30 days in the case of Diaz, Gracie said.
Diaz, a veteran of Pride Fighting Championships and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has already received offers from other promoters, Gracie said. Although Diaz fought on May 11 for the Japan-based Dream promotion, the other major Japanese promotion, World Victory Road’s Sengoku, “is probably the No. 1 contender” at the moment for his services outside the United States, Gracie said.
In case you were wondering, Diaz was finally paid the $100k he was owed by DREAM from May, however it doesn’t seem like Diaz’s camp is too keen on coming back to Japan to fight for them considering how long it took to get paid and DREAM’s dismal financial situation.
Non also mentioned Affliction is the most interested of the US promotions. Hopefully he ends up there. Nothing against Sengoku, but the only way to watch their fights is through various unofficial methods on the internet.