The remains of ProElite — the parent company of Elite XC — will soon be for sale via public auction courtesy of Showtime Networks Inc., just one month after shutting its doors following its inability to secure additional funding to keep the promotion afloat.
After its biggest star, Kimbo Slice, lost in just 14 seconds to replacement journeyman Seth Petruzelli in front of 4.5 million people on CBS, Elite XC had apparently been hit with a knockout blow of its own.
The main event fight influencing controversy that surrounded the "Heat" CBS event scared away what few investors it had at CBS and Showtime. Left with the nearly $60 million in debt EliteXC had already piled up in the less than two years since the organization’s creation, ProElite was left with little choice but to declare bankruptcy.
Now Showtime is hoping to salvage what value still remains in the promotion by offering its tape library and fighter contracts to the highest bidder, as outlined in the public notice of its pending auction.
Notice is hereby given that the Collateral (as defined below) will be sold by Showtime Networks Inc. ("Showtime") at a public sale on November 17, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific Standard Time) at the offices of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, 350 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90071. The term "Collateral" means all of ProElite, Inc.'s ("ProElite"), Real Sport, Inc.'s ("Real Sport"), ProElite.com's ("ProElite.com"), EliteXC Live's ("EliteXC") and King of the Cage, Inc.'s ("KOTC"; each of ProElite, Real Sport, ProElite.com, EliteXC and KOTC, a "Debtor" and collectively, the "Debtors") right, title and interest in, to and under, whether now owned or hereafter acquired by such Debtor, all present and after acquired personal property of such Debtor, whether tangible or intangible, wherever located and of whatever nature. The Collateral includes all contracts between any Debtor and mixed martial arts fighters (including, but not limited to, Kevin Ferguson a.k.a. "Kimbo Slice", Gina Carano, Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Frank Shamrock, Antonio Silva, Brett Rogers, Dave Herman, Scott Smith, Nick Diaz, Cristiane Venancio Justino a.k.a. "Chris Cyborg", Eddie Alvarez, Yves Edwards and Wilson Reis) and all of each Debtor's video library, still photographs and home videos (e.g., DVDs and VHS tapes). The Collateral will be sold to the highest qualified bidder in public on November 17, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific Standard Time) at the offices of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, 350 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90071. The Collateral will be sold on an "as-is, where-is" basis, without recourse, warranty or guarantee of any kind, express or implied, including as to title, possession, enforceability, validity, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Interested bidders who would like further information regarding the Collateral to be sold should contact Kent Sevener at (212) 708-3259. Showtime reserves its right to adjourn or cancel the sale at any time.
While unfortunate for the employees of ProElite, there is an upside to this from a fan's perspective. There’s going to be a bunch of great fighters soon finding their way to other promotions and possibly ending up in fantasy or dream matches never before possible due to the lack of cooperation between entities.
It’s going to be interesting to see how many of these guys (and gals) end up in the UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, Affliction, or any of the other organizations out there.
Expect to see these guys beefing up their rosters with names like Jake Shields, Eddie Alvarez, Nick Diaz, Antonio Silva, Rafael Feijao, Paul Daley, KJ Noons, Wilson Reis, Cyrille Diabate, and countless others.
Who knows … maybe even Kimbo Slice.
In the end, the talent was there near the top … it just wasn’t enough to compensate for all the other shortcomings and struggles that upstart mixed martial arts promotions face attempting to get off the ground.
Elite XC joins Pride FC, International Fight League (IFL) and World Fighting Alliance (WFA) as recent MMA organizations that were forced to fold.
Hopefully, the list ends there.