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Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano and Robbie Lawler ink EliteXC contract extensions

Kimbo gina carano robbie lawler
It's funny what major network television exposure can do for a promotion that is eager to lock-in its stars to long-term deals.

Street fighting legend Kimbo Slice, female MMA phenom Gina Carano and EliteXC Middleweight Champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler all signed "long-term extensions" with EliteXC today.

This announcement comes just 45 days away from one of the biggest shows in the history of the sport -- the network MMA debut on CBS from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on May 31.

Slice, Carano and Lawler are all set to be showcased that night and EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw and the promotion are hoping its stars shine bright for their new (and massive) network audience.

Slice will fight in the main event against British heavyweight James "The Colossus" Thompson. Carano will lock horns with Kaitlin Young, and Lawler will defend his middleweight title against Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith.

I have to say Gary Shaw has done a superb job building EliteXC from the ground up. His flexibility when it comes to contracts mixed with his matchmaking skills and the uncanny ability to recognize and build stars have really done wonders for that company.

Here are Shaw's thoughts on each of the signings:

"Kimbo has already become an MMA star due to his incredible popularity on YouTube. His backyard street fights are legendary. No question Kimbo has made a successful transition from Street to Elite and is on his way to becoming a superstar and world champion."

"Gina became an instant star after her first fight for EliteXC and has gone on to gain even more national prominence. She truly is the face of women's MMA, an inspiration to many up-and-coming athletes and is a perfect illustration as to why women do indeed have a place in this sport and with EliteXC."

"Robbie's nicknamed ‘Ruthless' — what more you need to know? He's tough, hard-nosed and always been highly regarded. EliteXC is extremely proud to have Robbie as its world middleweight champion. Robbie has shown time and again that he's one of the most thrilling fighters in any weight class in MMA."

I don't blame any of the three for sticking with EliteXC right now instead of opting for possible "bigger" pastures. A quality promoter, a network tv audience, and world class competition ... what more could a fighter ask for?

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