Most people expect Elite XC's second event on CBS dubbed "Unfinished Business" set for this Saturday, July 26 to draw less ratings than the record breaking network debut on May 31. Count Pro Elite CEO, Doug Deluca, among them.
Here's a snip from the head honcho:
"We certainly are managing all of our expectations. It is summer. And we did have a number of good PR items going for us on the first event. It was the first event on primetime network television. That alone drummed up a huge amount of press for the event and a lot of people were interested in seeing. But, look, I'm confident in our fight card. I'm confident in mixed martial arts and I'm confident at what we can do at EliteXC in terms of producing events and our PR team is second to none. So we've got a lot of press for this event as well. We understand the numbers might not be as big as the first time, but (still) we're all expecting to do some good numbers. I really couldn't tell you what a success is, or what a success isn't. I'm just looking forward to putting on the best event possible and getting as many people out to watch it as we can get. But, you (know) some people were interested to see what Kimbo would do. Those people tuned in as well. If you watch the viewing patterns, people came and the momentum just kept building and building and building and nobody left. So I think it speaks volumes to the fighters; it speaks volumes to the sport."
It's hard not to agree with that last part.
Kimbo's starpower and intrigue without question had a lot to do with the success of the first "Saturday Night Fights" event. Actually, it was pretty apparent that was the case because the ratings steadily climbed throughout the night and reached their peak during the Miami natives fight.
However, it's likely several of those fans who tuned in just to see Kimbo may have been won over by the back-and-forth battle between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. In fact, Elite XC is probably banking on that and hopes those same viewers will tune in for the rematch as well.
But at the same time, it can't expect record numbers each time out.
The real test will come during the third installment on CBS. That's when the network executive and Elite XC officials will know if they had a one hit wonder with the first show, or if they have something from which to pull consistent numbers.
Elite XC apparently understands that, to. Its well aware that a solid (not spectacular) show needs to go down in Stockton this Saturday ... and it's very possible that can happen. But, the promotion is also gearing up for a huge show in October for its third CBS event.
We know Kimbo and Gina Carano are expected to be on that card. And that's huge because both are big time draws for big time different reasons.
In addition, Frank Shamrock could be healed up and ready to fight somebody. He's talked recently about wanting a shot at the winner of Lawler and Smith. It looks like that's a real possibility for this October card.
There's also a pretty big lightweight fight that fans are begging for between champion, KJ Noons and fan favorite Nick Diaz. It's only a matter of time before that rematch happens. Why not on CBS in October?
Or what about a man named Eddie Alvarez? It shouldn't be forgotten that the only fighter to go undefeated in the 2008 DREAM lightweight grand prix tournament is under contract with Elite XC. Maybe he'll make his network debut in October as well. Heck, maybe he'll fight Noons for the belt.
The point is there are plenty of options for Elite XC to make this October CBS event the best of the bunch. I'm not even mentioning Paul Daley, Joey Villasenor, Ninja Rua, or some of the other stars on Elite's roster who could be competing.
Or the possibilities of a light heavyweight title fight, a welterweight title defense, or a heavyweight title defense ... the possibilities are endless. The pieces are there, it's up to Elite XC to put it together now.
It'll be interesting to see if anything is announced or talked about during the show on Saturday.