Solid ratings on network television were not enough to overcome an almost $60 million deficit for Pro Elite, the parent company of Elite XC and several other promotions.
MMAmania.com has been able to confirm an SI.com report that the relatively young mixed martial arts promotion is no more.
Little more than two weeks 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 has apparently been hit with a knockout blow of its own.
That's not to say the two had anything to do with one another. It's perhaps just an unfortunate coincidence. Regardless, there is no more Elite XC, including the November 8 "A Night of Champions" event that was looking like a great card.
One year, 10 months and six days ... Elite XC was established on December 14, 2006, and pronounced dead on October 20, 2008.
The company dug a deep $60 million hole of which it was never able to climb out. Obviously, no money -- investors who were supposed to keep the company alive at least until the end of the year never materialized -- equals no events, especially when there's not even a pay-per-view (PPV) deal to fall back on.
If nothing else, Elite XC can hang its hat on staging the first-ever live mixed martial arts event on network television ... and the second, and the third. Not to mention the first female fight on network television ... and the second, and the third.
Elite XC is also responsible for some of the best fights of the past year or so. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith I and Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le are just two examples of those. Not to mention quality performances from Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Antonio Silva, Rafael Feijao, and plenty of other world class caliber fighters.
They gave it a good shot.
In the end, it's just tough for a new promotion to come in and be successful in mixed martial arts. Even the UFC, which is now very profitable, lost tons of money when the Fertittas first bought it -- company president Dana White often remarks that he and his high school buddies make it look easy.
It seems he's right once again; however, that's obviously a different story, and outcome, but you get the point.
The plan was probably more or less to gain popularity with the CBS deal and grow into a PPV juggernaut like the UFC. But that was obviously a little overzealous. The truth is that the UFC has a stranglehold on all the PPV buyers, and it's not going to be easy for any other company to be successful.
Just ask Affliction.
The upside to this for the fans is that there's going to be a bunch of great fighters now without a place to work. 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.