Update on ProElite’s Status

ProElite had announced that they were shutting their doors, cancelling future fights, and filing for bankruptct.  All of this came as ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC continued to operate in the red.  Fianlly, Kimbo Slice’s loss at the last EliteXC event and the ensuing standgate scandal with Seth Petruzelli really was the final blow to ProElite.  Following the announcment of their demise many people wondered what would become of the fighters under contract.  It was assumed that the UFC, Affliction, and Strikeforce would soak up many of the big name guys. 

      However, ProElite recently sent letters to many managers of fighters including Monte Cox and Cesar Gracie saying that they intended to promote cards in 2009.  This threw fans, bloggers and fighters for a loop. 

   Then on October 31st it was announced that Showtime planned to have a private auction to sell the assets of proelite on November 17th.  The assets would include fighter contracts and video libraries.

Showtime, whose parent is CBS Corp., notified ProElite on Oct. 31 that it will auction off the company’s assets at a Los Angeles law firm on Nov. 17. The most valuable would appear to be the contract of one-time YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice. Also included are contracts with at least 13 other fighters, as well as a video library and the EliteXC and other brands.

It may not be so easy…Zach Arnold says:

What’s fascinating about this news item is the fact that Elite XC reportedly used personal service contracts with fighters. If you recall, PRIDE used the same type of agreements with its fighters. When DSE sold the PRIDE assets to UFC, I was screaming at the top of my lungs that fighters would be able to break away from those contracts if they were PSCs. UFC found itself having to renegotiate new contracts with PRIDE fighters because of it. Now, we have Monte Cox claiming that the fighter contracts up for sale at the auction on November 17th are PSCs, meaning in theory that they are not transferrable to third parties. This is why Cox is questioning whether or not Showtime will be able to pull off what they are doing.

Some managers such as Gracie and Cox have tried to file a suit saying that Proelite cannot fulfill the fighter contracts and therefore their fighters such as Jake Shields, Nich Diaz and Robbie Lawler ought to be released and made free agents. 

The impending auction of Proelite led many to wonder if Zuffa, the parent compant of the UFC would be in the market to buy the assets in order to gain guys like Jake Shields, Eddie Alvarez and Robbie Lawler. 

Today it was reported from ProElite that they will fight the auction…

The Company plans to take all appropriate measures to prevent the sale from occurring. Such measures may include raising additional financing, filing a lawsuit enjoining the sale, filing a bankruptcy petition or negotiating a settlement with Showtime. There can be no assurances that the Company will be successful in any of these actions.

The answer regarding ProElite’s status is no one knows.  First they are shutting down, then they aren’t.  Next they are selling assets, then they aren’t.  They are ceasing operations, then the are going to promote cards. 

ProElite is deep in debt including millions of dollars to Showtime and CBS.  There is no way they can promote more cards.  Why the heck must they screw the fighters and the fans in the process?  I will tell you why…because Dana White was right, Chuck Champion, the Shaws and the other ProElite brass do not care about MMA.


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