The UFC is going to have some serious competition now. HBO and Showtime, just like it is in Boxing. I hate the idea of a boxing promoter getting into MMA. They ruined boxing, they will probably end up ruining MMA. You damn well know, Don King is going to get into the mix. Discuss guys...
“Elite” Joins “Ultimate” Fray with Shamrock-Gracie
“I believe in the talent,” said longtime boxing promoter and Elite XC president Gary Shaw. “I believe the talent should be larger than the company because that’s who people come to see. If you ask people who promoted Tyson-Lewis they have no clue, but 2 million people bought it on pay-per-view. And two big networks — HBO and SHOWTIME — were involved for the first and only time in promotion. But it wasn’t about us; it was about Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. And that’s how [MMA] should be as well. It should be about the athletes. They’re the ones that should be the stars.”
Ironically, that was the same position voiced by the World Fighting Alliance, which Zuffa announced on Monday it had purchased and subsequently folded, when it re-introduced itself in March of this year.
Elite XC appears to have several things going for it that the WFA did not, most notably a signed, sealed and delivered relationship with SHOWTIME, which will allow fighters promoted under the Elite banner to flourish, promised Shaw.
“Just because someone doesn’t fight for UFC certainly doesn’t make them an inferior fighter,” he said. “There’s enough talent out there.”
Some of that talent was on display Thursday, as the main event for Elite XC’s debut effort Feb. 10 at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss. will match veterans Renzo Gracie (Pictures) and Frank Shamrock (Pictures).
“Having Frank Shamrock (Pictures) and Renzo Gracie (Pictures) headlining this card couldn’t be a better way to kick off this platform on SHOWTIME,” said Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President/General Manager of Sports and Event Programming Showtime Networks Inc.
Elite XC has entered into a three-year deal with SHOWTIME that will see the premium cable network broadcast four to six dates this coming year, eight in 2008 and 10 in 2009, with the likelihood that pay-per-view events will air as well. "