ProElite Targets August Return, Hires Former Employees

June 28, 2011

ProElite announced just a few days ago that they were targeting Q3 of this year for their MMA debut under the new management. It seems now that the wheels are beginning to turn to make an event in August come to fruition.

MMAWeekly is now confirming that they are aiming for an August event, meanwhile hiring former ProElite employees T. Jay Thompson and Rich Chou, who previously served as the Strikeforce match-maker before being let go by Zuffa after they purchased the promotion.

According to sources speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Monday, former ICON owner T. Jay Thompson and former Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou have been brought on board to run the show at Pro Elite.

Additionally, the promotion has targeted a late August date for their return to action, and they are currently scouting locations for the show.

Sources have also indicated that former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski is one of a handful of fighters that have been in negotiations to fight for the organization when they return later this year.

 

Payout Perspective:

It appears that ProElite started talking to fighters during the past few months, but has greatly increased their activity in the last two weeks. MMAWeekly mentions Andrei Arlovski as one of those fighters who could be a participant of the planned August event.  Sources tell MMAPayout that other fighters have gone on record and stated that they would be interested in fighting for the promotion as well.

MMAPayout has been tracking ProElite’s activity since they last held a show under the previous management group.  Their activity in the MMA market has picked up drastically since Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa, trying to capitalize on the current market conditions when networks like Showtime, Spike TV, Fox, and HDNet among others are/could be looking for MMA programming real soon.

With the additions of  Thompson and Chou, expect more fight announcements and rumors to be reported by the MMA media in the next few weeks. It is believed that ProElite may be targeting Showtime’s TV spot if the UFC cuts ties with the cable network by the end of the year.

http://mmapayout.com/2011/06/stratus-media-group-new-proelite-ceo-paul-feller-interview/

12 Responses to “ProElite Targets August Return, Hires Former Employees”

  1. Machiel Van on June 28th, 2011 8:06 AM

    It will be very interesting to see what kind of roster they can scrounge up. Doesn’t seem like there are many notable fighters left outside Zuffa, other than those on steep declines. The Andrei Arlovski rumor is not a good sign (lost 4 in a row, 3 by KO), but fighters like Arlovski might be all they have left to try and add some name value to their shows (not that they even have a promotional entity yet). It just doesn’t seem like there are many free agents who can draw a crowd/viewers; it’s not like Bellator has been signing a bunch of high profile fighters lately.

  2. Jose Mendoza on June 28th, 2011 11:50 AM

    Machiel Van,

    When the UFC purchased Strikeforce, Strikeforce had TONS of 1 and 2 fight contracts that already or are in the process of being expired. The Zuffa/Strikeforce regime will probably not pick those up. They can easily find a home in ProElite, not to mention the WMMA may have a new home if Strikeforce is folded. Enough for a good base is all they should be looking at right now. Guys like AA will just be used to draw some eyeballs.

  3. Machiel Van on June 28th, 2011 12:04 PM

    You mean fighters with no name value who were on Challengers shows and unaired event prelims? Just saying…

  4. Machiel Van on June 28th, 2011 12:06 PM

    As for the women’s division, they have 16 female fighters under contract, 6 middleweights and 10 welterweights. As of last week, there were 103 total fighters under contract with Strikeforce, so that means 87 male fighters.

  5. Machiel Van on June 28th, 2011 12:11 PM

    Just a fun breakdown of Zuffa’s fighter rosters (good as of last week) if anyone is interested:

    UFC: HW – 24 SF: HW – 17
    LHW – 35 LHW – 13
    MW – 41 MW – 18
    WW – 56 WW – 20
    LW – 52 LW – 19
    FW – 30
    BW – 23 MW (female) – 6
    WW (female) – 10

    UFC: 261 total
    SF: 103 total

    361 total fighters under contract with Zuffa, LLC

  6. Machiel Van on June 28th, 2011 12:12 PM

    Whoops, 364 total.

  7. Machiel Van on June 28th, 2011 12:13 PM

    It was also intended to be in columns, UFC left, SF right.

  8. Jose Mendoza on June 28th, 2011 2:51 PM

    Machiel Van,

    Thanks for the info. Like I said, it’s a great start for a base, and getting fighters that people are at least some familiarity with being on TV is a good start. They are not going to just be able to pluck MMA superstars from other promotions the way Strikeforce was able to do with DREAM and Sengoku.

  9. Machiel Van on June 28th, 2011 2:59 PM

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. My biggest question why are they planning a show for August unless they have a roster and a TV deal in place? Seems premature, but on the other hand we don’t really know where they stand at the moment in regards to logistics.

  10. william hardiek on June 29th, 2011 1:54 PM

    I have a few matchups that Elite could put together. Who is out there? Tim Slyvia, Arlovski, Lindland, Paulo Filho, Kimbo, Royce Gracie, Sakaraba, Marcus Davis, I don’t see there being a chance to entice anyone of note. Especially if Elite tries to adopt a 3 fight clause or contractual obligation. Who in there right mind is gonna shy away from the UFC for this? I see only, up and coming, washed up or cheaters like Marquardt. There isn’t enough talent to go around. UFC has a hard time scrapping together fight cards at times. I have a feeling that Shamrock vs James Toney is gonna be on Elite. Maybe Timmy vs Arlovski 3. Kimbo vs Butterbean. The shitty fights can almost write themselves. Not a fan, could care less and really hope it doesn’t make a dent in the UFC. UFC is where it is at and we are this close to unifying all the weight classes championship belts. boo go home.

  11. Machiel Van on June 29th, 2011 2:03 PM

    Arlovski and Sylvia have already fought each other three times.

  12. pro elite returns august 27 in hawaii... - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on June 29th, 2011 8:50 PM

    […] ProElite Targets August Return, Hires Former Employees : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA Payout Perspective: It appears that ProElite started talking to fighters during the past few months, but has greatly increased their activity in the last two weeks. MMAWeekly mentions Andrei Arlovski as one of those fighters who could be a participant of the planned August event. Sources tell MMAPayout that other fighters have gone on record and stated that they would be interested in fighting for the promotion as well. MMAPayout has been tracking ProElite’s activity since they last held a show under the previous management group. Their activity in the MMA market has picked up drastically since Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa, trying to capitalize on the current market conditions when networks like Showtime, Spike TV, Fox, and HDNet among others are/could be looking for MMA programming real soon. With the additions of Thompson and Chou, expect more fight announcements and rumors to be reported by the MMA media in the next few weeks. It is believed that ProElite may be targeting Showtime’s TV spot if the UFC cuts ties with the cable network by the end of the year. […]

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