ProElite Relaunches Website, Releases 8/27 Event Promo

August 10, 2011

Stratus Media and ProElite officially announced today the re-launch of their website via press release.  Along with the site, the promotion also released a promo for their upcoming 8/27 card in Hawaii.

 ProElite, Inc. (PELE.PK), today announces its newly redesigned and rebranded website with highly improved look and feel is now live.

“It is an exciting time for ProElite and we are thrilled that the company’s striking and revamped site is successfully up and running,” said Paul Feller, CEO, Stratus Media Group and Chairman, ProElite. has gone under structural and facial reconstruction and now showcases upcoming fights, fighter bios, stats, links to Facebook and Twitter pages, and more.

“The relaunch of the website is one of many steps ProElite is taking as it rolls out its new identity under Stratus,” said William Kelly COO of Stratus and ProElite. Functionality and value for our site visitors and fans will continue to improve over the coming weeks. Fans will also soon be able to purchase a redesigned line of ProElite MMA merchandise.”

ProElite, Inc., newly acquired by Stratus Media Group, returns to the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena August 27. Tickets are on sale at


ProElite Hawaii 8/27 Event Promo:


Payout Perspective:

ProElite has been taking good solid strides in re-launching their MMA brand.  The re-launch of their website and the release of the slick promotional video for the upcoming card in Hawaii are of very good quality.  They are also heavily focusing on Social Media to promote their brand and event, already establishing accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

There were recent rumor’s about ProElite possibly signing a TV deal with Showtime/CBS, but those rumors were recently put to rest by Vice President of Fight Operations T. Jay Thompson. Thompson states that they want to grow at the right pace, and that they are looking for an entry-level TV deal first that fits as to where they are as an MMA promotion currently, which is refreshing to hear.

Their second event is scheduled for November and will most likely take place in New Jersey, where they expect to already have a TV deal and host the first round of their own Heavyweight Grand Prix.

ProElite Announces Arlovski vs Lopez On August 27

July 28, 2011

ProElite announced today that they would be revealing more details on their “ProElite 2.0” 8/27 event during a conference call this Friday morning.

WHEN: FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011 – 10:00AM
LOS ANGELES, CA–Jul. 26, 2011— ProElite, Inc. (PELE:PK), today announces a press conference scheduled for Friday, July 29th in Honolulu to reveal the matchups on the upcoming August fight card.
“It’s exciting to have the MMA community on the edge of their seats awaiting the next ProElite news,” stated Paul Feller, President and CEO of Stratus. “I am confident that MMA fans will not be disappointed with the matchups, which will be announced later this week.”
The August 27th fight marks the third time ProElite has staged an MMA event in Hawaii.
T.Jay Thompson, head of Fight Operations said, “This is just the start of ProElite’s return to a dominant player in the industry.” “We look forward to regaining the support of the MMA global audience.”
Tickets can now be purchased at the Blaisdell Arena box office, or online at Reserved seats are $28, $40, $65, and $90; Cage side seats are priced at $150 and $200.


Rumored ProElite 8/27 Card:
Andrei Arlovski (15-9) vs Ray Lopez (5-2)
Kendall Grove (12-9) vs Joe Riggs (34-13)
Kala Hose (7-5) v Drew McFedries (9-6),
Raquel Pa’aluhi (3-1) v Sara McMann (2-0),
Mark Ellis (Debut) v Jake Huen (1-0)
Reagan Penn (Debut) vs TBA


Payout Perspective:

ProElite’s August 27 event from Hawaii has been building up nicely in the past couple of weeks.  T.Jay Thompson and Rich Chou have done a great job of piecing the card together with a good mix of recognizable veteran names along with young prospects.  The additions of Kendall Grove, Reagan Penn, and Kala Hose to the card should translate into good attendance numbers for the promotion. Young prospects such as Mark Ellis and Sara McMann will bring credibility to the promotion and should begin the process of creating their own stars.

Sources have informed MMAPayout that the event will most likely be streamed from as the UFC Rio event concludes.  Another interesting piece of news is that Jens Pulver is in talks to become ProElite’s color commentator for the event.

Legendary PRIDE referee Yuji Shimada will also be working the August ProElite event in Hawaii.

In terms of sponsors, ProElite’s T.Jay Thompson informed us that he didn’t expect any major sponsors for this event.  If we look at the event poster, it only shows radio stations such as 101.9, 98.5, and 93.9. will be streaming the press conference live.

Payout Spotlight: ProElite VP of Fight Operations T. Jay Thompson – Part 2

July 14, 2011

In part two of MMAPayout’s interview with ProElite’s Vice President of Fight Operations T. Jay Thompson,  he spoke to us about some of the smaller details regarding the August 27 event, the differences between the old ProElite and the new, plus his thoughts on Rich Chou, Kimbo Slice, Dana White, Women’s MMA, promoting MMA for the past 15 years, and being a huge MMA fan.


MP: What type of cage/ring will ProElite use on August 27? Are you a fan of the ring or the cage?

Thompson: We will be using a standard circular cage, similar to what was used in EliteXC.  I am a big fan of  the ring but I believe that era of MMA has passed.  The ring was great back in PRIDE and in Japan, but those times have passed.  As for the cage, I’m a big fan of the smaller cages, so I’m hoping that we can make it a bit smaller in the future because they create exciting fights.

MP: How do you feel about co-promotion?

Thompson: I am all for co-promotion.  Not only did I host the first co-promotional sanctioned event for Shooto in the U.S., but I was fortunate enough to work with several Japanese promotions and I was able to bring fighters like Rumina Sato stateside, which was a proud moment for me.

MP: How do you feel about working with ProElite again after your first stint. It appeared that MMA fans were waiting for the more experienced MMA promoters under the banner to take over the direction of ProElite last time around, but it never happened. How does your position in ProElite differ this time around?

Thompson: I had nothing to do with decision making the first time around.  It’s no secret that Gary Shaw and I didn’t see eye to eye.  It was an extremely frustrating situation.  Like I said before, this time around I will be working with Rich Chou, and as a team, our goal is to place ProElite in a position to capitalize.

MP: Speaking of Rich Chou, were you surprised that he was let go after Zuffa purchased Strikeforce and can you talk about what his acquisition means for ProElite?

Thompson: I’m excited to work with Rich again.  I’ve worked with Rich for a long time now and he is a hard worker and not many people realize this, but he does a lot more than just the matchmaking.  He will be a valuable asset for us… but am I surprised that Zuffa let him go? No.  Zuffa’s entire company is filled with excellent employees and he was just another for them. So no, I am not surprised at all.

MP: If Strikeforce ends up being absorbed by the UFC and Women’s MMA needs a new home, do you see ProElite becoming a home to them the same way that Strikeforce was able to capitalize on the female fighters  they acquired from EliteXC?

Thompson: First of all, I am a big fan of Women’s MMA. Like I said before, we are talking to anyone that’s available.  We’ve already scheduled Sara McMann, a U.S. Olympic medalist, to our first event, so they will have a place in the promotion.

MP: Did you watch the recent fight between Sheila Bird and Kim Couture. What did you think of that fight? Is Bird the type of fighter that you would be interested in signing?

Thompson: The officiating was terrible, but I was thrilled to see a win via leg-scissor choke.  You can ask anyone that trains out of my garage, that is my favorite choke and I’ve been practicing it for years. As for Sheila, of course we would be interested in signing any top prospect. You have to realize that I am a huge MMA fan, just like you guys. I go to the UG, read the websites, and watch the fights on Youtube just like everyone else. I try to catch as many fights as I can and keep an eye on up-and-coming talent.

MP: Kimbo Slice was heavily featured in EliteXC during the initial run. Would ProElite be opposed to signing someone like a Kimbo Slice, Dave Bautista, or Bobby Lashley?

Thompson: There were many decisions I did not agree with that ProElite made, but signing Kimbo Slice was not one of them.  I am a big Kimbo Slice fan and I don’t have a problem with fighters who bring new eyeballs to the sport. Kimbo Slice was a big part of why ProElite and CBS still hold the record for highest rating on a major network  for MMA. As for Bobby Lashley, I am a bit disappointed in his progression in MMA. I was rooting for him and hoping he would have had more of an impact on the sport by now. In terms of signing any of them, I would not rule anything out.

MP: Now that you are the VP of Fight Operations for ProElite, what do you think you can bring to the table this time around that you weren’t able to last time?

Thompson: My strong-point is not only discovering and developing new talent, but reviving already established talent.  I was able to do it for Robbie Lawler, Frank Trigg, and Jason Miller, and it’s something that I look forward to doing again in ProElite.

MP: What is your vision of ProElite in the near future and where would you like them to be in 5 years?

Thompson: Our goal is to become the number two promotion in MMA in five years and be profitable.  If we could do that, we would be in a great position to capitalize on opportunities.  As for ProElite, I hope it becomes a mixture of all my previous promotions (ICON Sports, SuperBrawl, etc).  We want to put on exciting and entertaining fights for our fans.

MP: What type of reaction has ProElite received from the fans and MMA sponsors since announcing the company’s return?

Thompson: We are getting a great deal of support from MMA fans and those involved on the business side of the sport, so that’s great to see. I was and still root for Strikeforce, so it’s good to see others do the same for us.

MP: In a recent interview, Dana White said “T. Jay [Thompson] has been involved in some great fights — SuperBrawl — I would call him an early pioneer of the sport. Good for him” regarding ProElite being resurrected.  What is your reaction to that comment?

Thompson: Actually, it makes me think that I’m doing something wrong. Joking aside, I am a huge Dana White fan, and we are just a small blip on the radar, so it could all change in the future.


MMAPayout was also able to briefly catch-up with ProElite new hire Rich Chou.  Chou insisted that he was “very blessed” to have many opportunities presented to him after he was let go by Zuffa, and is now just trying to find a way to transition his life into working for ProElite.  Chou now finds himself frequently flying between San Jose, Los Angeles, and Hawaii.  He also points out that he has been extremely busy preparing for the August 27 show in Hawaii, and  hasn’t had much of a chance to settle down.

Chou along with T. Jay Thompson and a couple of Stratus Media Group executives currently make up the team for ProElite,  a vast contrast of how the original company was managed. “I am very blessed with the opportunities that were available to me after Strikeforce” said Chou. “I think MMA promotions realized what type of work I can put in and the success the companies I’ve worked with have had in the past. I’m looking forward to working with T.Jay and putting on great fights for the fans.”

Payout Spotlight: ProElite VP of Fight Operations T. Jay Thompson – Part 1

July 11, 2011

MMAPayout had the opportunity to interview Vice President of Fight Operations for ProElite T. Jay Thompson. He spoke to us about the August 27 event, his goals for the promotion, and what we can expect from ProElite going forward.

ProElite hosted it’s first MMA event, which was televised on Showtime, back in February of 2007. In total, ProElite was able to produce 21 MMA events before it closed it’s doors in October of 2008, as it accumulated a debt of $55 million in the span of less than 24 months of operations.

With EliteXC’s previous failure and Strikeforce’s purchase by Zuffa earlier this year, despite both having historic network television deals and a number of MMA stars on it’s roster, begs the question:  Can a viable competitor emerge?  Can the market sustain another national promotion over the long-term? T. Jay Thompson believes becoming a profitable number two promotion is the initial goal this time around for ProElite.

MP: What will the name of the MMA promotion be under ProElite and does ProElite still have rights to EliteXC, Cage Rage, etc?

Thompson: We will be using ProElite as the name of the promotion, as the ProElite name still has value and brand equity.  We still own part of the rights and library to EliteXC and Strikeforce owns others after the asset purchase, but we still have the rights to other promotions such as Cage Rage and ICON for example.

MP: So far, the rumors are Kala Hose vs Drew McFedries, Raquel Pa’aluhi vs Sara McMann, Jake Huen vs Mark Ellis, Andrei Arlovski, and Kendall Grove all possibly participating in the upcoming August 27 event taking place at the Blaisdell Arena in Hawaii. Can you confirm any of these fights? Will there be an emphasis in Women’s MMA?

Thompson: There will be an announcement this week but all I can say is that you guys have done a very good job.  Those fights sound very plausible. I can tell you that we signed the first American woman in history to receive a silver medal in women’s wrestling at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Sara McMann and she will be taking on Raquel Pa’aluhi, who comes from a great Hawaiian MMA background. Whether male or female fighters, we are talking to anyone that’s available and that make sense for us and what markets we go into.

MP: How will MMA fans be able to watch the August 27 event? Are there any concerns about running the show on the same day as the monumental UFC 134: Silva vs Okami taking place in Brazil?

Thompson: The event will be available for fans most likely by streaming from a major MMA website.  We are hoping for a TV deal to be in place, but realistically, it will most likely be streamed from Hawaii at 7PM local, which means it will air just after UFC 134 at 10PM on the west coast. We are not trying to compete with the UFC, and just like a fighter coming back from a long layoff, we have to work out the kinks and ring rust. We hope to do that in the first couple of shows.

MP: Does ProElite have any major sponsors lined up for the August 27 event?

Thompson:  We are currently not aligned with any major sponsors.  As for the event, nothing is official just yet, but we aren’t expecting many major sponsors for the first event.

MP: ProElite CEO Paul Feller has mentioned before that a lot of what PE will do in the future depends on what happens with Strikeforce on Showtime and UFC/Bellator on Spike TV.  Is the goal to eventually land a TV deal with one of those big outlets?

Thompson: My job is to put ProElite in a position to capitalize on any opportunities that present themselves in the future.  So we won’t rule anything out at this point.  Stratus Media has talented people and many have worked in/with the TV industry, so we feel pretty confident we will be on a TV outlet by our second event.

MP: When will the second event take place and how many events are you planning for 2011?

Thompson: The second event will take place in November, which is when we believe we will have a TV deal in place.  That means we will have 2 shows in 2011, then ramp up for 2012.

MP: How will ProElite be funded and operated this time around? It was well documented that the website, offices, employee salaries, etc were above and beyond what they should have been in terms of spending.

Thompson: ProElite will be ran lean and mean this time around.  It was frustrating watching PE burn through money and there was nothing I could do.  It’s a reason why we are only holding two events this year. We want to analyze and make decisions that make sense for the company and our shareholders.

MP: Will Hawaii be the home-base of ProElite, similar to what San Jose was for Strikeforce?

Thompson: We want to host about 2-3 shows in Hawaii every year but I wouldn’t say we have a home-base.  Remember that our offices are located in California, so we will see. Our goal is to go into markets that make the most sense.

MP: Is running MMA events out of Hawaii a concern, considering the MMA tax after the sport was regulated there a few years ago?

Thompson: Hawaii gets 4% on the gate, 4% on PPV revenue, but it is capped at $50K, so it’s no different if we hosted the event in California or New Jersey.  Dana White made those comments back when the UFC was looking into putting on an event in Hawaii, but those regulations have been modified since.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC came to Hawaii soon and ran a show from Aloha Stadium.


Part 2 of the interview will discuss the differences between the old ProElite and what Thompson envisions this time around. Also, his thoughts on Rich Chou, Dana White, Women’s MMA, being a promoter in MMA for the past 15 years, and being a huge MMA fan.

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 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.

Stratus Media Group & New ProElite CEO Paul Feller Interview

June 21, 2011

After Stratus Media Group announced that they had acquired ninety-five percent of ProElite, CEO Paul Feller gives a great interview on what we can expect from the resurging MMA group.

Here are some excerpts from the interview conducted by MiddleEasy’s Elena Lopez.  When asked about why Stratus Media made the deal to acquire a large stake in ProElite, Feller stated the following:

We have a well-established name worldwide, they have a wonderful library of previous events and we’re looking to take that branding and that history, and rebuild the brand as a major player and we’re looking to fill the number two spot that Strikeforce once held.”

In terms of making ProElite a success, feller stated that they will use their experience and already-existing relationships and leverage those into all properties they manage.

We have multiple events, not just in the MMA space, but music festivals, concerts, film festivals, autoracing, autosports — and we’re going to extrapolate the benefits of media and sponsorship from all of our different properties and cross-pollinate them across all of our brands and all of our events including ProElite. That means leveraging our television relationships, our sponsorships and our merchandising partners. We have considerable resources to go into this and better the chances and the odds to make ProElite a large success.


Payout Perspective:

Here is  a summary of other topics the extensive interview touched on:

– Feller attributes the video library, intellectual property value, fighter relationships, and equity in brand-awareness as reasons they invested in the defunct company.

– Feller admits that they were in “significant discussions to acquire a large portion of Strikeforce” but the deal did not materialize.

– Regarding the future of the promotion, Feller states that a bulk of what could happen in the future is dependent on what happens with the future of Strikeforce and UFC. In terms of acquiring fighter, Feller states that they are “already  in major communications” to get a number of fighters and free agents.

Stratus Media Group Secures 95% Ownership of ProElite

June 21, 2011

Stratus Media Group, which is a live entertainment company, announced today that it has finalized its acquisition of ProElite, assuming a ninety-five percent stake in the MMA promotion.

“This acquisition provides the resources and abilities ProElite needs in order to focus on strengthening and repositioning its world class MMA fighting platform in addition to the brand itself”

“This acquisition provides the resources and abilities ProElite needs in order to focus on strengthening and repositioning its world class MMA fighting platform in addition to the brand itself,” stated Paul Feller, President and CEO of Stratus. “Under the new SMDI Action Sports Vertical, ProElite is launching a series of MMA events that will bring a new vitality to the business of MMA and reestablish ProElite as a leading international MMA organization.”

Founded in 2006, and running its first show in February 2007, ProElite quickly became one of the most visible brands in mixed martial arts globally. ProElite holds the record for highest ratings of an MMA event on a network telecast. The company maintains its ownership stakes in South Korean-based Spirit MC and British based Cage Rage. ProElite’s event strategy will continue its focus in both domestic and international markets, welcoming fighters across all weight classes to prove themselves in the cage. Details of ProElite’s upcoming events schedule, fight card, and management team will soon be announced.


Payout Perspective:

Last we heard of ProElite, they were brought up as a potential (though not serious) bidder in acquiring Strikeforce.  They also benefited from the Zuffa/Strikeforce purchase by being basically the only group left with relevant MMA footage that Zuffa does not yet own, for example some of Anderson Silva’s Cage Rage fights. They have had plans to start running MMA events again for about a year now, but nothing has materialized up to now.

It seems that ProElite could become another beneficiary after the Strikeforce/Zuffa purchase (see Bellator), as was predicted since the market is now luring investors to create viable options for MMA fans. In the latest rumor, states that ProElite is preparing to jump back into the MMA market fairly soon, and possibly with a familiar MMA investor:

We will be talking to the new CEO of ProElite tomorrow, however it’s rumored that the primary investor of the now-defunct ‘Impact FC’ will financially team-up with ProElite and they have every intention to compete with the UFC once again.

MMA Investors Searching for Viable Competitor, Is It Worth the Risk?

March 16, 2011

This weekend’s Zuffa-Strikeforce purchase announcement shook up the MMA landscape in such a way, that many fans, fighters, and sponsors were left in limbo as to what the future will hold for the sport and business of MMA.  The announcement also created a huge void for a number 2 promotion in the market, an opportunity which some MMA investors are already analyzing and moving some money around.


Why would investors be interested in MMA at this point after Strikeforce was just purchased by Zuffa? Well, lets take a look at the events that lead to Strikeforce’s sale to understand why.

Showtime, which was a part owner of ProElite, spent a good amount of resources and budget to build up and kick-off MMA on the network. They were fairly successful in making stars within the promotion, such as Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, Robbie Lawler and Nick Diaz, though they spent way too much money and accumulated debt of around $55 million, which lead the company to to almost file for bankruptcy, but instead chose to sell off it’s assets to recuperate some of the losses for Showtime.

Strikeforce and CEO Scott Coker were in the kickboxing promotion business all the way up to 2006, when they promoted their first MMA event in California, which was hugely successful and still holds the U.S. paid attendance record for MMA.  Before their first MMA event, they had a strong regional fanbase and following in San Jose.  SVSE along with Scott Coker struck a deal and created a partnership which slowly built up the company to the point where they were well positioned enough that when the Showtime was looking for a new MMA promoter, they were able to strike a deal with Showtime and Pro Elite to acquire their assets. Sherdog had the details back in February 12, 2009.

Strikeforce parent company Explosion Entertainment LLC purchased selected assets of Pro Elite Inc. for $3 million, according to a United States Securities and Exchange Commission report released Wednesday.

As part of the multi-million dollar purchase announced last week, Strikeforce acquired valuable fighter contracts, media assets that include the ProElite fight library and inventories that include all EliteXC-related DVDs. Various promotional and marketing materials were also part of the deal.

The asset purchase also lead Strikeforce to signing a TV deal with Showtime/CBS, a deal which was estimated to pay Strikeforce $25 million dollars in license fees over the course of the three-year deal.

In October of 2009, the Stratus Media Group acquired a 95% stake in ProElite for $2 million after the companyalmost filed for bankruptcy earlier in the year.  Although they sold most of their valuable assets to Strikeforce, they still maintained rights to the brand name ProElite (, Cage Rage, Spirit MC, and most importantly the EliteXC brand. The ProElite group, who put a bid for Strikeforce back in December of 2010, was composed of some original ProElite members such as Doug De Luca, William Kelly, Glenn Golenberg, along witch newly appointed Chairman of the board Paul Feller from the Stratus Media group.  It was said they raised enough capital to place a bid for $40 million dollars, though it wasn’t enough and was eventually outbid by Zuffa.

The other bidder for Strikeforce was from a group headed by Shelly Finkel, who is Mike Tyson’s manager and has been one of the most powerful managers in boxing for the past 30-plus years.  Finkel officially announced that he was leaving the sport of boxing back in June of 2010, citing politics of the sport as the reason he was driven away to where he got his start, music promotion under Empire Sports and Entertainment.  Although Finkel left boxing, he continued to act as an advisor to heavyweight champions Wladimir Klitschko and Vitali Klitschko, with whom he has worked for several years.  Empire Sports and Entertainment’s mission was said to become a leading media and entertainment company known for promoting the best events in concerts, music festivals, pay-per-view specials and sporting events around the world.

If we look back at some of those figures, it took an investment of $3 million dollars from SVSE and Explosion entertainment back in February of 2009 to cash out on March of 2011, span of 2 years, to be bought by Zuffa for above $40 million dollars. Being the #2 promotion or the “next competitor to the UFC” paid off for Strikeforce, and I think many other promotion are looking at their model to try and accomplish the same.

On Monday, just a couple of days after the Zuffa-Strikeforce purchase was announced, ProElite stock (one of the bidders for Strikeforce) opened at less than $0.01/share and closed at a 52 week high of $0.06 /share with a volume of just under 1 million. The average volume over the past 3 months had been around 14,000.  On Tuesday (the following day March 15, 2011), ProElite stock closed at $0.19 /share and had a day high of $0.24 /share.  What the numbers are saying is that investors and MMA fans have already started looking for a viable competitor for the UFC in the MMA market, and as Strikeforce proved in the span of 2 years, money can still be made in the market without being the #1 promotion as long as you have a platform for your product (Showtime) and a unique selling point you offer to fans.

If Zuffa ends up deciding that they do not want female MMA in the UFC, another promotion could build a solid stable of female fighters and scoop whatever talent is left out there not under the UFC umbrella (see Bellator) to start the process all over again.  FX, Fuel TV, G4, FSN, and other networks have shown recent interest in MMA programming, and all it takes is the right deal to present itself to a promotion for a shot at the #2 spot.  With that being said, the risk in the market has grown exponentially high this time around, as UFC has taken a dominant share of the market and has the majority of the top fighters in MMA.

Strikeforce is said to have roughly 140 fighters under contract in addition to UFC’s current 260 fighters, which is a whopping 400 fighters under the Zuffa banner at the moment.  It is expected that a good portion of those fighters will be cut and out of the UFC by 2012, since Zuffa has said before that they feel comfortable with a roster of around 200-220 fighters.  The UFC will also have to sign many foreign fighters as they keep reaching new international markets (trying to find the GSP of each country they visit), which only guarantees that many domestic fighters will be getting cut in the next 12 months.  This bodes well for the promotions such as Bellator, MFC, Shark Fights, Titan FC, & Tachi Palace Fights in the States,  BAMMA, Cage Wars, & Cage Warriors in the UK, and KSW in Poland to name a few. It also bodes well for a station like HDNet who has TV contracts with MFC, Shark Fights, and Titan FC. These promotions have shown a great deal of potential in the last couple of years and the talent pool quality of MMA fighters should be increasing in the next year.  One of those could make the next step up or it could be an investment group, like the ones behind ProElite to assume the #2 spot in the market. It will definitely be a risk for any investor to jump into the current state of the market, but fans and investors seem eager to give it another go.

MMAterial Facts (03/17/10): Details On Huerta's Contract Demands

March 17, 2010

  • Details on Roger Huerta’s Contract Demands, A Conflict Of Interest?
  • LA Times Acknowledges NHL and Cycling for Pushing DirecTV/Versus Resolution, Not UFC/WEC
  • Baldacci Cancellation Leads to Questions Regarding California Amateur Bouts
  • Douglas De Luca Joins the Board of Directors of ProElite, Stratus Slowly Assembling Old Regime
  • Station Casinos workers seek refuge with Culinary Union

Details on Roger Huerta’s Contract Demands, A Conflict of Interest?

For several months, Huerta was believed to be bound for Strikeforce, the Showtime- and CBS-aligned promotion that has attempted over the last year to establish itself as a major competitor to the UFC. Strikeforce and Huerta “did the dance like everyone else,” said the organization’s CEO, Scott Coker. That is until the fighter’s monetary demands apparently quelled its interest. Huerta, too, seemed unsure about Strikeforce’s ability to deliver bouts on a regular basis, which is exactly what he didn’t want from a promotional partner.

Mere rumors of Huerta’s asking price — which, according to sources outside the fighter’s camp familiar with the negotiations, included a $250,000 signing bonus — was enough to keep Dream, Japan’s top promoter, from making an offer, said its U.S. representative, Mike Kogan.  (Sports Illustrated)


Huerta, the first fighter ever to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated following his emphatic UFC 69 win over Leonard Garcia  in 2007, was heavily promoted by the UFC in 2007 and 2008. When the popular 26-year-old fighter opted not to re-sign with the promotion, Bellator and Strikeforce both courted Huerta, who is of Salvadoran and Mexican decent. has learned that the bilingual Huerta was offered additional undisclosed incentives to join the fledging Bellator’s ranks, which caters to both English- and Spanish-speaking demographics.    (Sherdog)


MMAPayout Note: Conflict of Interest? Roger Huerta’s manager, Jeff Clark, also serves as a consultant for Bellator Fighting Championships.

LA Times Acknowledges NHL and Cycling for Pushing DirecTV/Versus Resolution, Not UFC/WEC

According to three sources who had information about the negotiations but who could not speak publicly, the high profile of hockey after the Olympics as well as anticipation for the upcoming cycling season where Versus will televise both the Tour of California and Tour de France where Lance Armstrong is expected to race, played a part in a contract agreement being reached.  (LA Times)

Baldacci Cancellation Leads to Questions Regarding California Amateur Bouts

A CAMO official told Baldacci that, in order to resolve the situation, he would have to get the promoters of his previous bouts to send a legal document stating that Baldacci’s previous bouts were considered amateur fights and that he was not paid for competing. Baldacci says that such a task would be impossible. “I couldn’t even get those promoters to return my calls so that I could get a video of my fights, let alone putting together a legal document stating that my fights were amateur bouts when there wasn’t even a definition of amateur at the time,” Baldacci says.   (Heavy)

Douglas De Luca Joins the Board of Directors of ProElite, Stratus Slowly Assembling Old Regime

“Having Doug De Luca on the board will help solidify our plans for success,” stated Paul Feller, President and CEO of Stratus. “His extensive experience and knowledge of the MMA and television worlds combined with his skills in developing strategic relationships and generating revenue will be essential for the growth of ProElite.”

During his tenure at ProElite, Mr. DeLuca negotiated and closed deals for ProElite with a number of media entities including Showtime Networks, CBS Television, Mark Burnett Productions, IMG, and Fox Sports Net. These deals propelled ProElite from a concept to the only Mixed Martial Arts organization to be broadcast live on network television in primetime.  (MarketWatch)

Station Casinos workers seek refuge with Culinary Union

After months of legal wrangling, Station announced last month that it had reached a deal with key lenders that could clear the way out of bankruptcy this summer. The announcement came on the same day the Culinary went public with its organizing campaign, led by hundreds of Station employees companywide.

Under the deal, Station Chairman and CEO Frank Fertitta III and his brother Lorenzo Fertitta, would make a substantial but undisclosed equity investment, and the current management team would continue to lead the company.

The Culinary hopes to capitalize on public outrage over the bank bailouts, pitching its organizing campaign in populist terms. Taylor said company insiders, led by the Fertitta family, nearly tripled Station’s long-term debt to take the company private, netting more than $660 million in the process.

“It’s exactly why people are angry in this country,” Taylor said. “The very few ran off with a ton of money and we’re all having to pay for it. Now, the people who made off with the money are saying they shouldn’t have to pay it back. Station went into bankruptcy and the creditors and the workers have been left with the bag. Workers are fighting back.” (Las Vegas Sun)


  • WEC 48: Faber vs Aldo Promo: In the most explosive World Extreme Cagefighting® event ever, featherweight champion and Brazilian phenom Jose Aldo makes the first defense of his title when he takes on former world champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber… If one title fight wasn’t enough, lightweight champion Ben Henderson takes on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a rematch of their 2009 Fight of the Year… Plus, former featherweight champion Mike Brown battles judo ace Manny Gamburyan. WEC: ALDO vs. FABER – Saturday, April 24, live on Pay-Per-View from Sacramento, CA.


“We would have to really look at how things are developing and we’d probably have to borrow some manpower from somewhere,” Mullen said of the commission’s ability to handle both events. “It would be way bigger than anything we’ve ever done, but I don’t think it’s something we couldn’t do, we’d just have to make some unusual arrangements to make it work.”  (Tennessee State Athletic Commission Addressing Two Potential MMA Events on 4/17, Sports Illustrated)


  • Massachusetts Commission: Double Weigh-Ins at Fighters’ Discretion (Sherdog)
  • WEC 47 draws $401,000 live gate (MMAJunkie)
  • Bellator CEO says Roger Huerta at top of 155-pound tourney, not opposed to UFC signings (MMAJunkie)
  • UFC 111 fighters talk Pacquiao vs. Clottey, fan apathy and boxing’s struggles (MMAJunkie)
  • Lyle Beerbohm vs. Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro targeted for May 15 Strikeforce event (MMAJunkie)
  • Marquardt: Hardy in Over His Head at UFC 111(MMAFighting)
  • Strikeforce’s Consideration of Canseco a Flirtation in Need of an End (MMAFighting)
  • Mir Buying in Bulk Against Carwin (Sherdog)
  • Vera suggests the UFC did him a favor with Jones matchup (Cage Writer)
  • WEC 47 suffers setback with $401,000 live gate (FiveOuncesOfPain)
  • UFC 111 Media Conference Call Quotes (Heavy)


  • UFC Primetime  St-Pierre vs. Hardy at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike (03/17/10)
  • UFC 111 Countdown: Mir vs. Carwin at 10:30 PM ET/PT on Spike (03/17/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents K-1 Classics (Masato, Drago, & Andre Dida) at 8 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • InsideMMA (Dan Henderson, Mike Straka & Donovan Craig) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • HDNet Fights: XFC X-Night of Champions at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • UFC on Versus: Vera vs Jones at 10 PM ET on Versus (3/21/10)


  • HDNet Fights: XFC X-Night of Champions at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • UFC on Versus: Vera vs Jones at 10 PM ET on Versus (3/21/10)
  • HDNet Fights: King of the Cage – Legacy at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs Mahe at 11 PM ET/PT on Showtime (03/26/10)
  • UFC 111: GSP vs Hardy at 10 PM ET on PPV (03/27/10)
  • UFN 21 : Florian vs Gomi at 10 PM ET on Spike (03/31/10)
  • The Ultimate Fighter 11 Debut after UFN 21 on Spike (03/31/10)

MMAterial Facts (03/01/10): 3 Title Fights on Strikeforce 4/17 CBS Show

March 1, 2010

  • Strikeforce Signs Arlovski, 3 Title Fights Taking Place On April 17th CBS Event in Nashville
  • BJ Penn Unlikely Source of Info for Hawaii Tsunami News Coverage
  • Stratus CEO Paul Feller sees co-existence, not competition, as goal of new ProElite
  • Rules Being Drafted for MMA Events in Wisconsin
  • Randy Couture at the NFL Combine
  • UFC Boss Dana White Donates to Girl With Brain Tumor

Strikeforce Signs Arlovski, 3 Title Fights Taking Place On April 17th CBS Event in Nashville

A bout between lightweight champions Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki is locked for Strikeforce’s April 17 event at the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn., confirmed a source with direct knowledge of the bout.

Josh Gross, of Sports Illustrated, was the first to report Monday of the matchup. has confirmed independently that the bout has been signed. 

Melendez-Aoki will be one of three championship bouts offered at the April 17 event, which will air live on CBS. Gegard Mousasi will defend his light heavyweight title against undefeated wrestler Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, while Jake Shields will meet two-division Pride titleholder Dan Henderson in a 185-pound championship match. (Sherdog)


Arlovski Signs with Strikeforce

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski signed a multi-fight, 16-month contract with Strikeforce on Monday, according to sources close to the negotiations.

Arlovski is likely to face one-time EliteXC champion Antonio Silva on May 15 in St. Louis, Mo., in his sophomore effort with the promotion, has learned. Arlovski appeared on 10 days’ notice for Strikeforce last June as part of a co-promotional effort with Affliction Entertainment. Brett Rogers shocked the 31-year-old Belarusian out of the gate with a 22-second knockout victory.  (Sherdog)


Champ Alistair Overeem confirms May 15 Strikeforce fight with Brett Rogers

Alistair Overeem (32-11 MMA, 2-0 SF) wants American fans to get ready. There are no more obstacles in the way of his American MMA career; Strikeforce is the priority for 2010.

In an exclusive interview with today, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion said he is likely to meet Brett Rogers (10-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) in a non-title fight on an as-yet-unannounced card set for May 15 in St. Louis, Mo.  (MMAJunkie)

BJ Penn Unlikely Source of Info for Hawaii Tsunami News Coverage

As the world watched the terrible news of another horrific earthquake — this one epicentered in central Chile, and waited for news of a follow-up tsunami expected to hit Hawaii, UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn and his website became a legitimate news outlet for information.

Penn, who incorporates frequent video blogs as part of his website, live streamed video footage of Hilo Bay on his website throughout the day. His videos were picked up by CNN and Fox News and broadcast to a worldwide viewing audience, and Penn was also interviewed by CNN regarding conditions in his area.   (MMAFighting)

Stratus CEO Paul Feller sees co-existence, not competition, as goal of new ProElite

Paul Feller, CEO of Stratus Media Group, the company that assumed control of ProElite, Inc. this week, said his goal is not to be the next promotion to challenge the UFC.

“Our business is not to contend with the UFC but to create a great business model and series of MMA events that complement the UFC – but definitely complement our company in the live-events sector,” Feller recently told (

Stratus, which has focused thus far on live-event properties such as concerts, car shows, and auto races, is taking a big gamble in reentering the MMA market with a brand name that’s been dragged through the mud by most of the MMA community.

And with the UFC doing brisk pay-per-view business and expanding its presence on basic cable, Strikeforce airing on CBS and Showtime, and a host of other small promotions sharing space on smaller broadcast outlets, things are crowded already.

Feller’s counter for now is to move laterally around the problem while holding domestic events with a focus on the international market.

Despite his company’s earlier troubles, he believes ProElite’s value remains strong and the company can be turned around.

“I know when I’m in Dubai or Abu Dhabi or Shanghai, I can put out the name ProElite, and one out of every three people will know who ProElite is,” Feller said. “And that has brand equity.” (MMAJunkie)

Rules Being Drafted for MMA Events in Wisconsin

“There was an article I just read today where an amateur boxer who was 17-years-old was severely hurt. Another professional boxer with minimal experience was matched up with a much more experienced professional that person got severely hurt,” Colon says.

Act 111 limits the number of contests by a promoter or club at a given place, requires various fees paid by promoters… and requires inspectors and licensed judges at matches, among other things.

UFC’s representative says he expects to see an event here, which supporters say will bring revenue to the state as well.

“Between venues such as Resch center…Bradley center…even venues here in Madison …I think … someday definitely see UFC or in WEC in Wisconsin,” Michael Mersch, with UFC, says.

Those at today’s meeting largely appear to support the new law… but have concerns about matches currently scheduled for September and the department’s ability to staff those events.

The first public hearing for the new rules could happen at the end of June.  (NBC 15, Madison Wisconsin)

Randy Couture at the NFL Combine

Randy Couture is spending the weekend in Indianapolis, trying to drum up interest in mixed martial arts training methods in general, and his Xtreme Couture gym in particular, for NFL teams interested in exploring new methods of strength and conditioning for their players.

Fox Sports NFL reporter Jay Glazer is working with Couture in designing and implementing MMA-oriented training programs for football players and athletes in other sports.

MMA training has become is the latest workout craze for NFL players, and Couture is seeking to expand that and position his own gym as the go-to place for football players who want to mix things up during the off-season. Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has trained at Xtreme Couture and raved about the results. (MMAFighting)

UFC Boss Dana White Donates to Girl With Brain Tumor

“THE family of a poorly two-year-old girl were “shocked but over the moon” after a U.S. cagefighting boss pledged £5,000 to help pay for her treatment.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White made the surprise gesture on Ruby Owen’s fund-raising website on Saturday – despite having never met the family.

The 40-year-old American decided to support the Kidsgrove family’s campaign to raise £250,000 to pay for the youngster, who has a brain tumour, to have life-saving treatment in America.  (Telegraph)


Round 5 Collector Series 2


  • UFC 110: $540,000 in Merchandise (MMAPayout Perspective)
  • TUF 11 Cast Revealed (MMAPayout Perspective)
  • Noons-‘Dida’ Finalized for Dream 13 (Sherdog)
  • Round 5 unveils images of Kimbo Slice, other fighters in “Ultimate Collector Series 2” (MMAJunkie)
  • “Strongest Man” Mariusz Pudzianowski announced for May 7 KSW XIII card (MMAJunkie)
  • Heavyweight prospect Cole Konrad signs deal with Bellator Fighting Championships (MMAJunkie)
  • Heavyweight Arlovski Returns to Strikeforce (MMAFighting)
  • Barnett Still Waiting for Dream Opponent (MMAFighting)
  • White’s nightmare continues: Mainstream media still loves Canseco (Cage Writer)
  • Melendez vs. Aoki Expected for 4/17 Strikeforce on CBS (Heavy)
  • Marcus Davis Wants Dan Hardy to Die. Of AIDS. (Heavy)
  • TUF 11 full cast revealed (VIDEO)  (FiveOuncesOfPain)


  • HDNet Fights Presents K-1 Classics (2008 K-1 World Max) at 8 PM ET on HDNet (03/05/10)
  • InsideMMA (Matyushenko, Renzo Gracie) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (03/05/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents Furious Finishes IV, at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/05/10)
  • Best of Pride FC at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike (03/05/10)
  • WEC 47: Bowles vs Cruz on at 10 PM ET on Versus (03/06/10)


  • WEC 47: Bowles vs Cruz on at 10 PM ET on Versus (03/06/10)
  • HDNet Fights: Sengoku Raiden Championship 12 at TBD on HDNet (03/12/10)
  • HDNet Fights: XFC X-Night of Champions at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/19/10)
  • UFC on Versus: Vera vs Jones at 10 PM ET on Versus (3/21/10)
  • HDNet Fights: King of the Cage – Legacy at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs Mahe at 11 PM ET/PT on Showtime (03/26/10)
  • UFC 111: GSP vs Hardy at 10 PM ET on PPV (03/27/10)
  • UFN 21 : Florian vs Gomi at 10 PM ET on Spike (03/31/10)
  • The Ultimate Fighter 11 Debut after UFN 21 on Spike (03/31/10)

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