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(Let the search for an opponent begin.)
Elite XC officially announced its July 26 event in a press release sent out to the media today, noting that the card will feature three title fights: Robbie Lawler-Scott Smith for the middleweight title, Jake Shields-Nick Thompson for the vacant welterweight title, and Antonio Silva-TBA for the newly created Elite XC heavyweight title. Because nothing says ‘this belt isn’t very important‘ like announcing a title fight with only one participant a month out from the fight.
The Silva bout, along with two others, will air live on Showtime. The other two title fights will air live on CBS alongside two other bouts.
Said Pro Elite Executive Chairman Doug DeLuca, “One venue, two networks and seven exciting world class fights adds up to an entertaining and memorable mixed martial arts event in prime time.”
As you may have guessed, the Nick Diaz-Thomas Denny bout is one that Elite XC is relying on to drive ticket sales, and it is expected to be one of the four bouts featured live on CBS. We had originally hoped that Diaz would face Elite XC 160-pound champ KJ Noons on the card, but after Noons’ father’s negative remarks about the Diaz brothers and the city of Stockton, it’s may be best for that not to happen.
There’s also word that CBS is using its increased financial stake in the company to try and influence matchmaking. CBS apparently felt there weren’t enough stars on this card and MMA Payout claims it has sources attesting to “significant internal pressure” to put a big name like Gina Carano on this event in order to generate more fan interest.