In a conference call held yesterday with Gina Carano and Kaitlin Young, EliteXC boss Gary Shaw announced that he intends to create the league’s first women’s title, with the winner of the Carano/Young scrap on May 31st likely fighting for the 140-pound belt sometime this fall; other titles in different weight divisions will follow once EliteXC builds up its roster of female fighters. Shaw also mentioned his goal of putting an all-women’s MMA card on CBS or Showtime next year. And just when we were about to hail Shaw as a champion of gender equality, he hits us with this:
Question: The IFL is very interested in the notion of having unified champions, wherever it’s possible or practical. Would that be something you would want to get involved with?
Shaw: I’m all for it…If they want to do women’s, we’ll fight for a women’s IFL belt…Women like jewelry. The more belts the better for them. They like accessories. So why not fight for an IFL belt or a DREAM belt?
Shaw also gave credit to Kaitlin Young as a dangerous and exciting striker, despite the fact that she’s probably a very bad driver. But it wasn’t all assholishness during the conference call. Shaw gave reporters some straight talk about EliteXC’s financial status and their ability to compete with the UFC:
“We’re not embarrassed about our numbers. We’re losing money. We’ll probably lose more money. But that’s what start?ups do. There are very few companies that start from day one and make money. It’s about staying power. The UFC lost over $35 million before they (got a) push. We know we have the product. We know we have the fighters…Yes, we’re losing money. Are we going to be here long term? Yes, we’re going to be here long term. We’re the only company out there that has a SHOWTIME type deal and a CBS deal. Nobody else has that to offer to any athlete…We’re number two behind the UFC, there’s no question. We’re Pepsi to Coke. We’re Avis to Hertz. But it’s not always a bad place to be. As I said, we’re far, far away from 16 months ago when we started. I don’t think anybody would have ever believed that we would have been on SHOWTIME, we would have been going on CBS, and we’d have the rosters that we have, the product that we have in 16 short months.”
Notably, Shaw also addressed Affliction’s chances of surviving as an MMA promotion:
I think they’re going to find out that they’re better off in the clothing business. Stick with what you know. Stick with what you do best and don’t try to be somewhere that maybe you shouldn’t be. I mean, look, we’re not allowing any of our fighters to wear anything with the Affliction name. UFC has done the same thing. So wouldn’t they have been better off being in the clothing business where they have a spectacular line of clothing and lifestyle brands and being branded in our show on CBS in front of potentially 100 million eyeballs than try to do fights that may not be competitive or may be boring? … I think that maybe they’ll do one or two fights. My prediction: they’ll be back in the clothing business.