(Oh yeah, Cyborg will definitely fall for that one.)
Reporting on the possibility of a match (someday, somewhere) between Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg, Sherdog’s Loretta Hunt shared this bit of informed speculation:
As of today, I’ve ascertained enough information to confidently say that an eleventh hour effort is afoot to resurrect Pro Elite. I’m told this new regime includes a mix of a new investor(s) and some of Pro Elite’s old guard, and they have submitted a bid to CBS to take over the promising contract left dormant after the Los Angeles promotion closed its doors in late October. Carano and Santos’ contracts — not to mention those of Elite champions Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields among others — could be legally bound to this reincarnated unit.
As long as the "old guard" in question doesn’t include Jeremy Lappen or anybody named Shaw, this could turn out to be good news. Say what you want about EliteXC’s former scumminess, but the sport needs a high-profile venue outside of the UFC, particularly one with network television coverage. The question is, can anybody run it correctly? MMA Junkie adds to the story, suggesting that ProElite’s assets could be purchased within the next few weeks by a familiar name:
During a recent appearance on TAGG Radio, agent Ken Pavia said he’s learned that there are "three legitimate bids for ProElite," and that the next iteration of the promotion would begin staging fights in the first quarter of 2009. Those bouts would be made with many of the 80 fighters still under ProElite contracts.
King of the Cage founder Terry Trebilcock is one of the names that has surfaced as a potential buyer, with backing from venture capitalists. Trebilcock has the business pedigree from his success with KOTC to convince VCs with deep pockets that a repackaged ProElite would work.
If Trebilcock is indeed the man behind Pro Elite 2.0, we could be seeing a scaled-down version of EliteXC in the future. King of the Cage‘s business model depends on a high frequency of events with as little overhead as possible — no flashy, expensive stagecraft, and no overpaid novelty fighters. Also, they make money instead of hemorrhaging it.
The frustrating part is that since Pro Elite’s coffin is yet to be sealed, its contracted fighters are still hangin’ in the wind. Though Scott Smith was given permission to fight at Strikeforce: Destruction last month, EliteXC’s fighters haven’t officially been freed from their contracts, and may be stuck under the Pro Elite banner until those contracts run out. So no Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, and Robbie Lawler in the UFC for a while, and no Gina Carano in the WEC. Let’s hope the situation is sorted out by the end of the month…