(Well, it was fun while it lasted. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin.)
Multiple MMA news outlets are reporting that due to its insurmountable debt and failure to find a buyer or major funding, EliteXC will go out of business this week, and their Showtime event scheduled for next month has already been canceled. From Sherdog:
[Icon Sport founder] TJ Thompson, a Pro Elite executive, said he’d been informed Monday morning by the company that it was closing its doors for good this week and that bankruptcy paperwork had already been filed…
A notice posted Monday evening at graciefighter.com read, “We are confirming that EliteXC has folded. What this means for our fans and supporters is that there will not be a Nick Diaz vs. Eddie Alvarez fight on November 8th.”
“I think (CBS) got cold feet watching. The way the Ken Shamrock pullout was handled, all the way from the beginning to the end with Seth Petruzelli. Watching Jared Shaw jumping up and down and screaming as a representative of the company, I think was disgusting and embarrassing…
I don’t have a smoking gun, (but) I’ve been around long enough, I’ve talked to enough people that were there, I won’t name names of executives in the company that I know — Seth was paid to stand up. I’m confident of that. If the commission wants to talk to me, I’ll tell them what I know.”
Thompson believes his company and other MMA promotions under the Pro Elite banner are destined to languish in bankruptcy court, along with EliteXC’s fighter contracts. On Tuesday, he will meet with his lawyers to determine whether it’s possible to free Icon Sport from its parent company. He’s not overly optimistic.
“(The promotions are) there for creditors to go after, really,” he said.
MMA Weekly also reports that EliteXC has already begun laying off employees, cleaning out its corporate offices, and trying to sell off their fighter contracts and satellite promotions. According to one prevalent rumor, CBS may try to form a new relationship with Affliction in the wake of EliteXC’s implosion.
And finally, FiveOuncesofPain adds a new wrinkle to the Seth Petruzelli knockout bonus scandal that may still come to light if the Florida Boxing Commission continues their investigation of EliteXC:
[S]eparate sources informed Five Ounces of Pain last week that there was also a possibility that a deal had been struck preventing Petruzelli from using “Thai-style kicks on Slice, since he had not prepared for them leading up to the fight.”
Many more details should emerge soon; we’ll keep you posted