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MMA Agents Unite to Block Pro Elite Contract Auction

Ken Pavia MMA agents
(You do not want to mess with this man. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle via

Led by the always-outspoken Ken Pavia, a group of high-profile MMA agents have joined forces to block their fighters from being sold to the highest bidder during Showtime’s planned auction of Pro Elite’s corporate assets on November 17th. From a new press release drafted by the Pav, and signed by Monte Cox, Ed Soares, and Cesar Gracie, among others:

Individually we consummated promotional agreements with Pro Elite. These agreements were made based on a multiplicity of factors including but not limited to relationships with certain Pro Elite personnel, venues, television exposure, jurisdictional concerns, public relations support, and numerous other intangibles. These considerations are not readily transferable…

We intend to fight the lawful ability to transfer these assets, and as we believe these are personal services contracts, we do not believe there is an obligation to perform if transferred. With pooled resources we are prepared to fight this issue.

The unity of this effort is unprecedented and the message that is being sent is clear. Absent significant pre-established negotiated terms, do not bid on these contracts unless you are prepared to fight the challenge to their legality. It is our intention to honor our commitment to Pro Elite, but if Pro Elite is not able to perform in accordance with the contractual terms, the fighters should be granted unrestricted free agency with the unfettered ability to enter the marketplace.

It’s good to see business rivals uniting for the rights of their fighters, especially when they haven’t always been civil towards each other in the past. Hopefully Showtime will get the message that some of these “assets” they plan on auctioning actually represent the livelihoods of human beings.


Suddenly KJ Noons Doesn’t Seem So Stupid After All

(Now that belt is worthless for two reasons.)

I never thought I’d admit this, but maybe KJ Noons’ decision not to defend his EliteXC lightweight title against Nick Diaz on CBS wasn’t so dumb after all. You’ll recall that everyone from Jared Shaw to, well, us, gave Noons a hard time for running from a Diaz rematch. He was eventually stripped of the title and claimed breach of contract as he headed back to the world of boxing, where he was champion of nothing and had no chance to be seen on network TV.

But now that EliteXC’s fighters are sidelined while they wait to find out whether their contracts will be auctioned off, declared void, or simply held on to in such a way that prevents them from making a living, Noons is off making money as a boxer again.

Noons (7-1 as a boxer) is set to face Alex Bogarin (8-6-3) in a six-rounder next Thursday at the Expo Center in El Monte, Calif. The fight won’t be on CBS in front of millions of viewers, so you can still argue that it was dumb of him to turn down that exposure and the opportunity to pull in some extra sponsorship money, but the fact remains that he’s working.

Sure, you could also wonder why, if he’s contractually free to box, he couldn’t have fought Diaz and defended his title like any respectable champion and still returned to boxing when EliteXC went tits up. But this has to feel like a moral victory for Noons, so let’s not spoil it with details. As for the rest of the EliteXC stable, let’s just say it’s looking like a lean Christmas this year at Scott Smith’s house.


ProElite Loses Promoter’s License, Plans to Fight Asset Auction

Pro Elite EliteXC MMA Jared Shaw $kala
(He’s officially gone from douchebag promoter to just a douchebag.)

The charade of EliteXC’s plan to hold an event in 2009 was hit with a reality check this week. According to a letter sent to MMA Payout by the California State Athletic Commission’s Armando Garcia:

Pro Elite/Elite XC’s and King of the Cage’s licenses are suspended. They were suspended yesterday, when after looking into the matter carefully the exact situation was determined. However, it is not due to any type of contracts…

The primary reason that Pro Elite/Elite XC’s and King of the Cage’s licenses have been placed on suspension is because of their financial states and the fact that Pro Elite, the owner of King of the Cage, has suspended operations and their tangible and intangible assets are being auctioned on November 17.

Hypothetically, if the auction goes through and one or more entities purchase either or both of these companies they would have to go through the licensing process. In other words, whatever it is that is being auctioned is not their California licenses.

Garcia also stated that the CSAC has no control over EliteXC’s fighter contracts, and “to have these types of contracts declared void the party (ies) would need to file a civil lawsuit in the appropriate court.” Which is unfortunate because Pro Elite isn’t giving those contracts up without a long, pointless, completely infuriating fight.


November 17: The Day You Can Finally Own an EliteXC Fighter

(Anyone want to buy a Kimbo?)

The date is set for the auction of Pro Elite’s assets. On November 17, everything that isn’t nailed down, and probably a bunch of stuff that is, will all be sold to the highest bidder. According to the notice of sale, fighter contracts are just part of what’s on the auction block:

The Collateral includes all contracts between any Debtor and mixed martial arts fighters (including, but not limited to, Kevin Ferguson a.k.a. “Kimbo Slice”, Gina Carano, Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Frank Shamrock, Antonio Silva, Brett Rogers, Dave Herman, Scott Smith, Nick Diaz, Cristiane Venancio Justino a.k.a. “Chris Cyborg”, Eddie Alvarez, Yves Edwards and Wilson Reis) and all of each Debtor’s video library, still photographs and home videos (e.g., DVDs and VHS tapes).

VHS tapes?! Say no more.

Is it me, or is there something creepy about the idea of selling fighters at auction? I can’t help but picture poor “Cyborg” Santos standing up there while sweaty-palmed promoters and fetish pornographers bid for her services, all while she struggles to understand what’s going on. You add Frank Shamrock and Kimbo Slice into that scenario and it begins to feel like a nightmare you have after overdosing on cold medicine.