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Tag: Pro Elite

GIF of the Year Candidate: Kaleo Gambill Enjoys an Involuntary Post-Fight Beat-Off

(Props: MiddleEasy via FrontRowBrian)

For the 97% of you who completely skipped over our helpful Pro Elite 3 recap yesterday, let us boil it down for you: Minowaman was unable to leglock Kendall Grove, and Kaleo Gambill made the international symbol for masturbation after getting knocked out by Brent Schermerhorn. A GIF of that second thing is above.

Watch as Gambill eats a lights-out left hook, then reverts to pure muscle-memory, his arm and hand instinctively doing what they usually do when he’s in that position. As long as he’s not breaking the universal rules of the jerk-off gesture, we see absolutely no problem with this.


Andrei Arlovski vs. Ray Lopez Booked for ProElite’s August 27th Return

Sergei Kharitonov Andrei Arlovski Strikeforce MMA photos knocked out
(We’d recognize those feet anywhere. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Fifth time’s a charm? After four consecutive losses — three by dramatic first-round knockout — Andrei Arlovski will have yet another chance to redeem himself at ProElite’s return show (August 27th, Honolulu). His opponent is as “rebound” as they get. ProElite has confirmed that Arlovski will be taking on Ray Lopez, a Michigan-based light-heavyweight with less than two years of pro experience, whose 5-1 record doesn’t include a January 2010 submission loss that was later changed to a no-contest. Lopez most recently scored a first-round knockout over Rob Morrow at a KOTC event on July 16th.

Arlovski vs. Lopez is listed as the event’s headliner. ProElite certainly did their part by finding an opponent that the Pitbull can beat — now all Andrei has to do is avoid taking a nasty one to the chin. Will he pull it off? ProElite 1 will also feature a co-headlining middleweight scrap between UFC vets Kendall Grove and Joe Riggs, and the MMA debut of BJ Penn’s brother Reagan Penn.

After the jump: Videos of Ray Lopez in action.


Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club

(Carlos Condit discusses Dong Hyun Kim matchup at UFC 132, vows to beat Kim up until he doesn’t move anymore. Props: foxsports)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

- 10 Memorable Sports Moments Since Tito Ortiz Last Won a Fight (

- Nate Marquardt Incident Highlights Need for Comprehensive HRT Policy in MMA (MMA Fighting)

- UFC on Versus 4 Photo Gallery – The Main Card (TheFightNerd)

- Matt Mitrione Post-Fight Video: “Gonna Get Drunk” (NBC Sports MMA)

- Miguel Torres Took a Picture of the Worst BJJ Injury He’s Ever Seen *WARNING: Graphic!* (MiddleEasy)

- Diego Sanchez Not Impressed with Charlie Brenneman or Rick Story (5thRound)

- Tito Ortiz Is “Not a Stepping Stone to Anyone,” Plans to Test the Will of “Disrespectful” Ryan Bader (LowKick)

- Donald Cerrone Fills Vacancy Opposite Paul Taylor at UFC Live 5 (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Under New Ownership, Pro Elite Rises From The Ashes For Possible August Return (MMA Convert)

- Keith Kizer Explains Therapeutic Use Exemptions for Testosterone Replacement Therapy in MMA [Audio] (MMA Mania)


Exclusive: Strikeforce CEO Talks Contract Acquisitions, Future Plans, and What’s Next for Kimbo Slice and Others

After purchasing “select assets” including fighter contracts from Pro Elite last week, Strikeforce quickly went from a surprisingly successful regional promotion to a major player in the MMA scene almost overnight.  In this exclusive interview CEO Scott Coker talks about the deal and the acquisitions, as well as what his organization has planned for its new talent.  Thanks for talking with me, Scott.  Since you purchased the fighter contracts, how has the transition been going?  Do you find that the fighters are eager to fight for Strikeforce now?

I’ll tell you, we’ve had about twenty or so, or about half of the roster, that we’ve reached out to as of this morning and had good conversations about scheduling and match-ups.  I think that, at the end of the day, a lot of these guys just want to get back to work and get back to fighting so they can continue their careers.  So I’d say the transition has been going well.

What about any fighters who might have been hoping to get free of their Pro Elite contracts and sign with the UFC?

I’ve only had that conversation with one fighter.  And we’ve had two or three conversations with that fighter since, and now I think they may be feeling a different way than they were before.  And I can understand the frustration that a lot of these fighters are feeling, because they’ve been out of work for a while.  Not everybody fought on the last show in October.  Some of them haven’t fought since June or July of last year.  

We dealt with that frustration at the very beginning and we understood where it was coming from, but a lot of these guys I’ve known for a long time, their managers are friends of mine, so I think the ice has all been broken.  And the fighter who was originally looking to go to the UFC is now saying, ‘Do you think I could fight by May?’  So I think they see what we’re doing and it’s going to be okay.


Pro Elite Confirms Transaction of Assets to Strikeforce

Strikeforce MMA San Jose
So I guess they’re stopping short of calling it an actual sale of the company, but according to Josh Gross it has been confirmed that Pro Elite and Strikeforce have finalized a transaction for an asset purchase. Here are the details, as of now:

• Strikeforce and ProElite agree to a limited asset purchase, including some fighter contracts and options for additional fighter contracts.
• Strikeforce obtains library footage for EliteXC events.
• Strikeforce obtains licensing of the ShoXC brand name.
• [Pro Elite] Paid off debt to CBS/Showtime.
• Showtime remains a partner with ProElite, same ownership stake.
Moving forward ProElite will not dissolve, as was previously expected. The company will continue to promote MMA events, primarily under the King of the Cage brand, though it still owns the rights to EliteXC-branded events…It has yet to be determined what it will do with other promotional brands.

If we had to guess, we’d say "run them directly into the ground," but we’re cynical like that. FiveOuncesofPain adds this important bit:

[T]he crown jewel of the deal for Strikeforce are ProElite’s existing television contracts with CBS and Showtime…It is now believed that with the agreement to acquire assets now completed, Strikeforce could begin airing live shows on CBS within the next several months. Sources have also indicated that CBS is enthusiastic about the prospect of working with Strikeforce and encouraged ProElite to finalize a deal with the promotion. The pressure from CBS was applied even though Strikeforce had not made the highest monetary bid of the three companies that ProElite was engaged in talks with. CBS and Showtime are also said to have been impressed by the fact that Coker has financial backing from the same group that owns the San Jose Sharks and the HP Pavilion.

More to come…


Strikeforce to Announce Purchase of Pro Elite Tomorrow?

(Everybody with talent, get on the bus to San Jose! Not so fast, Skala. Photo courtesy of NapkinNights.)

Keep your fingers crossed, because the EliteXC fighters whose contracts have been in limbo since late October — and who have been legally barred from competing for functioning organizations — may be free to move on with their careers. We were first alerted to the news by Mad Xyientist on the UG, who listens to Sherdog Radio so we don’t have to:

Just reported on Sherdog Radio that Strikeforce will be buying EliteXC out of bankruptcy, to be announced tomorrow.

BloodyElbow follows this up with more details:

After a number of deals falling through at the last minute, it appears Pro Elite has either been sold or is in the very final stages of being sold as of this morning. Under the terms of the sale, the buyer would likely return to CBS television with live events this year.
The most likely buyer is Strikeforce. The other leading contender was King of The Cage, but industry sources have suggested that Pro Elite fighters are much more willing to fight for Strikeforce than KoTC, and the ease of signing new contracts may have played a part in finalizing this deal…
If Strikeforce is the buyer, every fighter will have a choice to either move over to the new organization or pursue free agency. As the UFC learned when they bought Pride, personal service contracts are generally not transferrable, especially in a right to work state like California.

A lot has been said about Scott Coker’s incredible business sense, and how he’s been able to build what’s basically a regional outfit into a legitimately profitable operation that still manages to pay its fighters well, all while miraculously staying on Dana White’s good side. And yet we’re still shocked that Strikeforce has enough cash on hand to purchase as large a property as Pro Elite. Or maybe they’re just assuming some of Pro Elite’s sizable debt, and no actual money is switching hands. We’ll let you know when more details emerge. But for now, it seems like Gina Carano, Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler and the rest are one step closer to working again, and that’s great news.


Pro Elite Resurrection Threat Close to a Reality

(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:


Pro Elite Close to a Sale? Would-Be Free Agents Screwed?

(You didn’t buy that plane ticket for Japan yet, did you?)

Five Ounces of Pain reports that Pro Elite could be very close to a sale of the company that might potentially revive MMA on CBS and Showtime, while at the same time putting the kibosh on the free agency plans of EliteXC fighters.  Apparently it’s down to three potential buyers, one of which is being led by King of the Cage promoter Terry Trebilcock (guess that Booyaa Fightwear ban makes a little more sense now, eh?), though the identities of the other suitors are still a mystery.  

The most likely buyer at this point is described only as “a company with over a billion dollars in annual gross revenue that also is a recognizable name.”

Just shooting in the dark here, but I’m going to say it’s Starbucks.  I heard they want to release a new specialty drink, the Kimboccino Latte.  It costs half a million dollars, but man does it ever go down easy. (Zing!)

Pro Elite is reportedly hoping to make the sale before Christmas, and if they do there’s a strong possibility that a new owner could round everyone up and successfully resurrect the relationship with CBS to get events on network TV again in 2009.  What does that mean for a fighter like Jake Shields, who seemed all but certain that he was bound for the UFC? 

It means that just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.


Quick Hits: Cro Cop’s Sparring Partner Busted, Alvarez to Bellator, Barnett to Face Rogers in Affliction?

(When in Zagreb…)

Maybe now we know why Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has been reluctant to accept a rematch with Alistair Oveerem.  Sure, he’s got that knee injury, and Overeem is the man who made it his personal mission to destroy Cro Cop’s testicles in their last meeting, but to add to his troubles Cro Cop recently lost his favorite cocaine-addicted sparring partner to an armed robbery arrest.  That always happens at the worst times, doesn’t it?

According to a translation done by Robert at betwxx (via Brawl Sports), Mirko Borkovic (aw, cute, same first name!) was arrested in Zagreb as a “serial armed robber.”  He’s charged with robbing twenty-five “betting agencies,” making off with over 250,000 Croation Kuna, a little over $45,000 in U.S. dollars. 

Don’t worry though, it was just to finance his cocaine addiction, so it’s not like he’s a scumbag or anything.  Apparently he did some time for possession in 2003, and said he used the drug as a performance-enhancer to aid his kickboxing training.  My ex-girlfriend tried that same story.  Six months into the relationship I realized she didn’t even have a gym membership.  Or a job.  And then I noticed my wallet was missing.  But I digress.

Also snuck into the report is this little nugget about Cro Cop’s other associations these days:

Only a month earlier Cro Cop was forced to deny having sparred with Robert Matanic a local crime figure and suspect in the murder of Ivo Pukanica. In a interview with Nova TV, Cro Cop disassociated himself from Matanic claiming not to ever have met or sparred with Matanic.

In Cro Cop’s defense, roughly 80% of Croatians are involved in organized crime.  You spar with enough people, eventually one of them is going to be a suspected murderer.  Just kidding, Croatian readers.  Please don’t murder me.

In other news…


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.