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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…


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.