(Video courtesy of TheFightNerd)
Our friends over at The Fight Nerd caught up with Gary Shaw recently and they asked the former EliteXC live events president what he thought about the latest incarnation of ProElite. Not surprisingly, Shaw didn’t hold back when describing the promotion’s chances in the current MMA landscape dominated by the UFC.
“I think it’s laughable. The people running it are jokes. It’s not real and the only game in town is the UFC. I wouldn’t have been [interested in being involved with ProElite again]. All of my time is with boxing. Like I said, the only game in town is the UFC. You can’t beat them any longer. They are too entrenched,” Shaw explained. “They bought the next best thing, which was Strikeforce. Fedor’ s gone from the scene. So, right now it’s only the UFC. They’re miles ahead of everyone right now. It’s like us coming up with some fast food franchise and beating McDonald’s and Burger King. It’s not gonna happen.”
Needless to say, Shaw isn’t a fan of new ProElite president T.Jay Thompson, who became a five-year executive consultant with the company after it purchased his Icon Sport promotion back in 2007 for $350,000 U.S. and “hundreds of thousands” of PELE shares, and for good reason. Thompson, whose role in the promotion was downgraded after Shaw stepped down from the organization, has openly criticized both Shaw and his son Jared for mismanaging EliteXC and was the individual who first made mention of Shaw paying Seth Petruzelli to not take Kimbo Slice down. The accusations led to an investigation by the Florida Athletic Commission and some say prompted CBS to sever ties with the struggling organization.
Now Thompson is denying our report that ProElite is close to signing a deal with CBS and Showtime, which comes as no surprise considering that with the amount of shares he owns, he wouldn’t be able to admit it even if the deal was close as he could be accused of insider trading.