After months of speculation, EliteXC has made a decision on their Live Events President Gary Shaw’s future with the upstart organization. It was revealed that Shaw will now work more behind the scenes, with much less face time for the promotion.
The announcement was made yesterday by ProElite Executive Chairman, Doug DeLuca, on a conference call to promote their second CBS show airing July 26th.
“Gary is still very involved with ProElite,” DeLuca said. “Gary and our team from Day One at ProElite basically took MMA at our company from ground zero to a huge network success. So, Gary’s got a lot to be proud of in the MMA world. In the process of doing it, as you can imagine, Gary being from the East Coast and we being a West Coast company, took a lot of time from Gary. He was traveling nonstop. It took a toll on his boxing business, which is very successful, and it took a toll on his family. To some degree, it took a toll on his health.
“We collectively made the decision that Gary was going to back off a little bit, kind of take a little bit of a relaxed role as far as being involved front and center, which is a good thing for all those three things, for his health, for his boxing business, and for his family,” DeLuca went on to say. “But Gary is still very much involved, and I still talk to him almost every day. He’s still there. Gary’s interest still lies in EliteXC and ProElite, making it a top organization in the world. That’s the status with Gary.”
It has been speculated for weeks that Shaw would be let go entirely from the company, as the executives at CBS didn’t take a liking to his management style. However, ProElite decided to keep him on their payroll, with a much less involved role.
“I would say he’s more or less consulting in terms of all his promoter abilities, all his contacts and everything Gary does,” DeLuca said. “So Gary is kind of behind the scenes with us, kind of shaping the direction of the company, the way it’s going, pulling the strings in terms of how we’re going to promote, what we’re going to do. Again, his involvement is very much similar to what it’s always been. The difference is, he’s not going to be front and center, doing all the time consuming stuff that he’s done in the past.”
Shaw has been “The Dana White” for EliteXC since its first show last year. He has not lived up to the level of success that ProElite had anticipated, and with their new arrangement with CBS, expectations have grown even further, while patience is running thin.
That is not only due to the UFC’s continued success and growth, but with the new Affliction promotion starting up next week, ProEilte executives do not want to get pushed into a third place role in the United States.