5thRound.com sources have confirmed that ProElite, which is the parent company for EliteXC, will be closing its doors. Sources close to the situation verified that the employees for the struggling MMA company received word today that the company’s last day of work will be this Friday. During the company’s two years in business, it has been reported that they have lost nearly $60 Million, causing many to believe that, despite their valuable deal with CBS, it was only a matter of time before the ship sank. The promotion has canceled their November 8th show in Reno, Nevada.
Graciefighter.com, which is run by Caesar Gracie, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach for ProElite fighters Nick Diaz and Jake Shields, posted the following message on their website, confirming the report:
“We are confirming that EliteXC has folded. What this means for our fans and supporters is that there will not be a Nick Diaz vs. Eddie Alvarez fight on November 8th. However Jake Shields in the UFC has now become a real possibility. We will be updating our site for future developments.”
In ProElite’s attempt to be compete with the UFC’s stranglehold on MMA, they acquired a number of smaller MMA promotions, most notably King of the Cage and Cage Rage. Rumble on the Rock, the Hawaiian promotion owned by JD Penn, the older brother of UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn, had also been leasing his promotion to ProElite. Our sources have confirmed that JD was laid off this afternoon as well.
EliteXC just held their third CBS promotion, “Heat,” last month, which turned out to be another primetime ratings success. However, the company’s golden boy and former street fighter, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, was knocked out by MMA journeyman Seth Petruzelli in 14 seconds. As he fell to the mat, it seems as though he took EliteXC’s hopes for a future with him as well.
Two days after the upset, Petruzelli went on a local Florida radio show stating that EliteXC management offered him more money if he made his fight against Kimbo strictly a stand up battle. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees the Florida State Boxing Commission, is currently investigating EliteXC regarding Petruzelli’s claims.
Word is that Petruzelli’s statements and the investigation were the final nails in ProElite’s coffin.