After months of intense negotiating, Strikeforce has finally agreed to acquire the assets of ProElite Inc. Among the assets that the San Jose-based organization was pursuing were the current CBS and Showtime deals that the financially plagued company had in place, as well as some 80 fighter contracts. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker just issued a press release regarding the acquisition.
“This is a tremendous development that will bolster the Strikeforce roster and allow us to produce even more competitive matchups between top fighters,” Coker stated. “Some of these athletes have been on the sidelines for a while now and are eagerly waiting to return to competition. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to do so in the next few months.”
CBS was reportedly thrilled that the two sides were able to come to terms, as the network has been in full support of broadcasting MMA from the get-go.
EliteXC previously aired three primetime events on CBS, all generating great television ratings. Coincidentally, their last broadcast together on October 4th now officially marks ProElite’s final promotion ever.
According to Sherdog.com, Strikeforce has also closed a deal with Showtime to hold 8 to 10 live events in San Jose within the next 36 months. With Stirikeforce and Showtime partnering, it is only a matter of time before CBS hops on board, as they own Showtime.
In addition, there was no mention of which or how many of the 80 fighters that ProElite had under contract will make the move over to Strikeforce. If they are able to pick and choose specific fighters, there will be a rich talent pool that will allow them to put on quality bouts for some time to come.
One of the main drawbacks for EliteXC was that they banked so much of their future on the success of street fighting legend Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson. As soon as he lost to Seth Petruzelli at “EliteXC: Heat,” the organization plummeted.
Strikeforce’s current roster comprises of heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem, light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral, middleweight champ Cung Le, lightweight title holder Josh Thomson, and former lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
Strikeforce could possibly mix-and-match those fighters with a roster of Gina Carano, Kimbo Slice, EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields, Brett Rogers, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock, Nick Diaz, Eddie Alvarez, and Rafael Feijao.
After speaking with several sources, it is believed that many of the EliteXC fighters will look to negotiate completely new contracts with Strikeforce, instead of having their previous deals rollover.
If that is the case, the negotiations have only begun for Strikeforce. However, either way you look at it, this is a monumental day for the organization.