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Strikeforce buys EliteXC contracts and signs deal with CBS
Hunter's Tor...
post Feb 5 2009, 03:57 PM
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QUOTE
CBS inks deal with MMA group, first show announced
By Dave Meltzer


Strikeforce promotions of San Jose officially signed a deal to buy some of fighter contracts from the now-defunct Elite XC promotion, and in conjunction with that deal, negotiated new deals with both CBS and Showtime.

Terms were not released by Scott Coker, who confirmed the deals having been completed at about Noon Pacific time. Sources within the MMA industry in recent days had expected the deal as being imminent.

The first show, of the new deal which will air live on April 11 of Showtime, from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, and will be headlined by Frank Shamrock. No opponent has been finalized. Also on the show will be Scott Smith vs. Benji Radach as well as Josh Thomson appearing.

The contracts of all the key Elite XC fighers, including Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz, have come along with the deal.

In discussions with key insiders, they were hoping for Coker to wind up with the promotion, and threatened lawsuits against Elite XC to get talent released were averted over the last week as key figures were assured the deal was about to be completed.

The television contract calls for 12 events per year on Showtime, with both major arena shows with big names, and smaller shows that will be held in smaller arenas or Indian reservations. Strikeforce, which has run primarily out of the HP Pavilion, but has also run events in Seattle, Denver, Fresno and at the Playboy Mansion, will now run as a national promotion and with the CBS contract, will immediately be the No. 2 MMA promotion in the country behind industry leader UFC.

The CBS deal is undisclosed but it is at this point believed to be for quarterly shows.

The promotion will take the name Strikeforce, and will continue to run late night taped programming on NBC. An announcement is expected next week regarding the championship situation, as Strikeforce and Elite XC each have championships.

The plans at this point are to build up talent for this year on television and create compelling matches for PPV, but there are no plans to do PPV over the short-term.
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Lei Tong
post Feb 5 2009, 04:04 PM
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I like the way Strikeforce is run much more than EliteXC was, so this should be a marked improvement.
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Lord of The Curr...
post Feb 5 2009, 04:28 PM
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Hopefully now we can pick up where we left in terms of stuff like Carano/Cyborg, Lawler/Villasenor and Diaz/Alvarez.
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Hawkius Maximus
post Feb 5 2009, 06:54 PM
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This is pretty big news. Strikeforce has been run well, and given their roster mixed with the Elite XC guys plus the TV deals, there is a lot of potential here.

Frank's fight to launch the new deal will probably end up being a big one. The only two I can think of right off the top of my head are Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz. They may want to build to Ken (and Ken might not be able to fight since he has a bout this month I believe), and Tito would probably demand an absolutely insane contract.

I dunno who else you could plunk in there to get immediate interest unless you go the Gracie route again.
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NoCalMike
post Feb 6 2009, 12:23 AM
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QUOTE (Hawk52 @ Feb 5 2009, 04:54 PM) *
This is pretty big news. Strikeforce has been run well, and given their roster mixed with the Elite XC guys plus the TV deals, there is a lot of potential here.

Frank's fight to launch the new deal will probably end up being a big one. The only two I can think of right off the top of my head are Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz. They may want to build to Ken (and Ken might not be able to fight since he has a bout this month I believe), and Tito would probably demand an absolutely insane contract.

I dunno who else you could plunk in there to get immediate interest unless you go the Gracie route again.


I'd take a rematch with Cung Le. Their first fight was very exciting, and Frank looked like he was starting to take control before his arm was broken.

Also, Scott Coker has run Strikeforce very well as a regional promotion. If there is one guy who deserves his shot to try and take a promotion to the national stage it is him. Good luck, because with all the UFC's antics, they could definately use some competition.

San Jose is not THAT far of a drive from here, I might consider going to the show, I know Strikeforce also runs shows out of the Stockton Arena which is even closer(and home of the Diaz bros) so that is another option. Also, right here in Sacramento, after a sellout crowd showed up for WEC, I think Arco Arena is a viable option to run shows from!!!
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Mik
post Feb 6 2009, 06:19 AM
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I don't know... the last time Cung Le was on Inside MMA he made it sound like he wouldn't be fighting for a while. Dude's gone Hollywood.
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Lord of The Curr...
post Feb 6 2009, 09:20 AM
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Yeah, he said something to the effect of "It would take a really big payday to bring me back." Frank's in a bit of a spot because he can't outright fight a can and make it look like a gimme fight (well, he CAN) and he also can't take on a top guy (whomever that would be) who could fuck up his chances of earning a rematch against Le, which I imagine the winner of this fight would get.

I think Trigg would be a good choice. Can talk as good a game as Frank has, is known amongst the casuals, not devastating in one area and his striking isn't as good as Shamrocks.
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NoCalMike
post Feb 6 2009, 12:04 PM
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Does Cung Le hold a title though? I mean if he does, he should have to defend it or vacate it.
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Lord of The Curr...
post Feb 6 2009, 12:11 PM
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Yeah, I'm a bit confused about that. Ninja beat Villasenor for the StrikeForce MW title and then lost to Lawler in what I thought was a unification bout for the world titles. I think if anything Le is their U.S Middleweight Champ.
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Hawkius Maximus
post Feb 6 2009, 06:55 PM
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From what I know, as of right now, Cung Le is all but retired. He's decided that at his age, while he can fight to a high level, it'd be much smarter to concentrate on his acting gigs that he could do for years. Cung Le may be a good/great fighter right now, but who knows in a few years. By then, he may not get acting jobs, and when you're washed up in fighting, you're washed up. Atleast in acting, even if it's just C/B stuff, he can get paydays.

Cung Le's the Strikeforce Middleweight champion. Robbie Lawler is the Elite XC Middleweight champion. I have no idea how they're gonna rectify that if Cung Le has no interest in MMA. I guess just say Lawler's the Strikeforce champion.

It'll also be interesting to see what they do with the Strikeforce/Elite HW titles. Silva's been suspended from fighting in the US for awhile, and Overeem's the Strikeforce HW champ. I guess just go with Overeem. If Overeem can pass drug tests that is...

Why Strikeforce has "US titles" I have no fucking idea. Hopefully they don't import the idea of secondary division titles to this deal.
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NoCalMike
post Feb 6 2009, 11:50 PM
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Well if they could manage to get all the fighters to agree to it, unification bouts would be pretty cool, but of course Silva is suspended, and Cung Le is done, so I guess not.

Since Strikeforce is basically burying the "Elite XC" name, I guess they can just assemble whatever beltholders they have available from the combo of the two promotions and run with them.

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Hawkius Maximus
post Feb 7 2009, 03:04 AM
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That's probably what I'd do...The only drawing fight they'd have is Le/Lawler, but if Le has no interest in fighting then there's no point. Might as well just say "X is champion".

Antonio Silva/Alistair Overeem would be interesting, but it can't happen. And neither have any name power whatsoever in America. I'd think Overeem would knock the big man dead, but it wouldn't draw.

It'll be really interesting what Strikeforce does with Overeem, if anything. He hasn't fought for them in a little over a year, and he's got a great deal with DREAM going. Even if DREAM failed, you know K-1 wants him to Kickbox after murdering Badr Hari.

On top of that, there's more and more interest in seeing Overeem against Fedor to hardcores then just about any possible fight left for Fedor outside of UFC. Barnett probably ranks higher, but that's about it. Fedor won't fight in Strikeforce, so they only way that'd happen is in Affliction if they're still alive by that point.

I still can't figure out who the hell Frank will fight on this show. I think there's gonna end up being a scramble when Strikeforce realizes they don't have anyone. They could start looking into a Gracie, or floating deals to Tito to see if he bites on any (Strikeforce won't pay him what he's demanding though). Unless they shoot right into like...Frank/Lawler. Which wouldn't be the worst fight they could do. Frank would have a chance with Lawler, and if Lawler beat Frank...So what? Lawler's known. That'd be fine.
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