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Strikeforce Buys EliteXC: Gets Kimbo, CBS Deal, & More

Posted by Tim Brown in MMA News
Thursday, February 5th, 2009

We’ve got some new details regarding Strikeforce’s acquision of ProElite, courtesy of Dave Melzer:

— 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 , 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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