After months of waiting around like a fat girl looking for a prom date, it appears ProElite has finally found a suitor. According to Josh Gross, a deal for Strikeforce to purchase ProElite's assets is being hammered out and should be finalized by the end of the week. Of course, we have heard this sort of thing before. Remember when Mark Ecko was supposed to be in the mix?
I really like Strikeforce and I hope they don't overpay.
UPDATE: It's officially done.
The deal is still mostly under wraps, but I can report some things. First, this does not mean every EliteXC fighter is now under contract with Strikeforce. They did not purchase all of the contracts. From what I've heard, they got the important ones and intend to lock them up to new Strikeforce deals, but don't be surprised if a couple fighters end up elsewhere. It's not as simple as "Okay, we bought you from ProElite. Go fight." MMA does not have an overall contract structure in place like other major sports. Each contract is with a specific promoter, so Strikeforce's legal department will be working overtime trying to get new contracts drawn up. This doesn't mean the fighters are essentially free agents. It just means there is some work to be done before everyone can start jerking off.
The fighters are actually only a small part of the deal. The main piece is a television deal with CBS and Showtime to air live events. Strikeforce has long been rumored to be working on a deal with NBC to air live shows, but for whatever reasons it has never come together. EliteXC's implosion this fall probably didn't help matters. Network TV views MMA as a house of cards and when things went down, it made NBC think twice about agreeing to air live shows.
I'll again state, I really like Strikeforce. I think they're the best run MMA promotion other than the UFC. I just hope they didn't pay too much for all this.