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ProElite inches closer to being sold (maybe)

Last night, Bloody Elbow broke the story that ProElite was being sold, most likely to Strikeforce. Now everyone is playing catchup, printing the details as they stand now. Here’s Josh Gross:

Both ProElite CEO Chuck Champion, who has been criticized for his handling of a sale that put the company’s fighters in limbo for four months, and Strikeforce chief Scott Coker denied that any deal is in place. Yet, various sources speaking on the condition of anonymity with intimate knowledge of the negotiations told that Strikeforce is poised to attain the assets. An official announcement could come by the end of the week.

MMA Weekly offers up the fact that Strikeforce and ProElite have been messing around for weeks now on a deal, but it’s still not official:

In recent weeks, several industry sources have confirmed that Scott Coker and Strikeforce have emerged as the likely candidate to purchase Pro Elite’s assets. In December, the San Jose-based promotion was on the cusp of a deal to purchase parts of the company, but last minute hike in the price of the deal shelved it.

However, multiple sources who wished to remain anonymous said last week that negotiations between the companies had resumed and were entering their final stages.

On Wednesday afternoon, multiple reports surfaced that Strikeforce had agreed in principle to a purchase of Pro Elite assets and an announcement was forthcoming by the end of the week.

Strikeforce executive Mike Afromowitz confirmed to MMAInsider that negotiations were progressing, but the deal was not done.

“That’s incorrect,” he said. “Any reports of a done deal are a complete fantasy.”

Typically at this point I’d say that you can ignore what the flappy heads in suits are saying and consider this a done deal … what you hear behind the scenes is usually more accurate than whatever is being announced. But with ProElite, I still get a feeling that the sale is gonna get fucked up. There’s simply too many people involved in the deal: ProElite investors, Showtime, CBS, the fighters and their ‘union’, and Strikeforce. All these people need to be happy with whatever deal is being cooked up, and I can’t imagine one that would make everyone happy.

To make things more complicated, ProElite actually has more than a few reasons to string everyone along. They’ve been using an imminent sale as an excuse to fend off fighters and debtors for the past few months. Pushing forward with a sale they plan to derail later isn’t a bad way to buy time for another few weeks. What the fuck they need that time for, I have no idea. I’m sure Chuck’s got an awesome plan he cooked with crayons and construction paper that’s sure to change the world of MMA forever.