It should be interesting to hear what the details are for the Strikeforce / ProElite sale (which is now 100% confirmed, if ya didn’t hear). How much did Strikeforce pay, and what exactly did ProElite sell? What were ProElite stockholders willing to settle with considering they’re the ones holding onto 50 million dollars worth of debt?
Many outlets are calling this an ‘asset sale’, but what assets are there other than TV deals and fighter contracts? Even then, many speculated that Showtime and CBS might not be interested in playing ball with buyers, ditto with the fighters involved. But while CBS still hasn’t officially announced what’s up, it looks like Strikeforce did manage to land most of the choice cuts from ProElite’s carcass:
Coker said he did not purchase the contracts for all of the estimated 80 fighters under EliteXC deals, but that all the key names came with the deal, including Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, who still holds the record for the most-watched MMA match ever in North America in a CBS match last year.
Also confirmed as part of the deal were the country’s most popular female fighter, Gina Carano, lightweight stars Nick Diaz and Eddie Alvarez as well as EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler and welterweight champion Jake Shields.
It’s interesting to note that champs Lawler and Shields are continuing with Strikeforce when they both made it clear that they were interested in shacking up with the UFC. Sherdog even reported that Lawler was a possible choice for TUF 9 coach! And we all remember me drooling over the potential emancipation of Gina Carano. But now it looks like everyone is staying put – which was a surprise to me at first but makes a good amount of sense when you think about it.
This is where you realize the power of network television. No matter how big or successful the UFC is, fighters would rather take their chances with a smaller org on network television. After all, while EliteXC only paid Gina Carano 25k per fight, she was still pulling six figures off sponsorship. Would she be able to maintain the same level of visibility and sponsorship dollars tucked away on Versus with the WEC?