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ProElite buys ANOTHER company

For all the talk of Mark Cuban creating a platform for various MMA organizations to get exposure, no one’s really been talking that much about ProElite’s buying frenzy. The EliteXC parent company started it’s operations by bringing in JD Penn from Rumble on the Rock, then bought UK promotion Cage Rage. Talks with ICON make it look like a matter of time before they pick that cherry, and it looks like their partnership with Korea’s SpiritMC was more of a buy-in than anything else. Let’s also not forget that they also partnered with K1 for their ill fated Dynamite show and worked with Strikeforce for their radical Shamrock-Baroni event.

Overall, ProElite is starting to look like the United Nations of mixed martial arts companies. Adding to this is their purchase of King of the Cage, one of MMA’s longest running companies. If the UFC is McDonalds, then KoTC is Krystal. What they lack in brand and marketing they make up for in spunk and perseverance. They were pretty much the only other company that managed to get it’s tapes into stores when I was growing up.

So the question is: what the hell is ProElite going to do with it’s empire? Gary Shaw doesn’t seem to be a control freak like Dana White: he seems content to let his new companies run themselves and continue to do their own thing. Will ProElite be happy pulling in revenue from these other companies, airing their product on Showtime when they feel like it, and doing a few big events a year? Or is all of this consolidation a sign that ProElite is preparing to take things to the next level and challenge the UFC?

**UPDATE** It’s official, ProElite just bought ICON. Hail Cesar!

  • Matt

    A “global MMA org.”! Im thinking all these other promotions like KOTC,Icon,SpiritMC,Cage Rage, ect. ect. will end up being run like a sister company to EliteXC..Having its own ranks inside each promotion and holding most of the contender matches. When the top contenders are determined from each company EliteXC will host the big shows w/ the top guys fighting each other to determine who fights for their titles. I duno, time will tell.
    IMO Cuban should be more worried about ProElite rather than the UFC.

  • Hywel Teague

    The UFC operate a pretty successful policy of doing what the fuck they like when they like, and getting away with it due to the strength of their brand.

    ProElite are definitely the next big thing to watch, simply due to their rapid expansion and partnerships/takeovers of already successful promotions. Unlike someone like, say, the IFL, they’re going about it in a way that makes you think they won’t run our of money in 18 months.

  • garth

    The best part about ProElite’s model is they’re buying companies that are already making money. Long-running brands like ICON, Cage Rage and KOTC are plugging along putting on shows and turning a profit…now they have a bigger pond to swim in. I have a stake, if a tiny one: a guy i went to high school with is the current (well, last time I looked) KOTC HW champ, manny rodriguez. while not a chiseled statuesque fellow, he’s a cool guy and a hard fighter. I’m hoping he gets a shot at a bigger show.
    A twice-a-year “EliteXC Championship Extravaganza” or some shit would be excellent, or perhaps a Grand Prix with some teeth, like fighters from around the world a la RINGS or K-1’s GP. that would be arrrsome

  • sonzai

    When does the “ProElite is trying to get a monopoly!!” panic set in? I just wanna be ahead of the curve here…

  • garth

    would a monopoly be so terrible? the NFL has a monopoly on pro football (football that matters, so, fuck you, CFL and Arena football. and i mean real football, not “ow i hurt my shin! I’m going to lie here for forty minutes screaming and then run off at full speed!” “football”), MLB on baseball that matters, and the NBA on basketball. all of their athletes organized and got a bigger piece of the pie when the money was there. while the NBA bores the shit out of me these days, the NFL is still exciting.
    I can’t figure that any individual company is going to rise to that level. there’s just too many opportunities for other smart business people to get in on the action. a group endeavor would be more likely, with lots of orgs uniting under a common flag. i think we’re just seeing the first consolidation wave in MMA, and it’ll give rise to a lot more orgs. if you could start a fight promotion in your area, run a business doing what you freaking love for a few years, then sell to EliteXC or the UFC for a gazillion bucks, what the hell? why not?! why aren’t I doing that RIGHT NOW. god damn laziness.

  • http://deleted sonzai

    I’m with you, Garth. Just taking a shot at those who freaked over the Zuffa’s buying WFA/WEC/PRIDE yet remain oddly silent about ProElite’s slow march. The only difference between Zuffa and ProElite is means–Zuffa had the means to go after PRIDE and get bigger. ProElite has to go after these smaller fry. If ProElite had Zuffa’s money, they’d have ‘em all by now. Nakamura agrees with us as well :-)