Sunday, 20 March 2011

UFC's purchase of Strikeforce reportedly hastened by interest from ProElite, Inc

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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More information has emerged on the UFC's purchase of Strikeforce, and it appears they weren't the only ones showing interest in the San Jose-based company.

According to a report from MMAJunkie.com, ProElite, Inc. - the former fight promotion purchased by Stratus Media Group Inc. in February of 2010 - had been in active negotiations with Strikeforce and had met with Scott Coker in person about acquiring the organization.

ProElite, Inc. is most well known for promoting EliteXC, the first promotion to air an event on network television with the May 2009 bout between Kimbo Slice and James Thompson. The promotion burned through money as they aired 21 events from 2007-2008, the last of which was the infamous EliteXC: Heat card that saw Kimbo Slice get finished by same day replacement, and light heavyweight, Seth Petruzelli, who stepped in for Ken Shamrock when Shamrock was pulled out with a cut.

Per the report, Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, the group that co-owned Strikeforce along with Scott Coker, had been looking to raise money in recent months, and according to one of their sources they were losing cash and had "grown skittish" with their investment leading to the sale.

In the end, the UFC, who had reportedly been in negotiations with Strikeforce "for months," finalized the deal on Saturday and acquired the organization before ProElite could.

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: This makes the timing of this purchase make more sense, but it also shows that Strikeforce wasn't in as strong of a spot as its most vocal supporters would have claimed up through the last week. They were in a steady spot, and had posted revenues of $30 million in 2010, but with Silicon Valley looking to get out, and Scott Coker being willing to cash out himself, that's a clear sign of just where things were for them. There are still a lot of unknowns lying ahead for Strikeforce as an organization, Showtime as a television home, and with just what the UFC will do with this latest acquisition. But this report sheds some light on perhaps why the UFC was quick to get this done.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8739.shtml

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