The other shoe has dropped at EliteXC. I predicted this two weeks ago after their human hype machine lost. Since then, some interesting theories have come out about their "marketing strategy", prompted by some questionable comments made by Seth Petruzelli after his win against Kimbo Slice.
Aided by the loss of Kimbo Slice, Petruzelli's comments, and the subsequent investigation by the Florida State Athletic Commission, EliteXC has cancelled their November 8 fight card, which was supposed to feature Nick Diaz and Eddie Alvarez, and it looks like they are folding altogether.
EliteXC won't exactly be missed. Most MMA fans viewed it as a circus, and even before Petruzelli stepped in to fight Kimbo, the originally scheduled main event between Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock was widely considered a publicity stunt. While casual fans might have seen the fight as an MMA Hall of Famer and a streetfighting legend, it was really a match between a washed up 44-year old with a 5-fight losing streak (Shamrock), and a supremely overhyped and undertrained amateur (Slice).
Ratings had been falling for EliteXC's shows on CBS, and they really only had 2 fighters with any sort of following. One was Kimbo, whose loss to Petruzelli took a away a lot of the luster, and a lot of fans. The other was Gina Carano. Carano is an extremely talented female fighter who has been rolling through her opponents. She's popular not only for her exciting muay thai fighting style, but her looks as well. She's a great fighter, and possibly the most marketable athlete in the sport. However, she has had constant trouble making weight, and until now, she's been on a collision course with the only remaining female fighter who appears to have a chance to beat her, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. But Cyborg doesn't just have a chance... she has a great chance. It might even be safe to say she would be the favorite if the two were to fight.
Carano may have some trouble finding another major organization to showcase her talents. UFC President Dana White has made it clear that he has no interest at all in bringing female fighters into the UFC. When asked if he had any plans to bring in women, he said "I don't. I'm not a huge fan of women fighting. Period. Not to say that I don't acknowledge that there are amazing female athletes out there in every sport. I just think right now we had a hard enough time getting over the stigma of the men." EliteXC was previously the largest organization featuring women's MMA.
Hopefully Carano will find somewhere else to fight. If not, she'll be missed. But she might be the ONLY part of EliteXC that anyone will miss.
ProElite, EliteXC Out Of Business [SI.com]