Featured Post

Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Courtesy of EliteXC:

Alvarez-Ebanez, Daley-Morgan, McMaster-Quach, Kedzie-Evinger, Kolohe Hose-Belleton Featured

As ShoXC Returns to SHOWTIME Friday, Jan. 25 at Trump Taj Mahal  Atlantic City; Tickets On Sale

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 22, 2008) – During its initial year, Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s  live fight division, EliteXC, made an instant impact in Mixed Martial Arts while gaining a reputation for consistently delivering competitive, thrilling and memorable events that featured the world's top fighters.

Under the expert direction of the respected Live Events President, Gary Shaw, EliteXC had a banner 2007. Among its numerous noteworthy accomplishments, EliteXC became the first and remains the only MMA organization whose fights are shown on premium television.

EliteXC’s historic premiere on SHOWTIME on Feb. 10, 2007, included a Shamrock (Frank), a Gracie (Renzo), a “Krazy Horse” (Charles Bennett) and the first women’s fight on premium television. Since an emotional, hard-fought victory over Julie Kedzie on “DESTINY,” Gina Carano has become a superstar while Kedzie now is one of the most recognizable female fighters in the world.

Stressing inclusion, not exclusion, the ensuing six SHOWTIME telecasts featured many exciting battles that included MMA standouts such as Robbie Lawler, KJ Noons, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Antonio Silva, Malaipet, Phil Baroni, “Ninja” Rua and Kimbo Slice, the legendary, incredibly popular backyard brawler and YouTube sensation who was smashing in his Street-To-Elite MMA debut.

There was seldom a dull moment in ’07 and fans can expect the same as EliteXC kicks off another tremendous year of live MMA events. First up, ShoXC: EliteXC Challenger Series returns to SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) on Friday, Jan. 25, at Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.

Tickets, starting at $40, are available at the Trump Taj Mahal box office and online at www.ticketmaster.com. The live card begins at 9 p.m.; doors open at 8 p.m.

“My job as a promoter is to make the best fights with the best fighters and to leave the fans in attendance or those watching on SHOWTIME with a good taste and feeling that they got their money’s worth, and I feel good about the fact we did that every show,” said Shaw, who made his mark in MMA while remaining one of the leading boxing promoters in the world.

“We’ve earned the respect of fans and media and got the attention of everybody. Fighters know now there’s more than one organization. Our track record with fighters we signed has been tremendous. Almost all the fighters we signed have re-signed with us. EliteXC is family and the fighters know that.

“With the acquisitions (ProElite obtained Hawaii-based ICON Sport, United States-based King Of The Cage, England-based Cage Rage and Korea-based Spirit MC), our talent pool is definitely as good and varied as anybody’s, and it is getting stronger all the time.

“Much of the credit goes to Ken Hershman and SHOWTIME. Thanks to them, EliteXC is growing and will continue to grow. I’m really looking forward to a very exciting 2008 and doing a show in Atlantic City for the first time. I expect the place to be packed.

“The incredibly popular and talented Eddie Alvarez will headline a great event against a strong, hard-hitting Hawaiian like Ross ‘Da Boss’ Ebanez on Jan. 25 and then we come right back with Kimbo-Tank (Abbott) on Feb. 16 in Miami. We are off to a tremendous start. But it’s just the beginning.’’

Friday’s ShoXC will showcase Philadelphia’s Alvarez (11-1), who is perhaps the most popular East Coast MMA fighter ever, against Ebanez (16-5), of Hilo, Hawaii, in a fight at 160 pounds.

The co-feature will match England 's Paul "Semtex'' Daley (16-6-2) with Sam “The Squeeze’’ Morgan (19-9), of St. Paul, Minn., in a 170-pound scrap.

Other televised fights: Bobby McMaster (8-2), of Boston, Mass., will try to regain his winning ways against the dangerous Bao Quach (11-8-1), of Huntington Beach, Calif., at 150 pounds; “The Hawaiian Rocky Balboa,” Kala Kolohe Hose (4-1), of Honolulu, faces Fred Belleton (5-1), of Stoughton, Mass., at 185 pounds; and in a bout that further illustrates EliteXC’s unyielding commitment to women’s fighters, Kedzie (9-6), of Albuquerque, N.M., by way of Greenwood, Ind., will attempt to win her fourth straight when she battles Tonya Evinger (5-3), of Reno, Nev., by way of Oak Grove, Mo., at 140 pounds.

Scheduled non-televised undercard bouts include: Zach Makovsky (3-0), of Philadelphia, vs. Wilson Reis (2-0), of Philadelphia at 140; James “Binky’’ Jones (4-5), of Baltimore, Md., vs. Mark Getto (1-3-1), of Philadelphia, at 160; Sergio Vinagre (2-1), of New Jersey, vs. Brett Linebarger (2-1), of New Jersey, at 185; Joe Shilling (pro debut), of Los Angeles, vs. Matt Makowski (1-0), of Philadelphia, at 170; and Drew Puzon (1-1), New Jersey, vs. Charlie Brennemen (5-0), of Philadelphia, at 170 pounds.

The fights are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of Kedzie-Evinger, which is slated for three, 3-minute rounds.

“The timing and situation of this fight couldn’t be better,’’ said the flamboyant, charismatic Alvarez (eddiealvarez.proelite.com), who will be making his EliteXC debut. “I am super excited about putting on a great show. That it is in my backyard and on SHOWTIME is as good as it gets.

“The ball is in my court. It’s my job to blow the roof off the place. Ebanez is a slugger. He brings it every time. With our styles, it is a really good main event. It can’t be anything but a tremendous fight.’’

A two-time high school All-American wrestler, Alvarez, 23, is an explosive striker who battled his way into MMA from the mean streets of Kensington, Pa., a blue-collar neighborhood near Philadelphia.

“Trouble seemed to find me and I wound up getting into fights on the street so I decided to take it a little more seriously and really learn how to fight,’’ said the former Bodog star, who signed with EliteXC a couple weeks ago.

“Like I said, the timing of signing for this fight with EliteXC couldn’t be better,’’ Alvarez said. “I was wishing an opportunity like this would come along, and it did.

“I’ve been looking for a fight for a couple of months. But instead of sitting around the house, I kept in the gym. I train three times a day. My weight is always good. I never have to cut a ton of weight at the end. So I can focus on becoming a better fighter and not have to worry about anything else.’’

Almost from the beginning, it has been a lovefest between East Coast fans and Alvarez, who not only is a top-notch wrestler who can move fast, sprawl and shoot, but a non-stop puncher with quick hands – he delivers uppercuts from every possible direction -- quick feet and excellent head movement.

“Philly is a hard town, but they like their fighters,’’ Alvarez said. “I’m a normal dude and very approachable, so that, coupled with fact I have a lot of friends make for a great support system for me.’’

It doesn’t hurt that the crowd-pleasing kid makes for extremely exciting fights. Ten of his 11 victories have ended inside the distance; the one that didn’t came in his last start when he easily outpointed Matt Lee on July 14, 2007.

Ebanez, a true ambassador to Hawaii MMA and an affable young man outside the cage, has a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has mixed in many other forms of martial arts.

Nicknamed “Da Boss’’ for an intimidating, aggressive style, a heavy-handed, experienced, fan-friendly fighter with solid overall skills on his feet or on the ground, Ebanez is unbeaten in his last three outings (2-0 with one no-contest) and 6-1 in his last seven (with the NC).

Ebanez, a three-round decision winner over Michael Brightman in his last fight on Sept. 28, 2007, has seldom been given any “gimmes’’ since turning pro; in fact, he seemingly always is matched tough.

“I like challenges,’’ said the BJ Penn-trained fighter, whose lone defeat since March ’06 came to Mike Pyle on the historic EliteXC “DESTINY’’ fight card on Feb. 10, 2007, on SHOWTIME. “If there's someone for me to fight, I'll fight them.’’

Growing up, Ebanez loved sports. “Two of my favorites were playing football and boxing. I did a lot of boxing when I was young,’’ he said. “I did it through high school. That's why I'm not too nervous going into fights. I don't get butterflies at all. It's from the competitions I was part of when I was young.’’

On Aug. 4, 2007, a rematch against Mark Moreno was ruled a second-round NC after Ebanez got hit during a break while he was down and could not continue.

Daley (pauldaley.proelite.com) is one of the fastest-rising stars in MMA. Nicknamed “Semtex” after an explosive that British armed forces use to demolish large structures, the exciting, sensational scrapper has won four straight – all inside two rounds -- and five of his last six.

In his most recent outing, the promising 24-year-old registered a second-round TKO over Mark Weir on Sept. 22, 2007. In his United States debut the previous June 22, Daley scored an impressive second-round TKO (strikes) over Duane Ludwig on the EliteXC-StrikeForce “Shamrock Vs. Baroni’’ undercard. Daley has also defeated notable MMA campaigners Jess Liaudin and Dave Strasser

While his style has been described as an aggressive mix of striking, striking and more striking, with the occasional bit of extra striking thrown in for good measure, the Cage Rage champion has made a conscious effort to be a well-rounded fighter.

“I am a striker – there is no secret about that,’’ said Daley, who rejected overtures from other organizations, including the UFC, to sign with EliteXC. “I like to knock people out aggressively and quickly. That's my game and no opponent's going to change that.

“But my wrestling is underrated because it’s something people have not seen a lot of.  I constantly work to learn different things. It’s not just about stardom and fame. I want to be the best fighter in the world at all ranges. It is hard to achieve, but that’s my ultimate goal, no matter what ups and downs, wins or losses I may have. With this I will be undisputed as the greatest MMA fighter ever.’’

When he’s not fighting, Daley is involved in a project with Mothers Against Guns in London. “As well as trying to fulfill my goals, I want to set an example for the younger generation that there are other things that you can do rather than get into guns, crime, drugs, etc.,’’ he said.

Morgan (sammorgan.proelite.com) had made a career of re-inventing himself. Fans’ jaws dropped when he stopped Duane “The Bang’’ Ludwig in the first round on April 9, 2005, and now he will try and manufacture another upset one fight after losing by third-round KO to unbeaten Cung Le Nov. 16, 2007.

A competitor on “The Ultimate Fighter 2,” Morgan showed great heart against Le and caught and rocked Le a few times.

“I’ll be ready to fight,’’ said Morgan, a former welterweight. “I hope for his sake, Daley is, too. This is a great fight and an even greater opportunity for me. I am very confident. Every fight for me from now on is all or nothing.

“This should be a very good and interesting fight.’’

In his start before last, Morgan conquered Sam Jackson with ease, winning by submission (rear naked choke) in the first round on Aug. 2, 2007.

“I want to fight all the top name guys in this sport. I'm not scared of any of them. I want to take them all on,’’ said Morgan, who got into MMA “to help vent some off my life issues and I just kept doing it. Although I lost to Le, I feel I'm getting better all the time.’’

McMaster (bobbymcmaster.proelite.com) might have extended his winning streak to nine in his last start if not for a questionable (some say premature) move by a referee to stand the fighters up that led to a first-round submission (guillotine) loss at 4:59 to Mushin Corbbrey Oct. 26, 2007, on SHOWTIME.

A tough kid from South Boston, McMaster mostly dominated Corbbrey, who had created some buzz with an impressive win in his previous ShoXC fight. But McMaster took down Corbbrey almost immediately and unleashed a relentless assault of ground and pound assault. He appeared to be in total control, working a lot, throwing a lot and landing punches in bunches from the top.

But as he continued to connect with solid shots, the referee stood the fighters up with 44 seconds remaining. Once on their feet, McMaster looked to clinch, but Corbbrey did an outstanding job of getting a hip toss takedown. Moments later, McMaster found himself caught in a guillotine. A scramble ensued. McMaster picked up and slammed Corbbrey, but all that did was cinch the guillotine in tighter.

“I wasn’t disappointed with my last fight,’’ said McMaster, a self-described ‘’hood rat" and street fighter who spent four years in the Marine Corps, that included an eight-month tour of duty in Iraq. “It was my first fight at the master level, and I thought I beat him pretty good for the whole round. I will know next time what not to do. I’m not happy because I lost but these are the rules of the game.’’

Quach (baoquach.proelite.com), a winner of six in a row, has become an all around fighter with a strong background that includes five years of wrestling, six years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and two years of Muay Thai.

Until his career took a dramatic turn, the member of Team Oyama was lightly regarded and known as a one dimensional fighter. He was losing more than he was winning.

But since returning to action after a near 18-month layoff in February 2006 – in his comeback effort, he fought a surprising draw with one of the top featherweights in the world, Hatsu Hioki -- Bao has won five of six while significantly improving his ground and pound and striking.

The Vietnamese fighter’s biggest victory during the streak came on a three-round decision over top 10 featherweight Tenkei Fujimiya Aug. 18, 2007. In his last start, Bao registered an exciting, crowd-pleasing unanimous three-round decision over Chris David in the fight of the night on Oct. 27, 2007.

Kedzie gained instant fame after a gutsy performance against Carano in a thrilling fight that won over a live crowd (that gave them a standing ovation) and the millions more watching on SHOWTIME. That fight stole the show, and this one might too.

“It was an amazing opportunity to be part of a history-making, first women’s fight on television,’’ said Kedzie, who lost a close decision but showed incredible resiliency and took the final round.

“Going in I had hoped that the fact we were women would diminish from the minds of the fans once they saw us going at it, and it did. I think we showed that women fighters are here to stay and that we're going to be around for a long time. People really do love to see the girls fight.’’

Shortly after the memorable clash with Carano, Kedzie (juliekedzie.proelite.com) relocated to New Mexico to join a team headed by Greg Jackson and Joey Villasenor. “As difficult as it was for me to leave, I felt like I needed to go to a place that would push me to the next level,’’ she said.

The decision paid off. Kedzie, a former Hook N Shoot 135-pound champ, closed out 2007 with three victories in a row – a second-round TKO (strikes) over Julie Berezikova in Russia on April 14, a three-round decision over Kelly Kobald on Aug. 24 and a second-round TKO over Jan Finney on Sept. 29.

A victory over Evinger would give Kedzie a career-best four-fight winning streak. “It’s a pretty bold statement but I really don’t think I’m going to be losing any more fights,’’ Kedzie said. “Everybody says that before they fight, but it’s how I feel with the confidence I have now.’’

A third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do who specializes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kedzie has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Indiana University. When she is not competing, “I’m the girl that sits in the corner with a book, when the rest of the party is going strong,’’ she said.

If Kedzie is the girl next door, Evinger is the neighborhood bully.

A slammer and banger in the truest sense, Evinger doesn’t come to merely win, but to dominate and destroy. A nationally recognized former grappling champion who participated in the Pan American Games, she has been wrestling 13 years, training in jiu-jitsu for four years and kick-boxing for three.

The free-wheeling, tough-talking Evinger has a ton of potential because she’s rough and tough, has an amazing wrestling background and can box a little. But she knows she needs a win against Kedzie.

“I can fight better than I did the last time on SHOWTIME,’’ Evinger (tonyaevinger.proelite.com) said. “This is a big fight, an important one for both of us. I am looking forward to a great fight.’’

Evinger is coming off a submission (armbar) victory over Katrine Alendal on Dec. 9, 2007. It was her first fight since losing to Carano on EliteXC’s “Uprising” in Honolulu on Sept. 15, 2007, on SHOWTIME.

Before the Carano clash, Evinger got national notoriety for her quote, “I’d like to make out with Gina, but I’m here to knock her out.’’ Evinger didn’t come close to a KO, but she did take Carano down. But once on the ground she got reversed and lost by submission (choke-out) at 2:53 of the first.

“I made a lot of mistakes and wrestled terribly,’’ Evinger said. “Gina doesn’t hit or kick as hard as they say. I try to work on limiting my mistakes, but I just made too many.’’

Hose (kalakolohehose.proelite.com) is a Hawaii native who has won four straight inside the distance since losing his debut. His last three outings have ended by KO or TKO in the first round.

A talented, hard-fighting warrior who embodies the Hawaiian spirit, Hose has improved dramatically since trimming down to 185 pounds after debuting as a 250-pound heavyweight.

Hose, whose fights are always worth watching, is coming off a 20-second TKO (strikes) over Jeff Cox on EliteXC’s “Uprising” Sept. 15, 2007, in Honolulu, on SHOWTIME. On March 31, 2007, he recorded a 38-second KO over Ron Verdadero.

Hose was scheduled to face EliteXC/ICON Sport middleweight champion Robbie Lawler in Hawaii in December ’07, but the match was postponed after Lawler suffered a torn bicep in training. They also were supposed to fight in June ’07, but an injury to Lawler's shoulder postponed the event.

“I still want to fight Lawler,’’ Hose said. “I was heartbroken after I heard the fight was postponed again, but I have had time to regroup. Fighting on SHOWTIME is a great opportunity for me to get world-wide exposure and I hope to make the best of it, but I still look forward to the day I fight Lawler.’’

Belleton (fredbelleton.proelite.com) is seeking his fifth victory in a row inside the distance since losing his debut.  In his last start, a kickboxing specialist produced the knockout of the night when he scored a second-round stoppage over Jerry Spiegel on Sept. 21, 2007, in Wilmington, Mass.

Although he got caught a few times on his feet in the first, Belleton, whose specialty is the “axe kick,’’ stuffed all of Spiegel’s takedown attempts and fairly dominated. A flush kick to the head of Spiegel ended matters 24 seconds into the round.

Belleton has an extensive background in traditional standup martial arts styles. He's decorated in traditional styles, holding black belts in Shotokan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, ISKA kickboxing, and a unique form of Kung Fu along with a silver glove in Savate, the national martial art of his native France.

While he's relatively new to competitive mixed martial arts, Belleton spent several years competing in traditional martial arts styles in Europe. He won the San Da world championship in 1992 and is also a two-time European champion in the sport.

While living in France, Belleton was a national police officer, which is the equivalent to a state police officer in the U.S., and was involved in drug raids and other high-risk assignments. While serving as a national officer, Belleton was also a member of the French National Police Force Savate team that competed around Europe.

Renowned play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo will call the action on the ShoXC telecast with the “Fight Professor” Stephen Quadros serving as color analyst. The executive producer of ShoXC is David Dinkins, Jr. with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

For more information on EliteXC and other MMA-related stories, including bios, video-on-demand, photos, stats, Fantasy Fight Game TM and more, please visit ProElite.com and EliteXC.com.

About Pro Elite, Inc.

ProElite Inc. [PELE.PK] delivers the most exciting entertainment experience in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) with live arena-based entertainment events, cable television programming on Showtime Networks and community-driven interactive broadband entertainment via the Internet. ProElite embraces MMA with the highest levels of honor, integrity, discipline and self-esteem all the while remaining inclusive for fighters, fans and schools. ProElite’s live fight division, EliteXC, delivers spectacular live MMA fight events that showcase the world’s top fighters [elitexc.com]. ProElite’s interactive business, ProElite.com, capitalizes on the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts by building a community of MMA enthusiasts. In addition to streaming the most exciting live fights to the web, ProElite expands the fan base of the sport by providing a comprehensive set of online social networking tools for fans, fighters and organizations. ProElite.com – Empowering the Fight Community TM

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL® and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL® XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL® HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL® ON DEMAND. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL®, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.


Showtime Networks Inc.
Chris DeBlasio / Ivy Moon
(212) 708-1633 / (212) 708-7319

EliteXC (Brener Zwikel & Associates,Inc.)
Dan Clavadetscher / John Beyrooty
(818) 462-5602 / (818) 462-5601
DanC@bzapr.com / Johnybey@aol.com