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Monday, March 10, 2008


Courtesy of ProElite, Inc.:


Popular, Talented Youngster to Face Toughest MMA Test On ShoXC on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, Delayed on the West Coast)

LOS ANGELES (March 10, 2008) –Malaipet will try to continue his transformation from world-class superstar Muay Thai kickboxer to mixed martial arts world champion when he faces Thomas “Wildman” Denny of Hesperia, Calif., Friday, March 21, at Chumash Casino Resort at Santa Ynez, Calif.

Tickets, starting at $35, are available by visiting the Chumash Casino Resort’s Club Chumash, by visiting the website at www.chumashcasino.com or by calling StarTicketsPlus at (800) 800-585-3737. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. First live fight is at 6 p.m. PT.

A winner of three in a row, the popular, extremely charismatic Malaipet will be making his MMA main event debut in a fight that will headline a five-bout ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series telecast on SHOWTIME that begins at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

It is the fifth ShoXC cage fight card, which is patterned after the popular SHOWTIME boxing series ShoBox: The New Generation, which has been a springboard for many, young future champions.

“Like I’ve said, there are a lot of promising MMA fighters thirsting for an opportunity to show their stuff and make a name for themselves on the worldwide stage,’’ EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw said. “This (ShoXC) is the place where they can do it. The Malaipet-Denny matchup is a great one.

“Malaipet is a legend in kickboxing, but I think a lot of us are anxious to see how he does as he continues to step up. For sure, he could turn out to be special, but Denny is one tough vet. I love to watch the progress of all young athletes as they develop. The response to this series has been incredible.’’

In other bouts on the telecast, Marlon Matias (5-1) of Brazil faces Conor Huen of (6-2) of Los Angeles at 160 pounds; Brazil’s Cristiane Cyborg (5-0) collides with Jen Case (4-1) of Topeka, Kan., at 140 pounds; Shane Del Rosario (3-0) of Irvine, Calif., meets Analu Brash (2-1) of Kula, Maui, at 265 pounds; and Mark Oshiro (9-1) of Honolulu clashes with Chris Cariaso (6-0) of California at 140 pounds.

Non-televised bouts include: Karen Darabedyn (2-1) of Hollywood, Calif., vs. TBA, at 160 pounds; Devin Howard (debut) of La Habra, Calif., vs., Mark Kempthorne (1-4) of Vandenberg, Calif., at 170 pounds; Amadeo Viola (0-1) of San Bernardino, Calif., vs. Jason Williams (debut), Vandenberg, Calif., at 265 pounds; Luke Riddering (debut) of San Luis Obispo, Calif., vs. TBA at 170 pounds; and Kenny Johnson (debut) of Los Angeles vs. TBA at 170 pounds. (Note: See Fighter Pages below).

The fights are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of the Cyborg-Case contest, which is three, 3-minute rounds.

Fans can watch pre- and post-fight interviews only at ProElite.com.

Few, if any world champions in other sports, have made a successful cross over to MMA but Malaipet, a decorated 17-year pro with reportedly more than 300 Muay Thai bouts, could be an exception.

In his debut for Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s live fight division, EliteXC, and initial appearance on ShoXC, Malaipet showcased his astounding striking skills as he decimated Kaleo Kwan en route to winning a three-round standup war by 30-26 and 30-27 twice on Oct. 26, 2007, at Chumash.

Malaipet, a Lumpinee champ in Thailand, has a very Thai style of movement, which he exhibited in an impressive, dominant performance against Kwan. He was calm, relaxed, punched in combination and displayed the kind of stalking footwork that lets him carefully pick his shots and his opponent apart.

He may not win any Defensive Player of the Year honors -- Malaipet seems to accept the fact he’s going to get hit -- and he appeared more annoyed than hurt by anything Hawaii’s Kwan delivered.

But Malaipet (3-1), who fights out of Upland, Calif., is clearly an extremely strong and flexible athlete who continues to work diligently on his submission game to round out his MMA skills.

Malaipet, whose birth name is Monkhon WiWasuk, was born in a region (jungle) in Thailand. He grew up living in a wooden hut on his family’s mid-sized rice and potato farm with his mother, father, four brothers and sister.

With no electricity, the family relied on their pet elephant for an alarm clock. Malaipet tells stories of everyone stopping what they were doing when a plane flew overhead and just watching with awe.

Malaipet’s family was dealt a tragic blow when his mother died when he was six. The land and farm, which had come from her side of the family, reverted back to her family. Malaipet's dad rented a smaller bit of land and began planting, but their standard of living was reduced drastically.

To help earn money, Malaipet began to fight. At the age of eight, he earned about a dollar to fight in a small Muay Thai show at a temple near his hometown of Gajapuri. He's been fighting ever since.

At 11, Malaipet moved to Bangkok where he experienced modern civilization for the first time and immersed himself in Thai boxing.

From ages 12-15, he had no contact with his family. “I was homesick, hungry and cried a lot,” Malaipet said. But he stuck with the fighting life, and the decision has paid huge dividends.

In Muay Thai, he was almost too talented for his own good. Some may question his knockout power but, fact is, he often would hold back to ensure the fans got a good show. The way some see it, if he went all out, his career highlight reel would last maybe 30 seconds.

When Malaipet came to the United States in 2001 he didn’t speak English but he quickly earned the language by reading childrens’ books. He would go on to teach Muay Thai at Combative Arts Academy in Beverly Hills, Calif., and currently teaches at Team Diamond martial arts school in Upland.

“I started watching MMA when I got to the U.S. and liked what I saw,’’ he said. “I respect both Muay Thai and MMA. I am still learning, but I feel I have what it takes to make it in MMA.’’

So, can Malaipet make up ground, and learn a ground game, so he doesn't get tossed to the mat and, possibly, get submitted? For sure, the more experienced, determined Denny will try and find out.

Denny, who was born in Huntington Beach, Calif., but fights out of Hesperia, Calif., has won three of his last four starts. A former King of the Cage champion who recently signed with EliteXC, the 5-foot-10-inch Denny (25-16) has fought the likes of Joe Stevenson, Duane Ludwig and Yves Edwards.

A colorful fighter known for wild and crazy hairstyles, Denny specializes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and Muay Thai kickboxing. His self-proclaimed signature moves are “knees and elbows.’’ But, mostly Denny likes to “give pain. I like to make my opponent suffer.’’

Look for Denny to attempt to take down Malaipet, a tactic that Kwan ignored until the final round. “Malaipet is untested on the ground. Well, I am going to test him,’’ Denny said. “I always like to do the opposite of whatever my opponent is doing anyway, and everyone knows Malaipet wants to stand up.

“So, you can bet I am going to try and take it to the ground. This is a great opportunity for both of us but there can only be one winner. I am confident the winner will be me.’’

SHOWTIME announcer Mauro Ranallo will handle play-by-play for ShoXC with Stephen Quadros, The Fight Professor, serving as color analyst. The executive producer of ShoXC is David Dinkins, Jr. with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

Fighter pages for televised bouts: Malaipet (http://Malaipet.proelite.com), Denny (http:/thomasdenny.proelite.com), Matias (http:/marlonmatias.proelite.com), Huen (http:/conorhuen.proelite.com), Cyborg (http://cristianecyborg.proelite.com), Case (http://jencase.proelite.com), Del Rosario (http://shanedelrosario.proelite.com), Brash (http://analubrash.proelite.com), Oshiro (http://markoshiro.proelite.com), Cariaso (http://chriscariaso.proelite.com)

Fighter pages for non-televised bouts: Johnson (http://kennyjohnson.proelite.com), Darabedyn (http://karendarabedyn.proelite.com), Riddering (http://lukeriddering.proelite.com), Howard (http://devinhoward.proelite.com), Kempthorne (http://markkempthorne.proelite.com), Viola (http://amadeoviola.proelite.com), Williams (http://jasonwilliams.proelite.com).

About ProElite, 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.
EliteXC (Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.)
Chris DeBlasio / Ivy Moon
John Beyrooty
(212) 708-1633 / (212) 708-7319
(818) 462-5601/(562) 233-7477
Chris.DeBlasio@Showtime.net /Ivy.Moon@Showtime.net Johnnybey@aol.com