The following press release just arrived in my inbox…
London (Sept. 6, 2007) – Sensational news for Mixed Martial Arts fans in the United Kingdom. Cage Rage, Britain’s original MMA brand and leader since 2002, is about to get bigger – and better.
ProElite, Inc. [PELE.PK], an entertainment and media company dedicated to producing world-class MMA events, today announced the acquisition of Cage Rage Championships (CRC), Britain’s premier MMA organization.
The formal announcement of the new partnership was made by Gary Shaw, President of EliteXC, the respected live fight division of Los Angeles, Calif.-based ProElite.
“This is an exciting day for all of our organizations, but the biggest winners will be fans in the U.K.,’’ Shaw said. “In a short span of eight months, EliteXC has already got the well-deserved reputation for staging sensational fights with the world’s top fighters.
“With the acquisition of Cage Rage Championships, ProElite and EliteXC continues to establish itself as the fast-growing, premier MMA organization in the world.
“I look forward to developing young English fighters and turning them into true world champions, ala Ricky Hatton in boxing.’’
ProElite’s partnership will help secure CRC’s foothold as the UK’s No. 1 MMA organization, as well as provide the resources needed to expand the company’s operations into an international fight brand.
Under the expert leadership of Shaw, who also is a world renowned boxing promoter – he staged Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson, Joe Calzaghe vs., Jeff Lacy and many other major prizefights around the world – EliteXC’s brand will adopt CRC into it’s global strategy and feature British talent in what is purported to be the fastest growing sport in the world.
“Cage Rage is king in the U.K., and this deal will help ensure the organization attains its true potential,” said Irishman William Kelly, Chief Operating Officer of ProElite. “Britain excels in MMA, and we are truly excited by the way Cage Rage has gained popularity and mesmerized the imaginations of fight fans around the world. The British bull dog spirit is alive and well – and we will help Cage Rage bark even louder across Britain and Europe.
“ProElite’s involvement is an important step in our company’s growth and development, as we emerge as the premium MMA organization in Britain,” added Andy Geer, co-founder and promoter of five year old Cage Rage. “The EliteXC brand is held in the highest esteem in fighting echelons, and we are honored by their support.
“This partnership will help us achieve our goals, and the world will be watching as we give audiences the premier experience in MMA. As we move forward, the national brand of Cage Rage will continue to back British talent to the hilt and pitch it against the very elite of international fighters in our own inimitable style.”
Offered Dave O’Donnell, co-founder and promoter of Cage Rage, who introduced MMA to Britain with Geer in 2002: “Our fight nights will reap the benefit of ProElite’s support, as we continue to show audiences the breadth of athleticism and excitement this sport embodies. Our goal is to help MMA shake off its ‘underground’ image and showcase the true skills and commitment required to reach the top in this fight format, which combines no less than four Olympic combat disciplines.”
Cage Rage returns to Wembley Arena on Saturday, Sept. 22, when EliteXC presents Cage Rage 23 before what is expected to be another sell-out crowd
Media powerhouse and broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. brought MMA into the mainstream of British sports when it started broadcasting live televised Cage Rage events on its primetime Saturday night schedule. All Cage Rage Championship events are broadcast live on Sky Sport 3.
ProElite’s CEO, Douglas DeLuca, took notice and immediately pursued CRC as a television-friendly brand.
“I’ve produced hundreds of TV shows over the years and instantly recognized the character in Dave and Andy’s presentation of the sport. In our efforts to build a world media presence, CRC was a natural choice,’’ DeLuca said.
International interest has never been higher with the promotion being beamed to fight fans in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Korea, Japan and other fight savvy territories.
Said Kelly Perdew, President of social networking division ProElite.com, “Cage Rage is one of the most exciting MMA events we have streamed on www.ProElite.com. We are looking forward to bringing more of the same live interactive action to fans worldwide. Watch the live stream on Sept. 22 on proelite.com.