White roasts Elite XC

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

EliteXC tapped out and a crowbar couldn't pry the ear-to-ear grin off UFC president Dana White's face.

"Today is a great day in MMA. Pro Elite is dead," he says in reference to EliteXC's parent company. "These guys were bad for the sport so thank God they're gone."

The two-year-old fight club announced earlier this week it was shutting its doors for good. The company lost $55 million since it began and there was brewing controversy over whether EliteXC brass tried to influence the outcome of its Oct. 4 CBS show.

Last-minute stand-in Seth Petruzelli claimed he was told to stand and trade blows with its biggest star, Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson. Ferguson is a knockout specialist with a weak ground game and asking Petruzelli to stand is seen by many as a move that would favour Ferguson. Petruzelli won the fight in 13 seconds with a stoppage due to strikes.

There are reports that CBS was set to buy EliteXC, but after watching the debacle unfold live -- which included the seemingly objective EliteXC vice-president cheering for Slice from his cageside seats -- CBS officials put away the chequebook.

The trucker-mouthed White was not short of words for outgoing EliteXC executives.

In a recently posted video blog, White calls Jeremy Lappen, EliteXC head of fight operations, a three-time loser for his newest failed attempt at MMA promoting.

"Jeremy, you have a law degree, go get a real (expletive) job," says White. "Your parents must be really bummed out. You spent all that money on a law degree and you're (messing) around in MMA trying to screw up this business. Go screw up somebody's (expletive) court case."

He also had some parting shots for vice-president Jared Shaw, whose father Gary -- a long-time boxing promoter -- launched the outfit before handing the reins to his son.

"You got a rich daddy. You can live at home with your mom and dad. In the basement," says a chuckling White. "You don't even have to get a job. You can go hang out at nightclubs and deejay.

Insiders say the overambitious growth of the fight club ultimately led to its demise.

Early on, the company spent more than $10 million, purchasing King of The Cage, Cage Rage, Icon and South Korea's SpiritMC.

Despite buying its way to become the No. 2 outfit behind the UFC, EliteXC failed to strike a chord with MMA purists who blasted the fight club for trying to make stars out of fighters like Internet backyard brawler Ferguson.

Pro Elite was successful on some fronts. It became the first MMA outfit to secure a prime-time network deal and it was able to bring women's MMA to a new level through Gina Carano. Today, Carano, along with Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Nick Diaz and, of course, Kimbo Slice are looking for work elsewhere.

---

ON THE CARD

FUTURE FIGHTS AND EVENTS

Tonight: UFC 90 from Chicago. It will feature Quebec's Patrick Cote taking on Anderson Silva for the middleweight belt. Josh Koscheck will also take on Thiago Alves. The event will be available on pay-per-view.

Tomorrow: WWE Cyber Sunday, at 8 p.m., is available on pay-per-view. Check out wwe.com to vote on the matches.

Nov. 5: World Extreme Cagefighting will feature a double championship card from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida.

---

IN THIS CORNER

MARCUS "THE IRISH HANDGRENADE" DAVIS, MMA

Marcus Davis has become a fan favourite for his never-say-die attitude. The Boston native was originally a pro boxer before turning his attention to MMA. He opened an MMA school in the late 1990s and his students included one of the doormen at Davis' bar -- Tim Sylvia. Sylvia convinced Davis to train with Miletich Fighting Systems. Davis is most recently training with Mark Dellagrotte. Davis was in The Ultimate Fighter 2 and has won 12 of his last 13 fights. He is twice divorced, with four children.


Videos

Photos