John Beyrooty sent along the following:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEGENDARY STREET FIGHTER KIMBO SIGNS LONG-TERM CONTRACT WITH ELITEXC
Internet Superstar Makes Television Debut On Nov. 10 `Renegade’ MMA Fight Card Airs Live On SHOWTIME
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 11, 2007) — The notorious King of Street Fighting and one of the meanest, roughest, toughest, baddest brawlers in the history of YouTube, Kimbo Slice, has signed a multi-year contract with Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s Live Fight Division, EliteXC.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Kimbo is a street fighting and Internet legend who has in excess of five million downloads on YouTube,” said EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw, who made the announcement Thursday. “He is a brutal fighter who has a take-no prisoners approach.
“We have had our eye on Kimbo from day one and have been actively pursing him since. We struck when the time was right, and now we have our man.
“For those who have never seen him, they are going to witness perhaps the most vicious of all fighters. It is going to be very exciting for Mixed Martial Arts fans who have been anxiously waiting for him to step into the cage on SHOWTIME to see how Kimbo does as he continues to cross over into MMA.
“I can’t express how happy we all are to have Kimbo become a part of our ProElite/EliteXC family.”
A sign of the times, perhaps, the incredibly popular Kimbo could be the first superstar athlete to get his start in any professional sport after making a name for himself via the Internet. Now, finally, he is going from the small screen of a computer to the big screen of television.
The major question, of course, is can his well-documented prowess on the pavement translate into success in MMA.
One thing is certain: Kimbo (kimboslice.proelite.com) brings the same fervor and edge-of-your-seat anticipation into a cage as a young Mike Tyson brought to the ring in professional boxing.
“Fans could never blink during a Tyson fight and the same goes with Kimbo,” said Shaw, adding that Kimbo will make his EliteXC and SHOWTIME debut on the Nov. 10 “Renegade” cage fight card extravaganza at Corpus Christi, Texas. His opponent will be announced shortly.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 33-year-old, 250-pound Kimbo has been honing his MMA skills in recent months under the tutelage of legendary fighter and trainer, Bas Rutten.
“I’m excited about this great opportunity,” the soft-spoken Kimbo said. “I’ve been waiting to fight and this is my chance. I’ll be ready for whoever they put me in with on Nov. 10.
“Gary Shaw and the entire ProElite and EliteXC teams have been great to me from the start. I could tell immediately that I could trust them and they were my friends. These are the kinds of people that I want in my circle. I really appreciate what J.D. Penn and Jeremy Lappen have done to make this all happen.”
Raw, powerful, dangerously explosive, extremely heavy-handed and always one punch away from ending a fight, Kimbo won his lone MMA outing with a 1:12, first-round victory over former world boxing heavyweight champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer in June 2007. Ironically, he submitted Mercer via a guillotine choke.
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 mixed martial arts 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