“BIG FOOT’’ SILVA, “NINJA’’ RUA SIGNLONG-TERM CONTRACT EXTENSIONS WITH ELITEXC
MMA News Written by Arnold Lim - The Sushiboy
Thursday, 06 December 2007
The Boys From Brazil To Remain In ProElite Family LOS ANGELES (Dec. 6, 2007) – If loyalty and stability are true measures of a company’s power to succeed, then classy, well-respected Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc., and its Live Division, EliteXC, will continue to be prominent players in Mixed Martial Arts for many, many years.
Already recognized for making a positive, seemingly instant impact in MMA, EliteXC fortified its continually growing stable by recently re-signing two of its more explosive athletes, Antonio “Big Foot’’ Silva (antoniosilva.proelite.com) and Murilo “Ninja’’ Rua (murilorua.proelite.com).
Both Brazilians signed long-term contract extensions. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
The re-signing of the promising Silva, a longtime super heavyweight who dropped down and fought at heavyweight in his last fight, and Rua, a former EliteXC middleweight champion who was an impressive winner in last Saturday’s Cage Rage event in London, brings to five the number of well-known, highly regarded fighters who have re-signed or signed with EliteXC in the past several weeks.
The others: highly sought after, world ranked welterweight and winner of nine in a row, Jake Shields (jakeshields.proelite.com), talented lightweight star Nick Diaz (nickdiaz.proelite.com) and Kimbo Slice (kimboslice.proelite.com), the incredibly popular, backyard-fighting YouTube legend who was devastating in his EliteXC and MMA debut.
“We’ve always said there is more than one brand out there,’’ EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw said. “The fact that so many fighters stay with us speaks volumes and is testament to what we are all about. No one treats its fighters like EliteXC does.
“When fighters want a home with a company that really cares about them, they will join EliteXC. Or, in the cases of almost all the fighters, they stay.’’
A rising star in MMA, a slimmer, trimmer, quicker, faster, more-agile Silva dominated Jonathan Wiezorek in his last start, registering an impressive 3:12, first-round submission (rear naked choke) on the Nov. 10 “Renegade” event (exrenegade.proelite.com) at Corpus Christi, Tex.
“I believe Silva is the No. 1 heavyweight in the world which is why I wanted to make sure he stayed with us,’’ Shaw said. “If there is a UFC heavyweight or, for that matter, any heavyweight out there that feels they are the best then lets make a match.
“We can do the fight in an Octagon, in the EliteXC cage or any venue. I truly believe ‘Big Foot’ will kick any heavyweight’s butt and look forward to giving him the opportunity to do it.’’
A terrific triumph over Wiezorek came in the six-foot-five-inch American Top Team Fighter’s first match in eight months and first since he opted to drop 35 pounds and campaign as a heavyweight.
Silva, who had fought at near 300 pounds throughout his career, plans to make a make a permanent move from super heavy (265 pounds-plus) to the heavyweight division.
“My goal is to be heavyweight champion,” said Silva, whose lone blemish in 10 starts came on a controversial defeat to Eric Peele on Dec. 2, 2006. “I want to stay active and fight all the great fighters. I would be comfortable fighting any of them right now. Maybe organizations will start to fight each other so we can have just one champion.’’
Rua overcame a slow start to regain his winning ways with an exciting, action-packed second-round submission (rear-naked choke) over France’s willing, hard-trying Xavier “The Professor’’ Foupa-Pokam on “EliteXC Presents: Cage Rage 24’’ (cr24feelthepain.proelite.com) at London
“Ninja is an exciting fighter who is coming off a great victory in Cage Rage,’’ Shaw said. “He and his team are class acts and a pleasure to work with. Ninja will forever be remembered for being the first EliteXC world champion, but we all know he wants more and another shot at the world belt.’’
Rua’s victory came in his first fight since he lost the EliteXC championship crown to Icon Sport titleholder Robbie Lawler on a third-round TKO on EliteXC’s “Uprising’’ Sept. 15, 2007, in Hawaii.
“EliteXC has treated me very well and I am excited to be able to remain part of their family,’’ Rua said. “I am looking forward to getting back in the cage again and regaining my title.
“A lot of other organizations give up on their fighters, but not EliteXC and I appreciate that very much. They have become one of the top organizations in MMA and I am proud to be part of it. You can’t beat the kind of exposure (SHOWTIME and ProElite.com ) you get fighting for EliteXC.’’