Mixed Martial Arts company Elite XC will shut its doors at the end of the year, according to executives close to the company.
The Elite XC franchise, formed in 2006 by Showtime Networks and Pro Elite to compete with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the MMA events ring, has had one of the highest profiles in the MMA business with several of its matches televised by CBS Sports. But Yahoo! Sports reported that the organization lost more than $55 million in its two years of operation. It was unclear what, if any role, the controversial 14-second knockout of heavyweight Kimbo Slice on an Oct. 4 card presented by CBS had on the decision.
The demise of Elite XC, along with the International Fight League earlier this year, leaves the Ultimate Fighting Championship with few challengers to its dominating position within the MMA genre.
An official announcement on Elite XC’s closing is expected later today, according to sources.
For its part, Showtime issued this statement: "ProElite officials have advised us that they will not be able to put on the EliteXC event scheduled for exhibition on Showtime on November 8. In view of Showtime’s leadership role in sports programming, including boxing and mixed martial arts, we intend to explore other opportunities."