"As Icon's ex-promoter, I've had fighters calling me all day about the EliteXC situation. I Just wanted to say that as everyone here is dancing on the EliteXC's grave, I think its important to remember that a shitload of good fighters (and great people) just saw their contracts disappear into the ether. I mostly dealt with the Hawaii talent, so Icon champs like Kala Kolohe and Mark Oshiro, as well as up-and-comers Poai Suganuma (BJ Penn's LHW), Koa Ramos, Kaleo Kwan - to name a few - just lost big time. 20x this many mainland guys are going thru the same thing. Really sucks for all of them.
Not all of them are UFC material, but the EliteXC model allowed them to earn much better paychecks than living in the local shows. It's too bad that most of them have to go back to the tiny paychecks of the local shows."
It’s safe to say that EliteXC and I rarely saw eye-to-eye on marketing. We did things a lot differently than them at Icon. I was frequently outvoted in the committee process, but I just thought that was part of the deal of going from the 2-man admin of Icon to the corporate structure of ProElite. I brought Mousasi, Aoki, Hunt, and a number of other legit guys (all at a fair market price) to the matchmaking team back Oct/Nov 2007, but my talent selections didn't match their agenda.
No disrespect to them cuz they are all nice guys and gals...we just saw things differently.
Guys like Lawler, Diaz, Shields, Bigfoot, Feijao, and Herman will all land on their feet when the dust clears, but many others will suffer. I hope everything turns out okay for the rest, including nearly all of the staff at Elite.
Would've been awesome if TJay and I coulda had a crack at steering the ship, but certain people - and their methods - were already in place when we arrived. It was clear from day one it was 'their' show, and we were there just to help out on request. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do but go along with it.
Such a wasted opportunity, eh?
-- Patrick Freitas, Ex-Director of Promotions for Icon