Interview Recap: MMA/Boxing Promoter Gary Shaw

Rick Hendrickson sent along the following:

Show: Cage Side Live (
Hosts: Crooklyn and Joe Pa
Guest: Gary Shaw of Elite XC
Date 1/18/07

Gary Shaw is the President of Elite XC, the Mixed Martial Arts promotion aired by Showtime. The first card airs on February 10, 2007 from the Desoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi and is headlined by Frank Shamrocks fight with Renzo Gracie.

- Gary discussed why he chose to work with Showtime, that it provided him with an opportunity to broadcast Mixed Martial Arts on the same large stage that traditionally airs boxing. Showtime also spent $4.4 million to promote the fight. He said that the broadcast would be in HD, which would allow the fans the best quality view of the show.

- He stated that he would like his fighters to match up with the fighters of other federations to create a legitimate world champion. He said if the champions don't fight each other, Mixed Martial Arts championships are the equivalent of Club Championships, and no one knows who is really the best fighter at any weight class. He said that it would not likely happen in 2007, but he believed that he could set it up in 2008.

- He said that he'd like to have the fights air on Showtime so that the fighters would have a chance to showcase themselves on a larger stage. He said that it would allow each federation to show their best fighters to the largest group of people.

- He discussed the pay structure of Strikeforce, and the one round knockout bonus that some states allow. He said that Mississippi allows for the one round knockout bonus.

- Dana White's comments about Elite XC were the subject of discussion, and Mr. Shaw advised that he has no bad blood towards Dana White. He said that he doesn't know Dana White to have an issue with him, and he had nothing but a good experience with Lorenzo Fertita.

- He discussed the rationale behind the 15 second "Ground Inactivity" rule, and what it means. He said that the rule doesn't mean that someone has to submit or furiously strike his opponent, but stalling altogether on the ground was prohibited. He said that the rules were made for the benefit of the fans.

- He discussed current and prospective Elite XC fighters. Nick Diaz is currently signed by Elite XC. He said that he could not legally discuss any contracts with Brandon Vera, but if Brandon wanted to fight for Elite XC, he was more than welcome. He talked about KJ Noons, who he would like to see as the first champion in boxing and MMA. He said that Noons could be the new face of MMA. He said that he would love to see a boxing/ MMA crossover to benefit more sports.

- He announced his commentators, Mario Lopez and former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg. He said that there would also be a surprise commentator, who he would announce later.

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