Stratus Media Group, who purchased ProElite just two weeks ago, has rushed right into the MMA business, signing a fighter, negotiating with another, and announcing their first event. The event will take place on August 27th in Hawaii, but unfortunately for everyone who loves MMA, the people running ProElite have absolutely no idea what they're doing.
Why do I say that, you ask? Well, read my article from two weeks ago about the sale. I speculated, correctly, that ProElite would struggle to find a roster, and end up signing Zuffa throw-aways and fighters the general public has never heard of. In an effort to prove me right, ProElite are in discussions with Kendall Grove, and have already signed Andrei Arlovski.
I don't like to speak badly about a fighter who has done nothing wrong outside of the cage, but seriously?! The first two signings for your new national promotion, that is going to have to compete with the UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator, are Andrei Arlovski and Kendall Grove?
Arlovski hasn't won a fight since October of 2008, and has been stopped with punches three times since. Many, including myself, were hoping that the one-time UFC champion would hang it up after his last knockout loss to Sergei Kharitonov. Instead, Arlovski returned to training almost immediately and reports from his camp suggested Arlovski was far from finished.
For all the things Dana White does wrong, he should be commended for taking a guy like Chuck Liddell out of the sport before it was too late, because too few are willing to do it. The money is too great, and so is the fame. Work with Arlovski, make good money, and get a little fame … or tell him what the entire world realized two years ago, and see your cash cow walk away.
Arlovski will, reportedly, be headlining the event, which just makes me shake my head. I have had some fun at ProElite's expense, but that is too silly for me to even make a joke about. It, in itself, is a joke. The name Andre Arlovski carries very little value these days, and if he is truly your best option for the main event of your re-debut show, your company is doomed.
Kendall Grove, ProElite's baffling potential signee has a career record of 12-9. Do I really need to go any further that that? A company that hopes to rise to national prominence and compete with the UFC, signed a 12-9 fighter who is just 2-4 in his last six fights. Yes, the last four fighters to beat Grove, Ricardo Almeida, Mark Munoz, Demian Maia and Tim Boetsch, are all good fighters, but that's exactly the point. When matched up with fighters closer to the top of the division, than the bottom, Grove is simply out-classed. I don't mean to insult him, but if his time in the UFC proved anything, it's that Grove does not belong in the big leagues.
There are a number of low-level fighters who ProElite could throw at Grove to get him a few wins, but what is the point? Grove has never been a superstar, nor does he have an infectious personality, or amazing skill-set that could make him one. He isn't a great trash-talker, isn't physically imposing, isn't overly funny, isn't a jerk, he really isn't anything but a mid-level fighter.
So, ProElite is perfect for Grove, and Arlovski for that matter. Fighters with little to no future, joining a company with little to no future. Everyone will get a nice paycheck, a t-shirt, and a story to tell … but that's about it.
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