A pair of major announcements has fledging promotion ProElite moving past its initial infancy. The eight-man lineup for ProElite's upcoming heavyweight grand prix was released Tuesday, and includes several rising prospects such as Mark Ellis (1-0) and Ryan Martinez (5-1). Even more notable, however, is news that the promotion has signed a multi-fight, multi-year broadcast deal with network partner HDNet, who now plans to televise the company's sophomore effort, entitled HDNet Fights: ProElite - Big Guns.
"After watching their first event in Hawaii, I could see ProElite was a great fit for HDNet," said HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon in a press release. "This upcoming card has the perfect mix of marquee names and an innovative Heavyweight tournament that fight fans won't want to miss!"
Despite early rumors, neither Tim Sylvia nor Andrei Arlovski were included in the grand prix. Instead of tapping the former UFC champions, ProElite officials decided to go the opposite route, crafting an eight-man field entirely out of prospects. Along with Ellis vs. Martinez, other announced match-ups are Richard Odoms (5-0) vs. Jason Bosler (3-1), Jake Heun (1-1) vs. Chris Birchler (1-0), and Esteves Jones (7-2) vs. Walter Harris (3-1).
All six heavyweight bouts will be broadcast live on HDNet, alongside two accompanying main card contests featuring Reagan Penn and Waylon Lowe. Additionally, Todd Monaghan (2-3) will meet an undetermined opponent in a non-televised tourney-reserve bout.
"Our multi-fight agreement with HDNet elevates the ProElite brand to a national MMA audience with a preeminent broadcast partner," explained Paul Feller, President and CEO of Stratus Media Group and Chairman of ProElite. "This strategic partnership offers new opportunities for corporate sponsors and advertisers looking to reach this passionate and rapidly growing audience of ProElite fans."
ProElite 2 is slated for November 5th at the iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois.
ProElite 2 fight card:
Main Card (HDNet):
Heavyweight: Andreas Kraniotakes vs. Tim Sylvia
Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Fulton
Heavyweight Quarterfinals: Mark Ellis vs. Ryan Martinez
Heavyweight Quarterfinals: Jason Bosler vs. Richard Odoms
Heavyweight Quarterfinals: Chris Birchler vs. Jake Heun
Heavyweight Quarterfinals: Walter Harris vs. Esteves Jones
Welterweight: Reagan Penn vs. TBA
Lightweight: Waylon Lowe vs. TBA
Heavyweight Tourney-Reserve: Todd Monaghan vs. TBA