NEW YORK (July 19, 2007) – Showtime Networks Inc. and mixed martial arts organization EliteXC officially announced today the debut of a new series on the premium television network, ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series. The series will premiere live on Friday, July 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.
Following the successful model of the network’s critically acclaimed, prospect-oriented boxing series ShoBox: The New Generation, ShoXC will put talented, up-and-coming fighters on the fast track to stardom. The mission of the series is to pit young fighters against quality opposition in tough, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches.
“This network and our partners at EliteXC have made a long-term commitment to developing the sport of professional mixed martial arts,” said Ken Hershman, senior vice president and general manager, Showtime Sports & Event Programming. “ShoXC is one of the most important components to that development. Now, young fighters will have an elite proving ground to showcase their talents on national television. In addition, the fans now can track MMA’s future stars as they develop their fighting style and skills.”
ShoXC will air regularly on Saturday nights—following the Friday premiere—and will feature fighters from all over the world. In the debut episode, matches will take place in a 20’ x 22’ foot hexagon cage. MMA fights on other ShoXC telecasts may take place in a cage or a ring.
“‘ShoBox’ is a truly unique, one-of-a-kind series for the true boxing fan,” added Hershman. “’ShoBox’ has introduced fans to many of today’s top fighters, including more than 15 current world champions. We expect the same kind of success stories to come out of ShoXC.”
Gary Shaw, EliteXC President, Live Events said, “I believe that ShoXC will be as popular and important to the MMA audience as ShoBox is to boxing.’’
The initial two-hour ShoXC telecast will feature up to five fights with Edson Berto of Orlando, Fla., facing K.J. Noons of San Diego (155-pound match) in the main event. Also on the card, Aaron Wetherspoon of Irvine, Calif., will meet hometown champion Jeremiah Metcalf of Santa Ynez in a King of the Cage/Gladiator Challenge welterweight championship unification match.
And, as is the precedent for EliteXC, additional fights will be streamed live on the Internet (www.ProElite.com) immediately following the telecast.
EliteXC announcer Mauro Ranallo will handle play-by-play for ShoXC with highly regarded color analyst Stephen Quadros, The Fight Professor, at his side. The executive producer of ShoXC is David Dinkins, Jr. with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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