The new CEO of ProElite explains to us how the company plans to be the number two MMA organization in the world

A few days ago while most of you were laying down bets for the second leg of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix, the Stratus Media Group secured 95% of the previously defunct ProElite. In the press release Paul Feller, the CEO of Stratus Media Group, proclaimed the organization had every intention to get back in the MMA arena. It was pretty intriguing stuff, so Elena Lopez tracked down the new CEO of ProElite to see what his plans are for the newly acquired franchise and she managed to snag this rather extensive interview. Enjoy.


[important title=”Why the acquisition? What value do you see in the ProElite franchise?”]”Well we see a lot of value in the acquisition. We think it’s a space that has a lot of upside potential. It’s a growing market, one of the fastest growing sports on a global basis — both television and on-side attendance wise. We thought it had a very specific demographic profile that we wanted to invest and build into. We have a well-established name worldwide, they have a wonderful library of previous events and we’re looking to take that branding and that history, and rebuild the brand as a major player and we’re looking to fill the number two spot that Strikeforce once held.”[/important]


[important title=”How long did it take you to acquire the company and what obstacles were presented, if any?”]”I wouldn’t say there was any real obstacles. We definitely have taken our time. Our goal was that when we’re ready to launch, we wanted to make sure we were prepared and do it properly and we believe we are there now.” [/important]


[important title=”You’re a public company which means that you will have to fully disclose what’s in the books, yet you will be competing with a private company that aren’t necessarily forced to adhere to those guidelines. What are your plans for this?”]”Well I can’t really comment who we’re competing against. I can comment on our company which we’re an aboveboard, publicly reporting company. We have multiple events, not just in the MMA space, but music festivals, concerts, film festivals, autoracing, autosports — and we’re going to extrapolate the benefits of media and sponsorship from all of our different properties and cross-pollinate them across all of our brands and all of our events including ProElite. That means leveraging our television relationships, our sponsorships and our merchandising partners. We have considerable resources to go into this and better the chances and the odds to make ProElite a large success. But I’m not in the position to make comments on what other companies are doing or not doing, that’s not our place.”[/important]


[important title=”It appears your company has not reported to the SEC since 2010. It also appears the OTC Markets has issued a ‘stop’ sign on your stock. How are you going to address these issues moving forward. “]”Yes, that’s correct. It’s not the stock that had issues in trading. The DTC, which is the electronic side of trading had an issue. We’re addressing those as we speak. We believe those will be lifted, they’re unrelated to anything that has to do with ProElite. They have to do with another company which, unfortunately, ProElite was associated with from a macro level and it should never have an interruption on electronic trading. The company (PELE) is still trading. Because we’re reporting to the FTC, we are currently getting what they call the quarterlies and the annual recordings up to speed and we believe that will be done shortly. We’ll be fully reporting and fully trading in about three to six months.”[/important]


[important title=”It appears that you are trying to deliver a large block of stock to your new investment group. How are you planning on issuing these shares?”]”We’re not in position to state that. Right now we’ve taken over 95% control interest in the company. We are financially invested in the company and when we’re ready to make announcements then we’ll do it at that time. We are a publicly reporting company and whatever we disclose we have to do it on a public nature and at this point we’re not ready to disclose what this strategy is.”[/important]


[important title=”What assets does ProElite own that make the Stratus Media Group see value in investing in a defunct business as opposed to starting a new one?”] “Well there’s a number of them. There’s a large library. There’s the intellectual property value. There’s the historic staff knowledge, fighter relationships and the equity in the brand awareness which is world-wide.”[/important]


[important title=”When will the company file to get off OTC Markets?”] “That is a potential strategy for us. We’re looking at a number of different options and that is one of the options to potentially look at — to a larger filing like NASDAQ or an American Stock Exchange.”[/important]


[important title=”It’s rumored that you offered $40 million for Strikeforce, can you clear this up?”]”I can tell you that we were in significant discussions to acquire a large portion of Strikeforce and it did not materialize.”[/important]


[important title=”So…what happened?”] “Well, it’s well known that UFC came and acquired things.” [/important]


[important title=”What are your intentions with the new company? Who is your competition?”]”Well I think the obvious ones are, of course, Strikeforce and Bellator, I think everyone is waiting to see what they’re going to do. But at the end of the day, I think our competition is yet to be determined to see who’s going to fill that second-tier position that Strikeforce was doing quite a good job filling with a lot of our old fighters and our TV deal, so it’s yet to be determined. I don’t think there is anyone that’s a major contender to the spot we’re looking to fill. We certainly intend to be one of them, if not ‘it’.”[/important]


[important title=”Are you planning on refreshing your CBS deal moving forward?”]”We certainly would love the option to. Whether it’s available or not could be determined depending on what happens with the future of Strikeforce and UFC.”[/important]


[important title=”What will happen with the EliteXC and CageRage video libraries? “]”To be determined. We’re still looking at that right now and trying to get our arms around it ourselves.”[/important]


[important title=”There aren’t a lot of free agents available in MMA, how would you facilitate a healthy roster in ProElite?”]”Oh, I think that there is a tremendous amount of free agents and I think everyday it’s growing. A number of major fighters are coming out the woodworks and I think, with anything in business, build a better mousetrap, offer a better service we will fill our own destiny to get top-ranked fighters in and we already are in major communications to get a number of them. So I don’t see that being a hindrance or a barrier to anything.”[/important]


[important title=”In one year from today, where do you expect ProElite to be in comparison with the rest of the MMA world?”]”Well our hopes and our beliefs is that ProElite will be a major contender in the space and have a number of events operating under its belt already.”[/important]

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