Following weeks of back and forth chatter in the media about some of the fights that may or may not happen on the Oct. 4 CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights event, at least one fight is nearly settled. EliteXC vice president Jared Shaw informed MMAWeekly.com that the promotion’s welterweight champion, Jake Shields, and Cage Rage world welterweight champion Paul Daley have agreed to fight.
Cage Rage is a sister promotion to EliteXC; both are owned by ProElite, Inc.
“Jake Shields and Paul Daley have a date on Oct. 4,” quipped Shaw. “Both fighters have verbally agreed. Bout agreements are out and we’re just waiting for them to come back in.
“Unlike some others, these are two guys that I trust their word,” he said of the verbal commitments from Shields and Daley.
Shaw was obviously taking a jab at the camp of K.J. Noons, EliteXC’s 160-pound divisional champion. The promotion has taken its pressure public to try and get Noons to agree to a rematch with No. 1 contender Nick Diaz on Oct. 4.
“We faxed over a contract to Noons’ people and he has until 5 p.m. Pacific Time (on Thursday) to sign it and get it back to us, or they’ll be forcing our hand,” stated Shaw.
Asked what he meant by his “forcing our hand” comment, the EliteXC executive said that if Noons and his camp decline the fight, it is within the promotion’s right to extend the term of his contract.
Another huge question mark surrounding the pivotal Oct. 4 event on CBS is the opponent for the already announced Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson. Most speculation has centered on Brett Rogers and Ken Shamrock.
Shaw, however, was non-committal on the bout, saying that they have been talking with several possible opponents, but still have not made a final determination. The one rumor that he would squash was the recent talk of a match-up with Sean Gannon, the fighter that Slice built much of his underground fighting sensationalism off of.
“There are several options we’re considering right now. Gannon is not the guy,” he said firmly.
With the addition of the title bout between Shields and Daley, and Shaw’s confirmation that bout agreements have also gone out to the promotion’s female centerpiece, Gina Carano, and her planned opponent, Kelly Kobald, that still leaves a lot of work for the matchmaking team at EliteXC with only six and a half weeks to go.
For all the latest MMA news, go to MMAWeekly.com