After a long hiatus from the world of Mixed Martial Arts promoting, ProElite returns this Saturday holding their first event to be held under its umbrella since EliteXC: A Night of Champions in November of 2008.
Founded in 2006, Pro Elite promoted live MMA events broadcast on CBS, Showtime and Showtime PPV under the EliteXC promotional banner. ProElite v2.0 though currently doesn’t have a broadcast deal and Saturday’s event will not be televised or streamed online.
Before the demise of EliteXC and subsequently Pro Elite itself, the company had acquired several other MMA promotions, including King of the Cage, Hawaii-based Icon Sport, and British promotion Cage Rage. King of the Cage was reacquired by its founder and is the only of the three that is still promoting MMA events.
ProElite v2.0 brought on former Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou to put together the fights and his hard work has put together Saturdays ProElite: Arlovski vs. Lopez. The event will take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii which can accommodate approximately 8,800 seats. The card has a good blend of high-profile names, anticipated fighter debuts and local talent, set in a MMA rich area that should fill the Arena near capacity.
The night is headlined by the former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (15-9) taking on Ray Lopez (5-2). Arlovski hasn’t won since October of 2008; at 0-4 the Belarusian needs a win in the worst way. Lopez comes into the fight with a tremendous disadvantage in terms of experience (7 fights to 24 fights). He does appear to be a finisher, having yet gone to the judges in his wins and we all know Arlovski can be finished.
The co-main event of the night will feature two former UFC fighters, Kendall Grove (12-9, 1nc) and Joe Riggs (34-13, 1nc). Grove was recently released from the UFC after losing back to back unanimous decisions against Demian Maia and Tim Boetsch. The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner went 7-6 during his time in the UFC and is fighting in Hawaii for the first time since 2005. Riggs last fought at Bellator 43, losing to Bryan Baker by 2nd round TKO. The former WEC middleweight champion has only gone to the judges five times in 48 career fights.
The main card continues with a women’s bout between Sara McMann and Raquel Pa’aluhi along with the veteran Drew McFedries taking on Kala Hose. Rounding things out is Reagan Penn (BJ Penn’s brother) and Division 1 wrestler Mark Ellis both making their professional debuts in separate bouts.
265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski vs. Ray Lopez – Andrei Arlovski
185 lbs.: Kendall Grove vs. Joe Riggs – Kendall Grove
170 lbs.: Reagan Penn vs. Paul Gardner – Reagan Penn
265 lbs.: Jake Heun vs. Mark Ellis – Mark Ellis
Women’s 135 lbs.: Sara McMann vs. Raquel Pa’aluhi – Sara McMann
185 lbs.: Drew McFedries vs. Kala Hose – Drew McFedries
170 lbs.: Chris Cisneros vs. Sale Sproat – Chris Cisneros
155 lbs.: Dustin Barca vs. Reno Remigio – Dustin Barca
Amateur bout: Ray Cooper Jr. vs. Kyle Foyle – Kyle Foyle
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