This could be HUGE for MMA

There's talk today that EliteXC, probably the closest thing the UFC has to a rival in North America as far as MMA promotions go, is going to get a TV deal with CBS.

If this happens, this is huge for the sport of mixed martial arts. It's obviously great for EliteXC, which would go from being the distant second-place promotion in the U.S., to being a legitimate threat to the UFC overight.

It will be good for fighters, too, as a rising EliteXC is going to be trying to lure talent from UFC, and bidding wars are going to erupt for top talent.

It could even be good news for Dana White, the combative UFC president who has been acting more and more like Vince McMahon recently than ever before (and that's not a compliment). Dana has tried to get on HBO ... and failed. He tried to get on CBS ... and apparently failed.

Sure, Spike TV probably saved UFC from bankruptcy, but UFC needs to take the next step in growth, and Dana's reported insistence on maintaining total control over his product (including how it is broadcasted) has hindered that growth and kept him from signing those deals with HBO and CBS.

Maybe this will be the kick in the pants that Dana White needs to realize he's not the only game in town and that it's time to loosen up on the controls in order to take his company to the next level.

EDIT: More info on the pending deal here.

Thanks to Jason Genegabus, a columnist with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for the use of the great photo of the Elite XC title belt!


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