|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
SHOWTIME SPORTS MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 6, 2007
In the biggest Mixed Martial Arts event in the history of Hawaii, EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo 'Ninja' Rua, will make his initial title defense against always-dangerous ICON Sport titlist, 'Ruthless' Robbie Lawler in the main event of "Uprising'' on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
One of the top fighters pound for pound in MMA, the well-regarded Nick Diaz will make his anxiously awaited EliteXC debut and first start in six months when he faces Hawaiian star Mike Aina in the Sept. 15 semi-main event.
Streaking top-10 welterweight Jake Shields faces Renato 'Charuto' Verissimo, The Golden Girl of MMA, sexy Gina Carano, will face Tonya Evinger and two fighters tough as nails, Joey Villasenor and Riki Fukuda, collide in the other televised bouts.
With the exception of 'Ninja'-Lawler, he televised bouts are slated for three, 5-minute rounds.
GARY SHAW: Thank you, very much. I'd like to thank everyone for joining us on this great card for publicizing this September 15th on Showtime where Ninja Rua is defending his EliteXC belt against Robbie Lawler and his ICON belt, really proud to bring ICON in on this great promotion and there's gonna be a tremendous, tremendous show. We're glad to have Gina back and glad to have Jake back and Nick Diaz. I'm very, very excited. I apologize because I'm here on an acquisition in England and it's very, very difficult to hear. But any quick questions, I'll be happy to answer them and then I will get off this call so you can all hear without the static.
Q. Gary, I have two quick questions for you. The first one is Robbie Lawler defending his ICON belt against Ninja, is that also on the line, and what other organizations are ProElite looking to acquire?
GARY SHAW: ProElite has formed a partnership which has been announced with SpiritMC. I hope that answers that question. I'm here in England finalizing our CageRage deal at this point and Robbie Lawler's belt will be up. One of the two fighters will walk out with two belts on that night.
Q. There's been a lot of talk that ProElite is in talks to acquire ICON and King of the Cage and a couple of other organizations. Is there any truth to those rumors?
GARY SHAW: If I heard you right it had to do with ICON?
Q. ICON and King of the Cage.
GARY SHAW: Yes, there's a letter of intent out on both properties, that is correct.
Q. This is about the heavyweight division in EliteXC. You have Rico Rodriguez and a bunch of other guys on there. When can we expect to see more of these from the past?
GARY SHAW: I think you'll see some more in November. Right now when we're in Hawaii we want them to give a show, we want to give Ninja a shot to defend the title he just won and keep his face out there in this exciting style when we're in Hawaii. Who better than Robbie Lawler to put his belt up, as well.
Q. Definitely. So that's a great compliment to your brand and a testament to sticking to your word about wanting to have one single unified champion instead of a bunch of club champions.
GARY SHAW: I promise you my word is my bond and we'll continue to do that.
Q. Will you continue with this trend and have the winner of the Lawler/Rua fight possibly go up against the Strike Force champion and Frank Shamrock.
GARY SHAW: Sure. There's nothing stopping us from fighting anyone. We'll fight any fighter in the UFC. We'll let our fighter go into the UFC to bring back their belt or we'll do it on Showtime on an EliteXC card or ICON or CageRage. Doesn't make a difference. That's what makes this exciting, so it becomes global and everybody has a chance. Look, Randy Couture right now is training Gina Carano. How good is that?
Q. I'm just wondering, ProElite seems to be adding a lot of different organizations to Mixed Martial Arts under one banner and seems like that's the exact opposite approach taken by the UFC who tends to lock out other organizations. Can you explain EliteXC's unique approach and what we can expect in the future in that regard.
GARY SHAW: Thank you for your question. EliteXC is inclusive and not exclusive, as Nick Diaz, if he was on the call, he would tell you. We believe by acquiring all these brands worldwide we become a global brand and we can help build Mixed Martial Arts and the dream can come true for the directors of this company that it becomes an olympic sport hopefully as early as 2012. I have always said that when someone holds up a belt and says I'm a world champion, that truly should mean world champion and not a club champion from someone's own organization. So we will continue to acquire brands. We'll continue to let our fighters fight all over the world and we will continue to offer everyone from every organization, wherever they are, an opportunity to fight for our belts.
Q. You mentioned Nick Diaz and the Gome fight. Is there any possibility we could see Gome versus Diaz two for EliteXC?
GARY SHAW: Sure. I have no problem with that. The question is will those organizations let Gome come and fight on Showtime and fight Nick. We would never hold Nick back. We gave him that opportunity. That's what we're all about, Sam, and I think that's what the fans want to see.
Q. Have you or anyone with EliteXC had negotiations with Gome?
GARY SHAW: I have not nor has anyone else. We wanted to bring Nick back. As you know, he was on suspension. I wanted to be with Nick, take him through this fight and hopefully after this fight go right back and show it wasn't a fluke and Nick is a superior fighter.
Q. I have one more follow up here on the acquisition of the other promotions. In acquiring these other promotions is that ProElite wanting to get a controlling interest in these other promotions or is it more a case where you guys want to go in and get those promotions' resources to expand their brands?
GARY SHAW: First of all, we haven't finished acquiring the brands other than Rumbo and that's a different deal than our SpiritMC deal. Each one of our deals stands on its own. We don't hide anything. We're a public company. So as soon as we're done with the acquisitions we'll be doing a filing. So your question is premature at this point.
Q. You're talking about letting your fighters fight in other organizations, but if you go out and purchase all these other organizations they're really your organizations, does that make sense?
GARY SHAW: Not really because what we want to do is SpiritMC is going to operate as SpiritMC and keep the Korean flavor. It's going to keep the flavor truly of an English brand, but it gives that fighter, that English fighter an opportunity to possibly go to Hawaii and bring back an ICON belt or Rumbo belt or in the US a UFC belt or a Rage in a Cage belt or King of the Cage belt or whomever we're dealing with. It's giving the fighter the opportunity to be seen on a global stage. And we're not manipulating the fights. I don't mean rig them or fix, but it's not just our organization. So whether Rua wants to fight someone from CageRage or not, if they have the best fighter out there in the eyes of the public, well, he's going to have to fight him to defend that title or get stripped.
CHRIS DeBLASIO: Sounds like, Gary, what you're saying is that it's not about ProElite, it's not about any one organization, it's about MMA as a sport.
GARY SHAW: That's correct. It's absolutely correct. Just remember, ProElite is out there and they've been fighting EliteXC, but it's building MMA. We're not just trying to build a brand. I've said this over and over again. The fighter and the organizations that we are putting together is king. They will be bigger than me and bigger than the brand unlike the UFC or the WWE where no one will be bigger than Cena, no one will be bigger than Vince Ganz, and nobody is gonna be bigger than WWE and nobody is gonna be bigger than the UFC. That's not how we operate.
Q. Gary, ProElite EliteXC, you're not even a year old yet, just as far as an overview, how would you describe how things are going from the ProElite EliteXC side of things and are you happy and are things on schedule as far as what you mapped out at the beginning and the progress you've made?
GARY SHAW: Yes. It's close to beyond our expectations. We knew we were real. We knew we had the funding. We knew we had to get fighters that could represent us and we'd be proud for them to represent us like Gina Carano, Jake Shields, like Ninja, even Crazy Horse, these are people that have gone out there and started to talk and believe in us and we believe in them. When I hang up Gina Carano will tell you I told her I was going to make her the base of women's Mixed Martial Arts. She can tell you all the great things that have happened to her as a fighter. We're not trying to bury her, we're trying to keep building Gina and building Jake. And when fighters lose, we bring them back and we still talk about them. We want to build Mixed Martial Arts. That's what this is all about. We're very happy. We're on track. We have a wonderful, wonderful partnership with Showtime and Ken Hershman and I think we bring exciting fights. We brought three fights to them on premium television and we will continue to do that. And on ProElite.com we have streamed numerous fights both from England, Hawaii and within the United States. So on our ProElite.com site we are doing things that have not been done before to help Mixed Martial Arts.
Q. EliteXC has been very supportive of Charles Bennett over the past few months. What is your impression of his performance last month?
GARY SHAW: I was very, very disappointed. I thought that he could maybe have been trained better or certainly have fought better, but many people don't know he had a hand injury in the first round. We're not making excuses. I saw it. It was all swollen. After the fight he was taken to the hospital. However, you know, we have been building him. We believe in him. We think he's exciting and we will continue to bring him to the eyes of the public in the MMA, but he's going to have to make the commitment in order for us to follow through on our commitment to the fighter.
Q. And the fight with Nick Diaz against Mike Aina, that's going to be at 160 pounds. Will EliteXC have a both a full time 160-pound division in addition to a 155-pound division?
GARY SHAW: We are talking about that right now within the company and we may go from 55 to 60. I don't know that we'll keep both, but it's a good question, and come back at me and maybe by September 15th I'll have a more definitive answer for you.
Q. Gary, just a follow-up question for the CageRage acquisition. Can ProElite announce what role Andy Geer and David Donnell will continue to have with CageRage?
GARY SHAW: Sure. I just came out of a press conference here in England. They're going to be active. They're going to be running CageRage the English brand and we're going to step it up to the next level. Hopefully we won't do all the our fights at Wembley, but we'll be able to go to Manchester and other great towns that deserve to get great fights.
Q. Are you prepared to say whether or not those two and their other partners still remain in a minority ownership sense?
GARY SHAW: The acquisition is not completed so I want to repeat, we haven't done all our FCC filings. We're just finishing the acquisition, but I can tell you that Andy and Dave will both be an intricate part of the company.
Q. Gary, I know that you've been really working on developing Gina Carano as a fighter. Who else do you have in mind as developing in that female weight.
GARY SHAW: I have my eyes on three females right now, none of which are signed, but I promise you by September 15th I will make that announcement. But Gina took women's MMA on her back on her first fight with Julie Kedzie on Showtime, proved to everybody she's a real fighter, proved that women can be exciting fighters and she's now given the impetus to go out and sign more exciting women fighters like Gina that are coming into that cage to fight.
Q. Now that you have recently added the ShoXC portion to your brand, how often do you plan on seeing a ShoXC card out there?
GARY SHAW: That's a good question. I'm just getting in talks with Ken Hershman from Showtime. I believe we have two more scheduled for this year, one in October and one in December. I think it's December 7th and October 26th. And hopefully we're going to bring you eight to ten of those shows next year on Showtime. And again, I have not sat down with Ken Hershman from Showtime and put that in stone. That right now is the plan. And I hope you're enjoying them. I hope you see the value in them.
Q. Great shows.
GARY SHAW: Look, we're trying to bring new stars to the division, to the eyeballs. We're trying to show how many great fighters are out there and then move them and get them the opportunity to go from ShoXC on to big time EliteXC on Showtime championship. Make sure Gina and Jake only say nice things about me. I'll see you all in Hawaii next week. Thank you, very much.
Q. We'll get opening comments from Gina, Robbie and Jake and go right to the questions with everyone, so if we can do that. Gina, welcome to the call. Are you looking forward to fighting again and how has life changed for you since your big win on Showtime back in February?
GINA CARANO: Hi, everyone. My life has been a little chaotic in the last six months. I've been super busy filming different things and meeting different people, but I just want to say thank you to ProElite and Showtime for putting me on this card. It's an honor once again and I'm really planning on putting on a good fight and I'm looking forward to it. I really want to put a good fight on, so I hope to put on a good show. That's about it.
Q. What do you know about your opponent? She is sure a tough talker.
GINA CARANO: Yeah. I don't know if tough talking is a cover up for insecurities or if she's scared or anything, but every fighter can be beat and so I'm planning on beating her.
Q. Great. Robbie, we'll continue with you. Can you just make some opening comments? What are your thoughts about fighting Ninja in the main event of September 15th in Hawaii on Showtime? By the way, the telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. What are your thoughts going into this fight? This is going to be a tremendous fight.
ROBBIE LAWLER: I'm exciting about the fight. I'm in good shape, ready to put on a good show and knocking Ninja out.
Q. What do you think about Ninja? Everybody seems to think that his advantage is he's going to try to take you to the ground and you're going to try to keep everything at standup, is that how you look at this fight?
ROBBIE LAWLER: It's definitely going to start on its feet and I think we're going to exchange and he's not scared to exchange, but he'll be quick to take it to the ground if he thinks there's an opportunity and I'll be ready to defend him and keep it on our feet.
Q. Great. Jake, welcome to the call. What are your thoughts? You fight a great fighter in Charuto. It could be, perhaps, your toughest fight.
JAKE SHIELDS: I'm excited for the fight. Charuto is somebody I was supposed to fight twice before and it fell through and I've been watching him fight for years. He's a great Jitsu guy and I've been training my ass off. I'm ready to go out and fight. I'm hoping to do a little standup and bang with him. I'm going to try to knock him out.
Q. What about you're actually fighting on his home turf, is that a factor at all?
JAKE SHIELDS: Not really. I've fought out in Japan a bunch. Hawaii is not that far. Obviously he's going to be the favorite, but it's not that big of a deal. I'm used to it.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Team Gracie versus Team Penn factor on this fight card?
JAKE SHIELDS: I think it makes it exciting. You got Nick from Ceasars and you got those two from Team Penn and they are the two best Jiu Jitsu schools in the country, so it's kind of a rivalry. We get along with those guys. It's a friendly rivalry to go out and show them that we're better.
Q. Is there gonna be bragging rights on the line as far as the camps are concerned or do you even think about that?
JAKE SHIELDS: A little bit. You always want to make your campground. It would be better if me and Nick went out there and lost to those guys. We should go out and win and show that our team is the best out there.
Q. Question is for Jake. Obviously Charuto is a very good ground guy, you are, as well. How do you expect it to go if you end up on the ground?
JAKE SHIELDS: I think I've gone against so many, you know, and it's a competition. I'm fine on the ground. I think I hold an advantage on top, open him up with elbows and ground it down. I hope to keep the fight on my feet, but there's always a chance it will be on the ground. If he's on top I don't want to be there, I'll just try to get back on my feet.
Q. My question is for all the fighters. I would just like to know what you love most about Mixed Martial Arts. Start with Robbie.
ROBBIE LAWLER: I just like competing. If it wasn't for Mixed Martial Arts, I don't know what I'd be doing right now. I love competing and pushing myself to the limits and going out there and performing.
JAKE SHIELDS: For me it's kind of the same. It's competing with wrestling and then I found ultimate fighting, it's the best sport out there. I like competing, but what better than a full fight, boxing is cool, kickboxing is cool wrestling is cool, but MMA, it's everything. There's no excuses, you can do whatever.
GINA CARANO: I just like the mentality of fighting and I like to be physical and it's just -- I think it's one of the most honest sports out there. Basketball and other things you can fall down and over exaggerate it, but in fighting it's so honest.
Q. Jake, I wanted to know if you're still training with the American Kickboxing Academy on occasion?
JAKE SHIELDS: Every now and again I do some sparring like every couple weeks I'll go down there to train with Fitch and Twigg mostly.
Q. They have a lot of guys in your weight class, is there any concern that you train with those guys that you might have to face them in the future?
JAKE SHIELDS: That's a concern. I go down there every now and again. And all the guys I fight are in the UFC and not in a league. So where my contact is I can train there, but for now I'm not going to fight them in the near future, so I kind of keep training there occasionally.
Q. And has the UFC given you any expectation that they plan to institute a welterweight title?
JAKE SHIELDS: They have actually. We talked about hopefully after this fight I can fight for it.
Q. TJ, welcome to the call. Why don't you give us from your vantage point, give us some thoughts on what this card is all about and what it means. They're billing it as the biggest MMA event in the history of Hawaii.
TJ THOMPSON: I'll tell you what, I think clearly this is the biggest MMA event in the history of Hawaii, but I also believe that it's not the biggest MMA event that Hawaii is ever going to have. I really think that as the world sees this little island out here, we've been so far ahead of the game it's like MMA fans go. We started promoting MMA events here in 1995 when ICON was the second longest Mixed Martial Arts show in America. We're very excited to have this event. We'll have a full house at the Blaisdell arena. I'm very excited for the main event, but the ICON champ Robbie Lawler up against the EliteXC champ. It's a great opportunity. Gary Shaw had that vision of bringing all these groups together and having true world champions and I think that's the direction that this sport needs to go and to continue growing and I think Robbie Lawler is making a great opportunity and I think the style matchup of that fight, it would be hard not to see that fight as the fight of the night and you will have a defensive winner when it's over.
Q. Gina, your next fight is going to be against Tonya Evinger. I know that you used to train with Scott Bay, are you still training with him at Randy Couture's gym?
GINA CARANO: I'm still training with Scott Bay, he came over before I went over there, along with my boxing coach and the two over there. So I'm definitely still training with Scott.
Q. And with the upcoming fight, without giving too much away, what are your game plans for Tonya.
GINA CARANO: I guess my game plan is really to fight the fight. People come from wrestling and other places, but that's the beauty of MMA is anything goes. And so I just got to remember if I get stuck on the ground, get on my feet.
Q. Do you expect her take it to the ground or do you expect her to remain standing?
GINA CARANO: I expect her to remain standing for a little bit and she'll probably want to take me down, but I don't know. I kind of really don't want to expect anything, I want to stick to my game plan.
Q. Ninja, welcome to the call. What are your thoughts about fighting Robbie Lawler in the main event September 15th in Hawaii?
MURILO RUA: He's very well prepared.
Q. You have to speak a little louder.
MURILO RUA: He's we understand he's fighting both belts. I am more excited there's one more belt on the line.
Q. Do you think this is going to be his most important fight?
MURILO RUA: For sure. I am at the best point of my career and am very well to fight in United States and the support of the Elite fans and I feel very well and I believe it's the best one of my career.
Q. I have a question for Ninja about the Academy of Chute Box. There was a rumor that you were leaving there. Can you clarify for everybody on the call what your status of the affiliation is?
MURILO RUA: Just rumors. I am very happy with the support and right now I have no plans I want to stay here and fight.
Q. This question is for TJ. I was curious about the rules for the fight guard ICON used rules similar to pride and at this point EliteXC used the Unified rules. Any discussion as to what rules will take place in the team?
TJ THOMPSON: I think card -- and not an ICON card, the unified rules will be used and often be fought inside a cage whereas ICON uses the ring and will continue to use the ring in the future.
Q. Question is for Gina Carano. Gina, you are the face of female fighting as far as boxing is concerned. What kind of pressure does that put on you with each additional fight on Showtime?
GINA CARANO: Well, there's been a little bit of pressure, but I started fighting when nobody was boxing and I'll continue fighting whether people are watching or not, but I just love the positive energy out of that and I love it and people want to put me wherever they want to put me, that's fine.
Q. I'm situated up in Canada and I've had a lot of inquiry whether or not this card is going to be available on the Fight Network and is there any way to have to Showtime feed in Canada.
TJ THOMPSON: I cannot answer that for you. I can find out. I don't know what the status of any agreement with Canada is, but I can find out.
Q. Gina, are you surprised at how much your life has changed since the big win over Julie Kedzie in the great memorable fight earlier this year, how has your life changed and how have you handled it?
GINA CARANO: Well, my life -- my real life hasn't really changed, but the exposure has, I don't know, it was awesome. I have to just keep organized and keep myself together because if not I'm not gonna fight good. So it's nice. It's beautiful. And I love all the fans and I love all the people that give me positive energy back. I'm trying to keep a level head about it, you know.
Q. Do you have any idea if the exposure that you're getting now would be such as it is going into that fight with Julie? Did you have any idea that so many doors would open up for you? Did you ever think about that even?
GINA CARANO: No, actually I didn't, but I knew that there was something special about the performance and so I just take one day at a time and I didn't know it was gonna be like this and I'm thankful to God for it.
Q. Another question I guess getting back to the training, how does that improve your game? Did you change your game at all, get a little bit better?
GINA CARANO: Yeah, when I went over to Randy's. Before that I didn't have anybody to put that together for me. I would just do my boxing all different places. So when I went over to Randy's that all got put together for me and I've been training in the pro practice, my fights. And I haven't gotten a chance to work with Randy that much because he's been training for his fight and I've been working with everybody there, but everybody that we got with Team Couture is amazing.
Q. Robbie, have you ever fought anybody similar to Ninja.
ROBBIE LAWLER: I fought a lot of different guys. I don't know, I just look at Ninja as a pretty good fighter. He's well rounded. Basically he's ready to stand, ready to go to the ground, so I have to be ready for everything and I am.
Q. What do you think Ninja's greatest strength is?
ROBBIE LAWLER: I think his greatest strength is he comes from a great team and when you come from a great team you instill hard work and you know what it takes to win.
Q. What weakness do you think you can try to expose?
ROBBIE LAWLER: I just think if I catch him a few times with my hands I'm going to knock him out.
Q. Ninja, what do you think Robbie's greatest strength is?
MURILO RUA: Robbie is a very aggressive fighter, well prepared. He's ready to go. He's ready to go.
Q. Ninja, do you think you can knock Robbie out?
MURILO RUA: I am going to win on stand or on the ground, no matter, I'm going to victory.
Q. Everyone can chime in on this one. Again, basically I'm looking to find out what you think the best aspect of MMA is today, and on the other hand, what's the biggest problem in the sport right now?
ROBBIE LAWLER: I don't know. The biggest thing, I think are fans are starting to support it, the media is starting to get behind us, but I think a lot of people aren't well prepared when they come to fight and I think that will be bad in the end. You have to make sure that fighters that are fighting in the smaller shows are prepared and well trained so they can basically defend themselves.
Q. Before we go to the next question, Chris? Why don't you give a quick run down on this countdown show that we're running on Showtime.
CHRIS DeBLASIO: I don't know if everyone had seen it but we have nine more showings including tonight on Showtime and some of the other multiplexes. It's a 30-minute documentary show. It really profiles in-depth Robbie Lawler's background. Ninja Rua's background, the explosive main event that is to come that's really a pick them fight. I hope that many of you have seen it. I have a full run schedule again. The show airs tonight on Showtime and again nine -- maybe nine more times I think up until fight night on September 15th. If anybody needs that you can e-mail John, myself, if you need the full schedule, but I believe we have all of you guys covered on our e-mail distribution and we thank you for watching and if you still have time and interest in alerting your readers and viewers that the show is on and getting a review of it, we appreciate that. The more eyeballs we can get on that show just builds the excitement. It's really well done by an Emmy award winning production house.
Q. I have a question for Ninja. Have you had the opportunity in Robbie's most recent fight, his victory over Frank Trigg, what are your thoughts on that fight?
MURILO RUA: I have a lot of respect for Robbie. I watched the fight and he's a very aggressive guy and finished the fight very quick. But on September 15th it will be a little different.
Q. Jake, I have another question for you. Talk about the situation with Frank Trigg. You've had a war of words with him back and forth the past few months. I believe you were supposed to fight him in San Francisco. What's the status of that potential matchup?
ROBBIE LAWLER: Well, Trigg never signed the contracts so it's off. I don't think he wants to fight me. At this point it's kind of like whatever. Hopefully sometime down the road someone will set it up. He's had several opportunities and he's turned it down with different excuses. I'm up for fighting him, whatever.
Q. Do you know if EliteXC has any interest in possibly making that match for the future?
ROBBIE LAWLER: They haven't really mentioned it.
Q. Robbie, you know there's been a lot of talk about how you and Matt Hughes are leaving the Militage camp to start a new training center. Has that affected your training for this fight at all and what kind of training have you done for this fight?
ROBBIE LAWLER: Hasn't affected my training. I put all that aside for this. I knew I couldn't concentrate on opening a new gym and doing all that stuff. I said I'm gonna concentrate on my fighting and then open this fighting center and I'm in good shape.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what that involves as far as you and Matt starting a new gym? What's your role gonna be in that?
ROBBIE LAWLER: Basically I'm part owner and a training partner for that and we're going to start bringing in good fighters from around the area and hopefully build up a great team.
Q. Is this an amicable split from camp Militage or is that an extension for you to expand on your abilities to go out and do that natural progression?
ROBBIE LAWLER: Well, he's a brother to me, he's family and he always will be. I've been with him for eight years and I'm going to still keep in touch with him and we're great friends and this isn't going to stop this.
Q. Robbie, for the last three to four years you've been fighting in ICON in a ring under the rules that apply toward the prize fighting championship, now you're going over to EliteXC to be fighting in a cage under the Unified rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Have you been training in a cage more for this fight? I know you used to fight in UFC, but recently have you been training in a cage more to prepare for this?
ROBBIE LAWLER: Well, I've never really trained in a cage and I never really trained in a ring, so it doesn't matter. I just know how to fight and know how to get the job done.
Q. You don't think you'll need any sort of --
ROBBIE LAWLER: I train with guys who fight in the IFL and we're well rounded and ready to go fight wherever.
Q. Jake, I spoke to Frank Trigg and he said about the fight that one of the main barriers between you two is that you're 170 pounds, he no longer fights there, he's a middle weight, 185 pounds, would you be willing to go up to 185 pounds to face Trigg in the future?
JAKE SHIELDS: For the right offer I would be. The offer they were making me in the October show was good enough but then he kind of backed out. I'm not sure his exact reasoning, but we had a verbal agreement. I had a verbal agreement. We were ready to sign the contract and all the sudden his promoter stopped returning the phone calls. I'm not sure exactly what happened there.
Q. Did we get everybody's response to the question about the good and the bad? Did everyone respond to that or did I interrupt?
JAKE SHIELDS: I think the good is the public is finally getting behind it. They're starting to love the sport and making it popular. The bad is all these shows working against each other, but Elite seems to be trying to put us out there working with each other. If everybody starts working together it will save the sport and get true world champions, like they say.
Q. Gina, what are your thoughts on that?
GINA CARANO: I would say that the best thing is the sport is getting more popular and more fans and attracting new fighters from other places. The worst thing about it is probably it's still so young. It's got a long ways to go and it's still making baby steps compared to the other sports.
Q. We're going to give everyone one more chance to ask some questions to either Ninja, Robbie, Jake or Gina, otherwise we'll get some closing comments and say good-bye. You fought for a bunch of different organizations recently and now you're with Showtime. Going forward what does your future look like for Showtime or do you plan on moving around, as well?
JAKE SHIELDS: I really let the manager handle that. I like how they've been treating me. Hopefully I'll stay here. I have one more fight in my contract. But they've been treating me well, everything is going good, so right now my plans are most likely to stay with Elite.
Q. You have a win over Carlos Condit, any chance that you might go over to WEC, as well.
JAKE SHIELDS: I haven't given that serious consideration. If it was the right situation I would go over there, but I don't have any serious plans of going over there.
Q. Ninja, can we just have some closing comments from you on your fight with Robbie Lawler?
MURILO RUA: I'm waiting for a great fight, a good show for the audience, for the American and Hawaiian fans. I'm in good shape and ready to go.
Q. Thank you. Robbie, closing comments.
ROBBIE LAWLER: Just about the same. I'm in good shape, I've been training hard and I'm ready to take it to Ninja.
Q. Gina, can we have some closing comments from you, please?
GINA CARANO: Sure. I just want to thank everybody for accepting me and for the fans and the press, thank you so much for covering it and for watching, because it really does a lot for the country. And I've had so many people come up to me and are so inspired about what we're doing, so thank you and I plan on having a good fight.
JAKE SHIELDS: I'm excited to fight after all the hard training. I can't wait to get it over with. Now I want to go out there and fight the best fight I can.
Q. TJ, are you still with us? Give us closing comments and we'll wrap this call up.
TJ THOMPSON: From top to bottom you look at this card, if you don't have Showtime this is the time to order it. I'm excited to be part of an organization to have the first event on premium cable channel. I think that excitement from top to bottom on that card is gonna be unsurpassed and the main event especially, a true candidate for fight of the year.
Q. Again, on behalf of Showtime, EliteXC ProElite, everyone involved with this ICON sport, everyone involved September 15th, I'd like to thank you for participating on the call. Ninja, Robbie, Jake, Gina, thank you very much. We're sorry we couldn't hook up Nick Diaz for this call.
End of FastScripts