MMA News: Strikeforce Buys EliteXC, Couture's Next Fight, Arlovski's Boxing Debut

— This week, the Strikeforce MMA organization announced that it has purchased assets of Pro Elite, parent company of the defunct EliteXC promotion. The contracts of all the big name Elite XC fighers, including Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz, have come along with the deal. Strikeforce has signed new television deals with former EliteXC partners CBS and Showtime, with the company’s first Showtime event scheduled for April 11th. The Showtime contract calls for 12 events per year. No details yet on the CBS deal. Strikeforce, which up until now was primarily a west coast company, will now run as a national promotion and with Showtime & CBS deals, immediately becomes the No. 2 MMA promotion in the country behind the UFC.

— There is a new rumor floating around the Internet regarding a possible light heavyweight clash between former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champ Randy Couture and the undefeated Lyoto Machida. Sources from within the Xtreme Couture camp have confirmed Couture’s interest. Any possibility of a fight between these two relies on the outcome of the Quinton Jackson vs. Keith Jardine light heavyweight fight at UFC 96 in March. If Jackson wins, he gets a title shot against Rashad Evans at UFC 100. If Jardine wins, it’s likely Machida gets the Evans title shot and a fight with Couture maybe later this year.

— Former UFC Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will make his professional boxing debut on April 11 at The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will take place on the undercard of the Winky Wright vs. Paul Williams middleweight fight event on HBO. No opponent has been announced yet. The event being promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which also co-promoted Affliction: “Day of Reckoning” on January 24th, where Arlovski was knocked out by WAMMA champion Fedor Emelianenko (VIDEO). For the past year, Arlovski has been training with world renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach to help him improve his striking game.

** VIDEO of LASHLEY’s MMA Debut: First Round TKO! (Direct Link) [>]