Kelly Perdew

Kelly Perdew

Being Donald Trump’s apprentice has opened new doors for Kelly Perdew. The winner of the second season of the NBC show is the president of Pro-Elite, a mixed martial arts social networking company that has raised 15 million dollars in its ten months of existence. ProElite has also finalized a deal with Survivor and The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett for its own reality show focusing around MMA.

Listen to the Kelly Perdew CYInterview:

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CY: What’s life been like after being Donald Trump’s Apprentice?

KP: “Well, it was definitely an exciting little over a year with Donald and working for The Trump Organization. I’ve continued to have a lot of fun with the different settings that opportunity afforded me from writing a book about leadership principles. I frequently do speaking engagements talking about leadership and helping entrepreneurs, also trying to help people with their career objectives and what they want to do. I hosted a show on the Military Channel called GI Factory, kind of a Dirty Jobs for military weapons vehicles and equipment.”

CY: Now looking back on that 14 months, what was the most important thing you learned from the Donald?

KP: “Well, there was quite a bit of stuff. I learned a lot about real estate. I learned a lot about marketing and branding. He’s obviously a master self promoter. I guess one of the biggest lessons I learned is to think big. If you’re going to build a company, build an organization, go after a market, then don’t think small or narrow yourself down or limit yourself on what you are able to accomplish. The bigger and better your story the more likely you are to raise the necessary capital, excite other people about the vision, and the likelihood of success is higher. You might as well swing for the fence.”

CY: Why did you want to be president of a mixed martial arts company in Pro Elite?

KP: “Well, I guess it kind of goes in my background a little bit. I grew up participating in judo. At West Point we had to box and wrestle and of course had close quarters combat training. As an airborne ranger in the military on my own time I practiced and took Tae Kwon Do and have a massive amount of respect for those individuals that are the athletes in martial arts. They really are world class athletes. The amount of self discipline, the training that’s required, and the confidence that comes with learning the martial arts to me is incredibly impressive. I don’t know if you’ve seen a mixed martial arts fight before, but it gets you. I think a lot of people imagine what happened to me or how would I fit if I was going into the cage.”

CY: You look at what the UFC is doing and how they are growing their fan base over the last few years. Now they are on ESPN and in the mainstream media and now it’s really time to be part of this MMA thing from a business standpoint.

KP: “Absolutely! I think the UFC has done a great job at increasing awareness around the sport of mixed martial arts and that’s one of the reasons we got involved. In less than ten months now since we started the company we’ve raised over 15 million dollars. We’ve put on four events. Our fight brand Elite Xtreme Combat Elite XC has attracted phenomenal fighters. We’ve exploded in terms of growing the online social network that I run which is We worked really hard to bring livestream events on the web and increase the awareness and grow the fan base. It’s the fastest growing sport in the world right now. I think the reason that it’s so exciting is because it’s about the fighters.”

CY: ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series debuts on Showtime this Friday night at 11:00 PM and follows upcoming fighters on their road to stardom. How is this show different than The Contender for example?

KP: “The show on ShoXC will be about the fighting. We’ll do whatever we can to highlight and really let the fans and viewers go through to where they are and see them fighting. The Contender was produced by Mark Burnett. One of the deals we’ve recently signed and put in place is a deal to work with Mark Burnett on an MMA reality show, reality series. That will be something separate from what we are showing with Showtime. Another strategic partner for us has been Showtime, phenomenal premium cable, and they have been great with the two events we’ve done so far on Showtime. ShoXC is a new format for us to really follow the upcoming fighters as opposed to the ones that already have a brand name.”

CY: What advice do you having for the celebrities participating in that upcoming special season of The Apprentice?

KP: “That’s a pretty interesting concept. Celebrities typically get paid for working so I am not sure what the deal structure is.”

CY: They’re doing it for charity.

KP: “Right…right, exactly. That’s gonna help a lot, but in terms of actually wanting to win the event, I think that you’ve gotta yourself. As a celebrity, it will be interesting to see the people who are used to acting, how they interact on the business concepts. I think it will be a pretty interesting Apprentice.”

CY: There has been a lot of controversy around Donald over the last year. What should the public know that they don’t already know?

KP: “He’s actually incredibly funny. I don’t know how much that comes across, but he has a great sense of humor. His timing is great, but you’d be surprised at how funny he actually is. People see him firing people with a scowl and giving the cobra. In normal interactions he’s actually pretty funny.”

CY: Finally, is there any chance will see you on the upcoming edition of the Celebrity Apprentice?

KP: “If I knew that I couldn’t tell you. Take that for whatever answer it is.”

ShoXC: The Elite Challenger Series
debuts Friday July 27th on Showtime. Check out for further fights streamed online after the telecast and for further information.