FIGHT-BY-FIGHT: WEC 34 FABER VS. PULVER
WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber defends his title against former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver. Faber has a 20-1 record and trains out of Ultimate Fitness with Justin Buchholz. Pulver has a 22-8-1 record and trains out of Miletich Fighting Systems with Spencer Fisher.
Faber comes off a submission victory over Jeff Curran at WEC 31. Pulver also comes off a submission victory over Cub Swanson at the same show.
UFC 84 OFFICIAL GATE AND ATTENDANCE TOTALS
The gate and attendance figures for UFC 84 were released by Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer on Friday. The event featured lightweight champion B.J. Penn successfully defending his belt against former titleholder Sean Sherk.
Kimbo Slice in the NY Times
Today's New York Times has a big feature on Kimbo in today's edition. This is a big deal. The New York Times sets the agenda for virtually every other media outlet in the country. It's even handed and somewhat sympathetic.
...when the Elite XC fight league and CBS broadcast the sport’s live network television debut from Newark on Saturday, the two companies are largely hinging their success on Ferguson, a 34-year-old native of the Bahamas and former street fighter who may become the mixed martial arts equivalent of Mike Tyson in his prime — or a major bust if he is ultimately outclassed by the sport’s elite fighters.
MMA on CBS, What Does It All Mean?
Some very astute analysis of the implications of the CBS/Elite XC show from the "new guy" at MMA Payout, Andrew Falzon:
Unlike pay per view or even Spike TV, the CBS EliteXC broadcast will reach virtually every home in America with a television. According to SNL Kagan, that number is over 112-million homes. Consider that the UFC does between 400,000-600,000 pay per view buys, and you get an idea of how big of a stage CBS provides.
Thought this was a really interesting article, hope you guys agree.......
Lawler vs. Smith II could headline next CBS event
After a less-than-suitable ending to an exciting, back-and-forth match-up between EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith left many searching for a definitive conclusion, EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw said the company hopes to host the rematch as a main event on their next CBS broadcast.
Shaw even went so far as to ponder aloud a possible title for the show: "Unfinished Business."
"We've got to check Robbie, how he is physically, and how Scott (who suffered a broken right foot during the bout) is physically," Shaw said. "If they're both ready to do it again, I would assume they would fight on our next CBS show."
Saturday's title fight, which served as a co-main event to Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson's third-round TKO of James Thompson, ended in anticlimactic no-contest after Lawler (15-4) caught Smith (13-4) with an inadvertent eye poke in the third round. Smith maintained he was OK to continue, but officials refused to let the bout continue.
Bloody Elbow Exclusive: Judges Scorecards for Slice/Thompson
Just got a call from BE editor in chief Luke Thomas in Newark at the Elite SC event.
Luke got his hands on the judges scorecards and here's how they had it scored:
All three judges scored the first round 10-9 for James Thompson.
But in the 2nd round it got weird as Bittencourt scored it 10-9 Thompson, Crosby scored it 10-8 Thompson and Colon gave it to Kimbo, 10-9.
Something rotten in Newark ladies and gentlemen.
Weedman submits Lima to claim AFL welterweight title
ATLANTA - Brent Weedman stunned Douglas Lima with a second-round submission to claim the welterweight title in the main event of the American Fight League's Bulletproof show Friday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported Friday, the AFL signed former World Wrestling Entertainment star Bobby Lashley, who was introduced during the show. The deal is a two-fight agreement with an option for a third. The league also inked standout Tara LaRosa (15-1) to head up a new women's division.
Both Lashley and LaRosa are scheduled to be part of the AFL's next event – a pay-per-view show in October. Opponents have yet to be secured for either fighter.
Jason Day ‘Count’ down to ‘Dooms’ day Michael Bisping UFC 85 fight (Part IV)
The grind is over.
Today was the last day of conditioning for my upcoming middleweight fight with Michael Bisping at the O2 Arena in London, England, on June 7. It is always a weird feeling to be done with the grind — all those weeks of intense training are done and now it is time to put it to the test.
I had an awesome last week of training. There were no snags … I just put my nose to the grindstone.
Elite XC Recap 'Saturday Night Fights'
Controversy — a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion.
Is there a better word to describe Elite XC’s “Saturday Night Fights”?
Let’s forget for a moment about the Scott Smith stoppage and the Kaitlin Young stoppage and let’s focus for now on the Kimbo Slice stoppage of James Thompson.
First let me say this: What kind of success would Elite XC be expecting to have heading into the future if its “franchise” — Kimbo Slice — were to lose to a hand-picked opponent and get exposed as nothing more than a street fighter with no real MMA skills?
Probably not too much.
MMA Myths Debunked Again
In the mid-’90s, politicians looking to score easy points succeeded in pressuring cable television executives to boot the fledgling sport off cable television. Instead of killing off MMA, it simply went underground
When MMA returned to cable in 2001, it was portrayed as a sign of the decline of American civilization. Somehow, the republic survived.
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s popularity exploded in 2005, it was dismissed as a fad that would soon go away. Three years later, the company is on the hottest sustained pay-per-view business streak in its history.
EliteXC: If It's on TV, It Must Be Good!
Well, this is it, folks. After years of government and media backlash, countless steps back and some memorably disastrous runs at the mainstream, MMA finally makes its major network debut with none other than Gary Shaw leading the way.
Hard to believe but EliteXC has made its mainstream push behind an odd assortment like reformed YouTube brawler Kimbo Slice and female MMA superstar Gina Carano. Both will be present and accounted for come 9 p.m. Saturday night on CBS and so should you if for no other reason than to see if John McCain shows up and tries to call the whole thing off. Gotta admit, it would be good for a few laughs.
Karo Parisyan added to UFC 87
MMAJunkie.com is reporting that Karo "The Heat" Parisyan has been added to UFC 87: Seek and Destroy. Parisyan informed Junkie himself yesterday that he will be part of the card. An opponent for the top ranked welterweight has not been announced. Parisyan will be looking to come back after a tough loss at the hands of Thiago Alves in April during UFN 13. George Sotiropoulos was scheduled to be Parisyan's opponent but was forced out of the bout due to injury.
Kimbo Slice = Hulk Hogan
I keep hearing people harp on the fact that Kimbo Slice is main eventing the first ever major network MMA broadcast despite a somewhat dubious background and questionable current skill set. I don't think that the fans who are down on the idea have their hearts in the wrong place. But I am positive that the same can not be said for their heads.
Is Kimbo the Next Butterbean?
In the late 1990s, the boxing community unveiled a cartoonish giant named Eric Esch - "Butterbean." A big galoot with no formal training, he got his break via the old bar-brawl contest known as the Toughman series. He was The Next Big Thing.
Except he wasn't, and the farce played a large role in boxing's decline.
Inevitability Works Until It Doesn't
UFC's entire PR strategy regarding Elite XC on CBS, Affliction, and all other companies is to dismiss them as irrelevent. Dana seems to believe that by calling UFC the equivalent of Nascar, it makes it true:
"It's like us sitting on my couch on a Saturday afternoon watching NASCAR, okay? We're watching NASCAR and I'm like, "Holy ****, look at all the people that are at that race. They must be making a lot of money. They've got a network deal with Fox, too. You know what we should do? We should get a couple of their drivers and go out and start our own race league, and we'll compete head to head with NASCAR."
WWE's Bobby Lashley signs with American Fight League
Former World Wrestling Entertainment performer and decorated amateur wrestler Bobby Lashley is the latest signing for the Kentucky-based American Fight League.
A source close to the 31-year-old told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Lashley will be introduced as an AFL signee -- perhaps the organization's biggest to date -- during tonight's "Bulletproof" show at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
Rumors of Lashley's possible transition into MMA heated up over the past month, but few expected such a high-profile figure to sign with an organization so new to the national scene.
AFL officials declined to comment today, but one executive said some "major signings" will be announced at tonight's show, which features a main event between AFL lightweight champ and former UFC fighter Diego Saraiva.
Terms of Lashley's contract aren't known, but it's expected to be a non-exclusive deal.
Lashley, a two-time NAIA national wrestling champion while at Missouri Valley College, also won two armed-forces titles while serving in the U.S. Army. He signed with the WWE in 2003 and debuted with the organization in 2005. His character won titles in both the WWE and Extreme Championship Wrestling organizations.
"EliteXC: PRIMETIME" weigh-in results
NEWARK, N.J. - MMAjunkie.com is on scene for today's "EliteXC: PRIMETIME" weigh-ins, which are being held at the Prudential Center in Newark. N.J.
The same venue hosts Saturday's nationally televised CBS event, which features a main event of Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson vs. James Thompson, as well as an EliteXC middleweight title fight between champ Robbie Lawler and challenger Scott Smith.
Weigh-in results will be posted live beginning at approximately 2 p.m. ET.
Also, stay tuned later today for a photo gallery of the day's events.
MAIN CARD (TELEVISED)
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (235.5) vs. James Thompson (257)
EliteXC champ Robbie Lawler (184.5) vs. Scott Smith (184.5)
Gina Carano (144.5) * vs. Kaitlin Young (140.5)
Jon Murphy (260.5) vs. Brett Rogers (263.5)
Phil Baroni (185) vs. Joey Villasenor (184.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (INTERNET)
Carlton Haselrig (263) vs. Carlos Moreno (261)
Jim Bova (160.5) vs. Chris Liguori (161)
Matt Makowski (171) vs. Nick Serra (167)
Wilson Reis (140.5) vs. Justin Robbins (140.5)
James "Binky" Jones (154.5) vs. Calvin Kattar (155.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (UN-AIRED)
Zach Makovsky (135) vs. Andre Soares (134)
Mike Groves (154) vs. Joe Sampieri (155)
* - New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Nick Lembo told MMAjunkie