EliteXC Likely To Make Carano Vs. Cyborg Fight
Next year. The company announced that it plans to have the female dream matchup of Gina Carano vs. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos on EXC's first PPV early next year, and not on CBS. Said another way, the company needs these two to meet when EliteXC, not CBS, can reap the greatest reward.
Shamrock Gets Next Shot at ‘Slice’
Ken Shamrock (Pictures) will be the fourth man to face Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (Pictures) when the two icons clash at EliteXC’s third installment of “Saturday Night Fights” Oct. 4 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. The headlining bout will anchor a live broadcast on CBS.
Sherdog.com confirmed the bout’s signing with multiple parties aware of the fight, while a press release is expected to circulate later today with the news.
The 44-year-old Shamrock (26-13-2) beat out fellow candidates Sean Gannon and Brett Rogers (Pictures), who called out Slice in May, for the coveted slot.
Shamrock, a 15-year veteran of the game who made his storied Octagon debut at UFC 1 in November 1993, has dropped his last five bouts in a row since 2005, including a lackluster showing against brawler Robert Berry (Pictures) at Cage Rage 25 last March.
However, “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” exudes substantial selling power for a match now only five and a half weeks away. A strong personality in and out of the cage, Shamrock’s 15 appearances in the UFC earned him international recognition alongside his original nemesis Royce Gracie (Pictures).
Slice (3-0) earned a third-round victory against Brit James Thompson (Pictures) in his last foray for EliteXC in May. The bout was much criticized for its questionable officiating, placing Ferguson’s skill set in doubt after Thompson held the advantage for sizable stretches of the 11-minute contest. Ferguson holds previous wins over David "Tank" Abbott (Pictures) and Bo Cantrell (Pictures).
KJ Noons may not be a coward, but he’s doing an awfully good impression of one.
The latest temper tantrum -- a pastime nearly as popular as the sport itself -- to hit media sites has been between Noons’ employer, EliteXC parent company ProElite, and Noons’ manager, Mark Dion, who insists proposed opponent Nick Diaz isn’t a credible contender for an Oct. 4 defense of Noons’ EliteXC lightweight title on CBS.
(The very same title he won against Diaz, a fact that incites a paradox of Dion’s claim: If Diaz isn’t a worthy opponent, what worth does Noons’ belt possess? Doc Brown warned us about this kind of thing.)
This stalemate was preceded earlier by Noons’ apathetic response to pestering about his seemingly inevitable rematch with Diaz. To paraphrase: I’ve beaten him once, so why do it again? I’m in no rush.
But you should be, Mr. Noons. You should be.
If there’s one thing MMA can finally offer after 15 years of its stubborn existence, it’s hindsight: If you don’t do the money match now, it’s going to slip right through your Ouano-laced fingers.
Back in 2003, the UFC thought it could “build” to a marquee match between Ken Shamrock and David "Tank" Abbott. Unfortunately, both went virtually winless in the Octagon, and the polished veneer of that fight chipped off like paint with no primer.
But it’s more than just the loss of a potentially incendiary fight. Barely in diapers in his MMA career, Noons was being offered the Holy Grail of anyone coveting mass exposure: a slot on primetime network television. A fight on CBS, regardless of the result, would give Noons an instant level of recognition that could be parlayed into any number of opportunities: endorsements, sponsorships, acting, seminars, etc.
Put another way, product advertisers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars securing pithy ad time on networks in an effort to marinate viewer brains in their product. Dion’s product is Noons, and instead of paying out the nose for the exposure, ProElite would be paying him -- and so would sponsors eager to get their logos captured by CBS’ high-definition cameras.
I’m not a business major, but that doesn’t sound too bad.
Radach to Fight ‘Ninja’ at EliteXC-CBS Event
Benji Radach will fight Murilo “Ninja” Rua on the Oct. 4 EliteXC card, Radach has told Sherdog.com.
The bout bolsters a lineup packed with star power. Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano, in addition to Jake Shields’ title defense against Paul Daley, will headline the event, which will air live on CBS from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Sources: EliteXC considering Lawler versus Villasenor for Nov. 8
Despite EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler (16-4) stating he might take the remainder of the year off after a July victory over Scott Smith, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that Lawler may return as soon as November.
Sources close to the bout today revealed to that a rematch between Lawler and Joey Villasenor (26-6) is "pretty much a done deal" for EliteXC's Nov. 8 card. The event is scheduled for broadcast on premium-cable network Showtime.
EliteXC Vice-President Jared Shaw's recent comments to MMAjunkie.com would seem to confirm the possible match-up.
"Joe [Villasenor] will definitely be appearing sometime in the fall," Shaw said. "And he's definitely in line for a world title shot."
Although Villasenor recently lost the opportunity to fight in front of his hometown after the cancellation of EliteXC's Sept. 20 show in New Mexico, the Albuquerque-native may now have an opportunity for both a title and revenge.
Lawler and Villasenor have faced each other once before. In Oct. 2006 Lawler stunned Villasenor with a flying knee en route to a 22-second TKO victory. Villasenor recently told MMAjunkie.com he would love a second opportunity with Lawler.
"[Lawler] caught me with his first right, he dazed me, and the rest is history," Villasenor said. "Ever since that night I think about it and him all the time. ... I would really like the opportunity to compete against him again."
Lawler has won five-straight bouts and is currently WAMMA's fifth-ranked middleweight. The fight would be Lawler's third title defense in less than six months.
Lawler's potential early return to action could signal EliteXC's commitment to building momentum within the financially-burdened ProElite brand. Recent SEC filings have shown huge financial losses for the company.
With heavyweight champion Antonio Silva out following a drug-test failure and lightweight champion KJ Noons unwillingness to fight Nick Diaz, the company was in need of another title fight to market after their Oct. 4 CBS broadcast.
KJ Noons versus Nick Diaz "definitely not happening"
The very-public feud between EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw and 160-pound champion KJ Noons' manager Mark Dion has now led to the official cancellation of the proposed bout for EliteXC's October return to CBS.
Shaw today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of EliteXC's decision.
"KJ Noons versus Nick Diaz is definitely not happening on Oct. 4," Shaw said.
EliteXC’s ‘Impending Doom’ Averted for Now
Though its coveted spots on CBS and Showtime rival any other broadcast deals currently enjoyed in the sport, it’s unlikely any promotion is envious of EliteXC this week.
Nearly nineteen months into operation, Pro Elite -- the parent organization to EliteXC, ShoXC, King of the Cage, Cage Rage, and ICON events –- has found itself centerstage following a recent succession of incidents that have put the company’s ability to get the job done in question.
Last week, EliteXC’s welterweight champion Jake Shields, who’s clocked in under nine minutes for his trio of victories in the cage, went public with his intentions to accept a more challenging bout with a top-five middleweight through another promotion.
Just a few days later, news prematurely leaked out that a scheduled Sept. 20 event at the Pit in Albuquerque would be cancelled –- this before main event draw Joey Villasenor had even been notified.
On its heels, private negotiations between Mark Dion, manager to EliteXC lightweight champion Karl James Noons, and the promotion have gone public and seem to get uglier by the day.
The icing on the cake came with Thursday’s announcement that EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva had tested positive for the steroid Boldenone following his July 26 title victory.
SEC filings this week show Pro Elite is almost $55 million in the red, largely due to operating expenses incurred from its 15 flagship events to date, as well as its investments in other organizations (still running events themselves) that the company purchased to bolster its stable of fighters. In comparison, the UFC spent $44 million in four years before it struck oil with “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV series.
EliteXC has certainly seen better weeks, and the memory of their May 31 debut of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS in primetime -- which garnered heaping amounts of press and the most eyeballs of any live MMA event ever broadcasted with an average 4.9 million viewers –- seems to be fast fading.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, if Pro Elite can get to it in time. If changes were ever needed in the organization it would be now, and changes are being made.
MMA Quick Quote: Elite XC issues official response to Antonio Silva positive steroids results
Head of EliteXC Fight Operations, Jeremy Lappen, issues a formal response on behalf of the organization regarding the news today that its heavyweight champion, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, tested positive for steroids following his win over Justin Eilers to capture the vacant heavyweight strap on July 19. Silva and his management declared his innocence earlier today via the UnderGround forum. It looks like this is Déjà vu all over again for the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) — the UFC has recently been down a similar path with one of its champions, Sean Sherk.
Silva Pleads Innocence to Steroid Allegations
EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva and his representatives have denied allegations that the 28-year-old Brazilian took steroids prior to his July 26 contest against Justin Eilers, and they’re willing to fight to prove it.
On Thursday, the California State Athletic Commission released urinalysis results pointing the finger at the 6-foot-4, nearly 300-pound Brasilia native for Boldenone, an anabolic agent. Silva was immediately suspended for one year and fined $2,500, but may protest the disciplinary action and request a hearing before the commission –- something Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, plans to pursue without hesitation.
“It’s a false positive. He got tested positive for something he didn’t take,” said Davis from his home outside Rio de Janeiro. “I will not let my fighter sit back and be wronged like this. I just won’t.”
Silva was notified of the positive test result Wednesday via a phone call from the CSAC, though Davis said rumors of his fighter’s results had been circulating during a prolonged testing period, which included independent tests of two separate samples conducted by Quest Diagnostics and the World Anti-Doping Agency-approved Laboratoire De Controle Du Dopage in Montreal.
“I did not use the steroid Boldenone, or any other steroid of prohibited substance,” Silva wrote in a prepared statement distributed to Sherdog.com. “I don’t agree and never have agreed with the use of this kind of product in order to win, for this is cheating. I will go to the full extent of my power and the law to prove my innocence in this matter.”
Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential'
Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential'
By Dave Carpinello
UFC Lightweight contender Hermes Franca took some time to talk with PDG after his trip to New York about his comeback, future opponents and his upcoming fight with Gleison Tibau at UFC 90 in Chicago.
PDG: All right, let's talk just a little bit about the past; did it bother you at all that you served a full one-year suspension and Sean Sherk only had to sit out six months?
Franca: It doesn't bother me because it was my problem and my fault. I told the commission the truth and it doesn't matter to me what Sherk told them. It is just great to be back and the commission has a lot of great guys that came up to me at my last fight and told me they were glad to have me back. They told me I was the man and I had balls because I told the truth which apparently a lot of people don't.
EliteXC issues KJ Noons 24-hour deadline to accept Nick Diaz fight
EliteXC officials have distributed a fight agreement and set a deadline for EliteXC 160-pound champion KJ Noons (7-2) to accept an Oct. 4 title fight with challenger Nick Diaz (18-7).
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw contacted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) late Wednesday to discuss the deadline that the organization set.
"A bout agreement has been sent to KJ Noons," Shaw said. "He has until 5 (p.m. PT Thursday) to accept it, or he can face public opinion."
That public opinion has already been decidedly mixed since MMAjunkie.com reported Noons' unwillingness to commit to the bout earlier today. Shaw claims he has been unable to contact Noons' camp but hinted that the fighter may be unhappy with his contracted pay.
Kimbo Slice vs. Sean Gannon Rematch Likely on CBS
Josh Gross is reporting that Sean Gannon is leading the pack to face Kimbo Slice on the October 4th EliteXC card on CBS:
Three names keep popping up as the next opponent for Kimbo Slice on Oct. 4: Brett Rogers, Ken Shamrock and ... wait for it ... Sean Gannon.
And so, that leaves Gannon, a Boston police officer who defeated Slice in the most famous of the Miami street brawler's underground fight videos. If you'll recall, the UFC tried to capitalize on the YouTube-famed fight by signing Gannon in 2005, but Branden Lee Hinkle pounded him out in less than a round. Since then, Gannon has sat on the sidelines flirting with a big payday and a chance to rematch Slice on a larger stage.
CBS would be the largest.
At this point, unfortunately, signs are pointing to Gannon. The story works for CBS -- it's an easy sell and Kimbo shouldn't face much of a threat. It's perfect all around. That is, unless you think circus fights have no place in MMA, particularly in front of six million viewers.
EliteXC and Affliction Drug Test Failures Will be Announced Tomorrow
Dave Meltzer reports that the California State Athletic Comission has announced that there was one failure for drugs on each show, and the people who failed will be announced tomorrow. No word on why they're turning this into such a dramatic event:
Bill Douglas of the CSAC released that B samples have been returned positive for one fighter on both the July 19th Affliction show in Anaheim and the July 25 EliteXC CBS card in Stockton.
The names will be released tomorrow after notification of the promotions and fighters. Douglas also announced Fabio Negao and Matt Lindland on the Affliction show are clear, as are Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith on the EliteXC show.
I guess results are slowly coming in, and they're just going to announce them as they come. These could be the first failures of many, or the only ones.
Here is the list of fighters that have been cleared on each show so far. Just as a reminder, Justin Levens was suspended.
EliteXC's frustration mounts with lightweight champion KJ Noons
EliteXC has big plans for its Oct. 4 appearance on CBS. With top stars "Kimbo Slice" and Gina Carano already booked, the next piece of the puzzle should be a 160-pound title rematch between champion KJ Noons and Nick Diaz.
However, EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw today told MMAjunkie.com the organization has hit a roadblock in securing Noons' services for the evening.
"I'm sitting here and I'm drinking from a carton of milk right now," Shaw said. "And the EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons' face is on the back of this milk carton because he's missing in action."
Jared Shaw: KJ Noons needs to ’step up’ and rematch Nick Diaz
“Nick Diaz is the No. 1 contender. K.J. Noons should step up and be the champion that we think he is and take this fight. Nick Diaz will take this fight any place, anywhere. (Noons’ management) won’t even return our calls. Hopefully K.J. wants the fight and hopefully he will instruct his management to take the fight. K.J. signed a contract. All we want is for him to honor that contract, fight on Oct. 4 on CBS, and prove that he’s the champion we think he is. Right now, he’s not representing us as the EliteXC champion.”
Elite XC Vice President Jared Shaw reveals he has been trying to put together a KJ Noons and Nick Diaz rematch for Noons’ lightweight title on the October 4 “Saturday Night Fights on CBS” event, but is having a hard time getting Noons’ camp to accept the fight. Could it be that Nick Diaz was right all along and the champ really is ducking a rematch? Of course, Noons did say in an interview right here on MMAmania.com that he didn’t really have a desire to fight on a CBS card, and he also said he planned on taking a couple boxing fights after his title defense against Yves Edwards. It’s possible that those things could be holding this fight up … we don’t know. What we do know is that Elite XC wants the fight to happen, and now it’s on Noons to step up.
Jared Shaw on Gary, CBS, and female MMA: "I don’t think it’s just the Gina Carano weight class anymore."
Danny Acosta: Can you comment on Gary stepping down?
Jared Shaw: What’s out there is the truth. That is Gary just had a lot going on between family, travel at his age, and his boxing. He’s got really spectacular fall cards: Alfredo Angulo fighting on the 4TH on HBO, you’ve got [Antonio] Tarver-Chad Dawson world title fight on Showtime in October, Sergio Mora contender fight with Vernon Forrest…
DA: EliteXC was definitely steered by Gary’s vision, how will the direction of the company change now that he’s not involved?
JS: I don’t think that’ll change at all. The production remains the same. You have Showtime and CBS as the platform and their people do a fantastic job at producing these shows and making them great for television. All the fights are still in tact, with the same matchmaking team, the same guys completely working for the promotion.
We just don’t have the face, which was Gary. Right now we don’t have a face, but I like to think EliteXC the brand is the face.