EliteXC could be back on CBS in July
While not finalized, EliteXC promoter Gary Shaw said that CBS is requesting his company's next two live specials for late July (believed to be July 26) and October.
Timing is of the essence in getting an arena booked and beginning local publicity for a show that is now only six weeks away.
Nick Diaz Has Surgery To Alleviate Cutting
Apparently the last cut was one too many for Nick Diaz. After a cut cost him the EliteXC Lightweight Championship, Diaz had plastic surgery to alleviate scar tissue, a move he hopes will prevent future cuts in his fights. It was so bad that even rolling caused cuts.
James Thompson Talks Referee Dan Miragliotta, Kimbo Slice and Removing Gypsies
Local Washington, D.C. CBS radio midday talkers "Big O & Dukes" did an interview with James "Colossus" Thompson, and followed up on the issues stemming from his very controversial fight with Kimbo Slice two weeks ago on the CBS Saturday Night Fights "EliteXC: Primetime" event.
In the interview, Thompson displays clear respect for Kimbo and even remarks about how powerful he is (something I've noted before - Kimbo's escapes from the bottom weren't technical at all; he just muscled his way out, which partly explains his fatigue). He also stops just short of calling the fight fixed, but does, in fact, say Dan Miragliotta was under intense pressure to view matters favorably for Kimbo
Elite XC To Return Early Without Kimbo Slice?
Buried in Dave Meltzer's column today on officiating controversy is a very important bit of news:
Shaw said the date of the next CBS card is expected to be finalized this week in a joint decision with CBS. Due to the success of the first show, CBS wants to have a return date in late July to capitalize on the momentum. Shaw feels Lawler and Smith wouldn’t be ready for a July date, nor would Slice.
Of course, "joint decision" means CBS decides while Shaw tries to persuade them otherwise. I don't have the deal in front of me, but I have no doubt this will be CBS's call. Running again is a gigantic risk: If the show flops, it will be derided as the new XFL. If it is a success, they will have a second batch of stars, and they will be able to confidently run shows without Kimbo on top in the future.
KJ Noons Blasts Nick Diaz, Expletives Follow
In a media conference call today Noons did his best to dispel reports that he has been avoiding a rematch with Nick Diaz, who he defeated in order to claim the Elite XC lightweight title back in November.
“I’ve won a lot of titles, but winning the EliteXC title was one of the most powerful things to happen to me,’’ said Noons. “I’m just proud that I keep trying to get better and just follow my dreams.
“But I don’t dodge anybody. As a champion, you can’t duck anyone. You only have one option. You fight the best. Whoever that is, that’s who I fight. Unfortunately, Nick’s not the best now. I have to fight the top guy as the champion. Right now that guy is Yves Edwards.
“Of course, it would be great to fight Nick in the future. It would be a great payday for me. (But) Nick is such a big crybaby. Let him rebuild himself and then we’ll fight again. I’d love an easy payday.
“It’s ridiculous what Diaz’ camp was saying. Why would they think I’m dodging him? I gave him plastic surgery on his face. That’s a fact. As long as he can get a doctor’s note, (I’m all for) round two.’’
Uh-oh. You know who’s not going to like that? World-famous hothead Nick Diaz. And here it comes:
“Noons is a little (expletive) and it doesn’t even matter what I am thinking about him because we are not fighting. Noons won on a cut. He is only a paper champion. His days are numbered.’’
McCarthy, ABC to Review ‘Grounded Knees'
"Big" John McCarthy will propose legalizing knees to the head of a grounded opponent when the Association of Boxing Commissions meets for its annual convention July 2-5 in Montreal. McCarthy, who retired from officiating in December, made the revelation during Sherdog.com's Beatdown radio show on Monday.
"It's a good technique," said McCarthy, who refereed 535 matches during his 15-year career. "It's a very effective tool, and it opens fights up."
The most recognized referee in the game has met privately with ABC representatives in the last few months to discuss amendments to the sport's Unified Rules of Combat. The ABC will unveil their efforts at its annual gathering, where its membership of nearly 80 state and tribal athletic commissions throughout North America will review them.
McCarthy also addressed the controversy surrounding referee Dan Miragliotta, who was criticized for his officiating in the Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson-James Thompson main event at EliteXC "Primetime" on May 31 in Newark, N.J., and the Brandon Vera-Fabricio Werdum heavyweight matchup at UFC 85 on Saturday in London.
"A lot of people are all over Dan," McCarthy said. "Refereeing - it's opinion. Some people are going to look at you and say, ‘You're right,' and some people are going to look at you and say, ‘You're wrong.' We're all human."
Miragliotta made what many viewed as a crucial error in judgment in the Ferguson-Thompson bout on CBS, when he forced the fighters to stand after Thompson had passed Ferguson's guard and secured side control on the ground in the second round.
"When your opponent gets to side control, there are very few things you can do," said McCarthy, who was offered the chance to officiate the Ferguson-Thompson fight. "When you take a fighter out of side control, you're giving the advantage to one fighter over another. James was in a dominant position, and Dan stood them up."
EliteXC exec confirms interest in Tito Ortiz
EliteXC today confirmed its on the growing list of organizations that will compete for free agent Tito Ortiz's services.
EliteXC Head of Operations Jeremy Lappen confirmed the organization's interest today in a conference call for this Saturday's "EliteXC: Return of the King" event, which airs on Showtime and features a main event between lightweight champ KJ Noons and Yves Edwards.
"We're interested," Lapin said. "We'd love to have Tito as part of our organization."
EliteXC is the second organization publicly to announce its interest in the perhaps soon-to-be-ex UFC star. New Affliction partner Donald Trump, with whom Ortiz has developed a budding relationship after "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" appeared on Trump's reality show, "Celebrity Apprentice," announced last week that his organization would also like to sign Ortiz to a contract.
Elite XC announces full card for Hawaii
Elite Xtreme Combat today released the full fight card for its upcoming Saturday event, which features a headline bout between EliteXC lightweight champ KJ Noons (6-2) and challenger Yves Edwards (33-13-1).
The event, dubbed "EliteXC: Return of the King," takes place at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. The main card airs on Showtime beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The full card features a total of 12 fights, five of which air on Showtime and additional five that air on ProElite.com.
June 27 ShoXC event postponed
A June 27 ShoXC event that MMAjunkie.com first reported in May has been postponed.
The outdoor event had been scheduled for the Sycuan Casino and Resort near San Diego and was expected to feature the promotional debut of highly touted Judoka Hector Lombard.
However, according to our friends at fiveouncesofpain.com, EliteXC officials had difficulty securing the venue, but they are looking to reschedule the event for a later date.
411mania MMA Interview: The EliteXC’s Gary Shaw
“I had the show on CBS. Dana White watched the show on CBS. That says it all.” –Gary Shaw
Gary Shaw is one of the largest figures behind the up and coming EliteXC company. What many people may not know is that Gary Shaw is no stranger to putting on large-scale successful events as he is also behind the highest grossing boxing match of all time, Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis. Gary Shaw recently took time out to talk with 411mania about the EliteXC, Dana White, and More.
411Mania Mr. Shaw, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join 411mania. How are you doing today? Tell us a little about your background that led you into MMA.
Gary Shaw "I'm doing great, thanks for asking. I was a former regulator in New Jersey, a boxing promoter and a big fan of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts."
411Mania First of all you just completed the first Prime Time MMA show the CBS Network. Tell us how you thought it went?
GS "I think it was terrific. The company is happy. CBS is happy. The fighters are happy. We pulled the demographics we wanted and the ratings were great. I think it was the best show it could be. There is always room for improvement. We put the show together in two months."
411Mania A lot of fans of who watched the show thought some of the stoppages were a little premature? What are your opinions on that?
GS "You know, the refs are in the best position to determine when to stop a fight. I agree with their decisions. I would rather stop a fight one punch too soon rather than one punch too late."
411Mania One thing I noticed more than anything on the show was your willingness to pay both Smith and Lawler after their stoppage. This seems like something I wouldn't expect from the UFC. How else are you different from Dana White and the UFC?
GS "Dana White has a huge ego and I don't. It is all about Dana White in the UFC and what he can do to help himself. I care about our fighters and organization more than myself. It just comes down to this Dana White cares about Dana White and I care about our fighters and it paid off. I had the show on CBS and Dana White watched the show on CBS. That says it all."
411Mania I have to say there was no better fight to introduce casual fans to MMA than the Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith fight. Can we expect to see a rematch between Lawler and Smith?
GS "I completely agree with that statement. It was everything that is good about MMA. We will absolutely see a rematch between them, probably anywhere between August and October. I hope it will be on CBS but it could be on Showtime."
411Mania Apparently you had some issues at the post fight news conference between Kimbo and Rodgers in which Rodgers stated he saw Kimbo tap. You actually had to physically restrain Kimbo while Phil Baroni restrained Rodgers. What happened? Is there any chance we will see Rodgers vs. Kimbo in the near future?
GS "Rogers started trash talking Kimbo, calling him garbage and everything in front of Kimbo. You just don't do that in front of Kimbo. It got ugly real quick. Robbie Lawler stepped in and helped keep them separated. Those two will get a chance to fight each other in the cage eventually."
411Mania There is a lot of concern that the EliteXC is protecting Kimbo Slice. I think there is only so much protection that can be offered in a fight. What is your response to this statement?
GS"That kind of stuff comes from the 23 blogging haters. The guy has had three fights in his career, not 20 fights. We aren't going to rush him into big matchups when the guy only has three fights. Those comments come from those bloggers. We had six million people watch the show. You don't have six million bloggers on your site. Kimbo is the number one most recognizable face in MMA and that is why they are hating on him. They are just jealous. The guy is the greatest striker in the world. "
Scott Smith-No Broken Foot, No Time Missed
Despite reports to the contrary following his fight against Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith has confirmed that he actually did not suffer a broken foot during the fight and will not miss any time as a result. With regards to the rematch, Smith said "September, October is what I'm told".
Kimbo Slice to Fight Brett Rogers in October
After Kimbo Slice defeated James Thompson in the first mixed martial arts show in prime time network television history, fellow heavyweight Brett Rogers took the podium at the post-fight press conference and called Slice's performance "garbage" and "unacceptable."
If that was Rogers' attempt to hype himself up as the next opponent for Kimbo, it worked. Slice appeared on Dan Le Batard's radio show today and said he'll fight Rogers next, "probably in October."
"They called me out, and now they got the fight," Slice said of Rogers and his camp.
Slice acknowledged that his aura took a bit of a hit with the way he struggled to defeat Thompson, but he insisted, "I was in shape. I was ready. I was ready for a battle."
MMA Submission: An Interview With Dana White
Get a load of Dana White's schedule this week. The UFC president spent two days in New York on business, then flew right to London for this weekend's pay per view. Then he's flying back to New York for more meetings. "It's a little crazy right now," he says with a laugh. "But in a good way. This sport is blowing up."
The Mag caught up with him for a wide-ranging question and answer session about everything from this weekend's pay-per-view to Kimbo Slice. He couldn't answer some questions about pending deals (including an announcement he's planning for next week, an announcement he says will rock the MMA world). Other questions, such as his thoughts on Slice, he had plenty to say.
Why Gina Carano Should Be Forced to Make Weight
Her undoubtedly impressive performance against Kaitlin Young (Pictures) this past Saturday night pushed her career mark to 6-0. For four of those six fights, Carano came in overweight. Against Julie Kedzie (Pictures) and Tonya Evinger (Pictures), Carano was a fraction of a pound over the one-pound allowance for 140-pound contests. Overweight, yes, but out of line? Debatable. However, this cannot make up for four and four-and-a-half pounds overweight Carano entered her bouts with Rosi Sexton and Young, respectively.
Carano, Conviction, and Heavyweight Hypocrisy
There is a world of red-blooded male mixed martial arts fans who would love to date Gina Carano (Pictures). The rationale is obvious: Carano is extra-easy on the oculars and almost any hardcore fan can attest to wishing his own main squeeze was a little more into the sport, if not a fighter herself.
And how nice it must be to have a girl who doesn't care at all about her weight.
Snarkiness aside, in spite of an actual fight card which produced more than a handful of hot topics and discussion points -- as well as a great performance from Carano herself -- my mind has yet to fully drift from yet another weigh-in debacle. The fact that such an event was swept under the rug indicated some kind of insignificance. Carano missing weight again wasn't just a story because nothing else interesting happened on Friday; it's an ongoing issue fight fans should be taking umbrage with.
Bas Rutten: Fight was "good for Kimbo" but second-round stoppage justified
Longtime MMA fighter and broadcaster Bas Rutten, who's also the trainer for Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and the main reason the heavyweight has garnered any sense of credibility within the sport, says that Saturday's win will be good for the fighter.
However, he also admits that the fight should have been stopped in the second round when Ferguson was tagged with nearly a full minute of unanswered ground and pound.
Rutten discussed Saturday's controversial CBS "EliteXC: PRIMETIME" main event between Ferguson and James Thompson, in depth, on his personal website.
More than anything, Rutten said that fight was good for Ferguson because he needed to be tested, especially since he's only been in MMA for a year. Ferguson's previous three fights (two pro bouts and an exhibition fight) lasted an average of just 46 seconds.
"I have to say that I am very happy with [Kimbo's] fight and his performance and that this fight made him way stronger for next time," Rutten wrote. "When you get caught in training by something, whether it's a submission or strike, you learn from that, but there is nothing like learning it the hard way in a fight."
Open Letter From Brett Rogers Concerning The Kimbo Controversy
An Open letter to all
On behalf of Brett Rogers, Team Bison and everyone representing our camp: we would like to clarify a few issues that may be mis- interrupted by the press and the many many message boards.
First we would like to start out by once again thanking Gary Shaw and Elite XC. Elite is our home and it is where we hope to be for a long time. They treat their fighters great. More then the day to day treatment of the fighters they are interested in developing fighters and making long term commitments to their fighters. Unlike other promotions who have a tradition of “one and done” and cancelling contracts without notice; Elite is standing by their fighters. We are proud to be with the organization that brought back Yves, Sammy and Phil when others wrote them off. We were proud to be part of an organization that gave James Thompson a chance at redemption (and in our mind earned another chance on Saturday!). Elite gave us an amazing opportunity to bring aboard great sponsors who could really get their money’s worth.
We really believe in Elite and hope to bring more of our fighters up through their ranks. We do not want anyone to think for a second we are ungrateful, angry or otherwise disappointed with Gary Shaw, Elite, Showtime or CBS. And no; we have not been forced or threatened to say this and anyone who thinks we could be does not know Team Bison. Simply put; we will always speak our minds and will not be intimidated; which brings us to the Kimbo situation.
Brett had won 6 fight before coming to Elite. He struggled on the local circuit to find fights. He was pretty much avoided from day 1. The guys he fought simply provided zero competition and he put them all away early. When he fought for the regional title he fought a guy who was 10-1 and suppose to be this great striker. Brett KO’d him in under 10 seconds. We went to Hawaii where despite changing the rules as we stepped through the ropes and again during the fight; Brett KO’d his opponent. Finally we got to go BIG and face serious competition in Elite XC in Texas. The main event on that show was Kimbo Slice vs Bo Cantrall. Bo is a sub .500 fighter who was on a 4 fight losing streak when he got the call to come to Elite. On that show Brett faced Ralph Kelly who a decent up and comer with a good amateur record. Brett had a tougher opponent but got less money and a on the Under Card...