EliteXC and Their Future

We have seen many fight promotions come and go.  Dana White has stated that he isn’t worried about EliteXC, but Satuday is a big day for the EliteXC and for all MMA.  So, how will EliteXC on CBS do?  There are a lot of questions about Mixed Martial Arts on primetime television.  This deal is obviously big.  There are many Kimbo haters who don’t think he is right for the main even, but I disagree.  The main event isn’t necessarily about the best or most experienced fighter or even what will be the best fight, but about what will sell the most tickets and that is Kimbo.  Kimbo Slice is a gold mine.  This fight may determine a lot about hsi MMA future.  I’d like to see him fight a bigger name guy and if he wins Saturday he will.  EliteXC, Affliction, and DREAM seem to be the biggest competition for the UFC, so how will they do?  There are a few ways to determine that.  The UFC has been a model of success in MMA, let’s see what EliteXC needs to do.

FIGHTERS IN THE ORGANIZATION

This does not just mean having a host of fighters, but it means having good fighters and more importantly marketable fighters.  The UFC has that. Does EliteXC.  Here are their top fighters…

  • Kimbo Slice
  • Gina Carano
  • Jake Shields
  • Robbie Lawler
  • Eddie Alvarez
  • Frank Shamrock
  • KJ Noons
  • Nick Diaz
  • Kala Hose
  • Antonio Silva
  • Joey Villasenor
  • Phil Baroni
  • Murilio Rua
  • Paul Daley
  • Jon Murphy
  • Brett Rogers
  • Rafael Feijao
  • Ricco Rodriguez

In that group they have some recognizable names (Sheilds, Diaz, Carano, Slice, Lawler, Baroni, Rodriguez).  They have a few good prospects (Rogers, Feijao, and Murphy).  They have a couple of true stars (Slice and Carano).  Carano is a babe, a good fighter, an American Gladiator star, and one of the most searched for names on the internet.  Kimbo Slice is a You Tube sensation and perhaps will evolve into a decent MMA fighter. However, they only have a couple of legit top level fighters (Lawler. Alvarez and Shields).  Don’t get me wrong their all around talent can draw a crowd and is better than most.

REVENUE

They are still operating in the red, but that will change.  I don’t expect money to be an issue right now for EliteXC

EVENTS

Here is where EliteXC will struggle.  They hav a great card set up for Saturday, but can they consistently do that?  With about 20 guys that are main card worthy can they put on more than two or three cards?  The answer is…no.  They need to sign more talent.  I don’t know how often they plan to be on CBS Primetime, but they need better events and Kimbo and Carano can’t be on every big card they have.

MANAGMENT

Gary Shaw knows what he is doing, but the question is, does he have the savvy that Dana White has?  Time will tell if he makes good busisness moves and this CBS deal is key.  We will see how it does on CBS.

EliteXC is not going to dissolve any time soon, however, they need more talent and not just marketability. I think EliteXC on CBS this Saturday will fair very well.  They will get large audiences and new fans.  It will help all MMA. 

Who Will They Fight Next? (Part 1)

To me the most interesting match ups come at the light heavyweight divison.  There are really 10 to 12 serious contenders in this divison.  I will attempt to make match ups which I feel could happen.  These match ups are based on fighters popularity, desire of the fans to see the particular fight, the logic of the fight, the potential story line behind the fight, and the potential fight after.  Obviously the goal with the light heavyweight divison is to clear up the mess and make a clear top 5 with a clear number 1 contender.  The way I see it there are 12 guys in the hunt for the belt: Quinton Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Lyoto Machida, Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Matt Hamill, and possibly newcomer Goran Reljic.  Here is how I would match these guys up (assuming Jackson beats Griffin)…

Thiago Silva vs. Rashad Evans

Keith Jardine vs. Forrest Griffin

Matt Hamill vs. Stephan Bonnar

Wanderlei Silva vs. Chuck Liddell

Quinton Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida

Goran Reljic vs. James Irvin

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Shogun

  • The winners of these fights move up the rankings and the losers slide
  • The winner of the Wanderlei vs. Chuck II match would get the title shot and be the clear # 1 contender
  • I gave Machida the title shot although Jackson may want and very well get his re-match with Wanderlei Silva next. 
  • Most likely of these fights to happen: Forrest Griffin vs. Keith Jardine and Sokoudjou vs. Shogun
  • I expect at some point we will see Wanderlei vs. Chuck II, and you cannot keep Machida from a title shot for long.  He may need one more win though. 
  • I believe right now there are three guys that could see the title shot next and it will depend on the Jackson Griffin fight, they are Machida, Wanderlei, and Chuck Liddell.  Chuck won’t get Jackson next. 
  • Closely behind them though are contenders Thiago Silva and Shogun.

 

Dan Henderson Interview

An interesting interview of Dan Henderson by mmarated.com He talks about what weight class he wants to fight in and who his next fight could be against.

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Sokoudjou vs. Shogun Possibility

Following his defeat of Kazuhiro Nakamura the “African Assasin” Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou called out Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.   For whatever reason Sokoudjou wants to fight Shogun.  He said this…

I would love to fight that guy. I’ve tried to fight him ever since I fought in PRIDE and he’s been ducking me. Shogun has been ducking me since the PRIDE days. Shogun’s camp told me that to fight him, I had to fight Cyborg first. I told them I want to fight Shogun, not Cyborg, and then Pride went away and now he’s in the UFC and he hasn’t fought for a minute. I know he got injured for his last fight, but I think by the time I’m ready to fight again, hopefully he should be ready and will take the fight…. Good luck to him trying to get me to the ground. I got my ass kicked once on the ground so you think I just went home and didn’t do anything on the ground? I spent hours and hours fighting off of my back.”

The fight would be a good one, but maybe not a smart one.  I see a few obstacles to this fight.  First of all before Sokoudjou called out Shogun, Rua said he wanted to fight the fight with Chuck Liddell that got put off due to injury.  Secondly, the match up doesn’t make sense.  The UFC has to want both Shogun and Sokoudjou to win another fight.  They are both good fighters and popular guys.  For that matter perhaps the Shogun vs. Liddell fight doesn’t make sense.  I don’t know if that is wise of Sokoudjou.  Then again he did KO Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.  Perhaps the fight will happen.  One thing is for sure is Sokoudjou keeps talking the fight will happen.  Perhaps at UFC 88.  Regardless, I would expect Shogun to be on that card. 

UFC 84: Ill Will Medical Suspensions

The medical suspensions for UFC 84 were released and there really isn’t anything too surprising.  I was a little surprised that Jardine wasn’t hurt worse than he was following being KO’s by Wanderlei Silva.  I also was shocked that Wilson Gouveia was beat up as bad as he was.  Apparently, Tito could have a broken hand or wrist as well.  I don’t know when he broke it, he certainly didn’t break it hitting Machida.  It is also possibe that Sean Sherk is healthy enough to fight on the UFC 87 card in Minnesota.  Could he be fighting Frankie Edgar on that card?

Sean Sherk — “The Muscle Shark” is suspended until July 9 and there is no contact until June 24 because of a right cheek laceration.

Keith Jardine — “The Dean of Mean” must clear a possible nasal fracture with a doctor or no contest until November 21. His minimum suspension and no contest will last until July 24 and there’s no contact until July 9.

Goran Reljic – The Croatian is suspended until June 24 and there is no contact allowed until June 15.

Wilson Gouveia — The American Top Team-trained fighter sustained nasal and maxillary sinus fractures that need to be cleared by an Ear Nose and Throat ENT specialist, as well as broken ribs that need to be cleared by a doctor, or no contest until November 21. His minimum suspension will last until July 24 and there is no contact allowed until July 9.

Tito Ortiz — “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” must have his left hand and wrist x-rayed and cleared by an orthopedic physician or no contest until November 21. His minimum suspension will last until July 9 and there is no contact allowed June 24 because of a right eyelid laceration.

Antonio Mendes — The Brazilian is suspended until June 24.

Kazuhiro Nakamura — The Japanese Judoka must clear a nasal fracture with a doctor there is no contest until November 21. There is a minimum no contest until July 9 and no contact until June 24.

Terry Etim — The British lightweight is suspend until June 24 and there is no contact allowed until June 15 because of a right cheek laceration.

Jason Tan — Tan must clear a nasal fracture with a doctor or no contest until November 21. There’s a minimum no contest until July 9 and no contact until June 24.

Christian Wellisch — “The Hungarian Nightmare is suspended until June 8 and there’s no contact allowed until June 1

MMA Live Episode Three

What a great show. I wish it would make it on television. Some good commentary here.  Kenny Florian is a pretty good T.V. personality.  He could stick with the UFC for a while and maybe take Rogan’s job.

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TUF 7 Episode 9

There is no way I can compete with some of the other sites TUF recaps and I don’t intend to.  For a great show recap check out MMAMania or MMAJunkie. However, I do want to say a few things about the show in general and episode 9. 

Thoughts on Episode 9:

The first fight of the quarter finals was Jesse Taylor vs. Dante Rivera.  This wasn’t much of a fight.  Jesse took Dante downeasily for two round and Dante laid there and took some punishment.  There was some frustration from fill in coach Ramapage that the corner kept yelling out every submission Dante attempted.  The bottom line is that neither guys was too impressive.  I will give Jesse Taylor credit that he got on top and did his thing.  He can win against anyone because he is so strong and big at middleweight.  He just isn’t very exctiing to watch.  Dante looked horrible.  I don’t know if Dante will fight at the finale, if he does I expect a match between him and Matthew Riddle as they have gone back and forth a bit in the house.  I think Riddle would destroy him.  I don’t even know if Dante really beat Brandon Sene in the first fight.  Anyways, Jesse won that fight easily, I don’t know if he even took a punch.

       The second fight of the quarterfinals was Amir Sadollah vs. Matt Brown.  During the interviews Matt Brown came across very confident and Amir came across very doubtful of himself.   Everyone knew this fight would be a war.  The first round featured a lot of stand up.  I honestly do not know who won the round.  It could be scored either way, but I would give it 10-9 to Matt Brown, but Amir did have the harder shots and stayed aggresive.  Round 2 came out and Amir got some good hits.  Finally, he took Brown down where he submitted him with a triangle choke.  Let me just tell you that Amir is for real.  He impressed Dana.  White said that he thought Amir had a great chin and great heart.  I agree.  Amir could shock people in this.  He didn’t impress me against Gerald Harris, but against Matt Brown he did great. He just lacks some confidence.  An Amir with confidence can be great.  Perhaps it isn’t quite his time, but if he could hook up with a solid camp he could be a force anywhere.  Nevertheless, he is no pushover now and is in the semifinals.

Next week we will see the other two quarter final matchs of C.B. Dolloway vs. Cale Yarbrough and Tim Credeur vs. Dan Cramer.  Cale appears to be C.B.’s sacrifical lamb.  Tim and Dan was said in the previews to be a brawl.  That may favor Dan even though Tim is the favorite to win that fight.  Also, we will see a feud between Jesse Taylor and the incredibly annoying Jeremy May.  It looks like he causes Taylor to flip his lid.  Additionaly, the semi-final match ups will be announced.

Thoughts of TUF 7 (In General):

Many people have been critical of this season of TUF and I know the ratings are down lower than ever, but I have enjoyed it.  The big complaint was all the antics in the house got too much attention.  I agreed.  I am thankful that the focus is on the fighters and on the fights.  Some episodes have even shown two fights.  I loved the fight to get on the show aspect, even though I don’t know if the best 16 got on the show.  I think the house antics undermined the intent of the show and for the casual viewer turned people off not just to The Ultimate Fighter, but to MMA.  The fighters in the house showed themselved season after season to be foul mouthed, disresectful, violent, and destructive.  I was entertained by it, but it doesn’t represent MMA well.  I think in a society which is skeptical of mixed martial arts, the fighters need to go above and beyond and show people that MMA fighters have class and character.  TUF highlighted the opposite. So I think this season of TUF has been great.  I have enjoyed the fights.  I don’t know how many of these guys will make it in the UFC, but they have put on some good shows.  I think the fighters are better than last season, where Mac Danzig was the favorite to win from day 1.  I think C.B. Dolloway and Tim Credeur are still the favorites to sqaure off in the finale and the most likely to make an impact in the UFC.  Both are capable top 10 guys at middleweight.  I also think that Amir has shown some skill and heart.  Jesse Taylor can ground and pound well and may have a UFC future.  I even think Matthew Riddle could do well, as can Gerlad Harris.  Dan Cramer is a great fighter, who I am excited to see fight next week against Credeur, and I think Cramer could surprise some people.  That means I am picking 7 guys to be around in the UFC in a year.  That would fit the mold well with other seasons.  TUF 1 has 8 guys still in the UFC, TUF 2 has 9, TUF 3 has only 3, TUF 4 has 6, but also featured just recently cut Lutter and Din Thomas.  TUF 5 has 8 guys still around the UFC.  TUF 6 has 6 guys, but msot likely many of them will be cut this year.