This Week (November 9-15) In MMA

  • UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar This is being billed as “the biggest fight in UFC history”.  From a money standpoint that may be true.  From a talent standpoint I don’t think so.  The card is solid, but not as good as some of the upcoming UFC cards.  MMAblog will cover more of this event as the week goes on.  get ready to order the pay per view event Saturday…The fight card looks like this:

Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar

Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stevenson

Nate Quarry vs. Demian Maia

Amir Sadollah vs. Nick Catone

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Josh Hendricks

Dustin Hazelett vs. Tamadan McCrory

Jorge Gurgel vs. Aaron Riley

Jeremy Stephens vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Mark Bocek vs. Alvin Robinson

Matt Brown vs. Ryan Thomas

  • The Ultimate Fighter 8 Episode 9 will air Wednesday, November 12th.  The show is expected to feature a light heavyweight bout between Team Mir number 1 pick and one of the favorites to win the show, Krzysztof Soszynski who will be taking on Kyle Kingsbury.
  • Cagefest Xtreme: Evolution will take place Saturday, November 15th.  The Ultimate Fighter 6 runner- up Tommy Speer will be headlining the card against Beau Baker.  Also, on the card is Antwain Britt, who many may remember for being a cast member of the Ultimate Fighter 8.  Britt won his first bout to make it into the house, but he sustained a hand injury which forced him out of the show.  Apparently the UFC declined to pick him up.  A win here could get Britt into the UFC.  Britt will take on CT Turner. Also, UFC veteran Chad Reiner will be fighting against Kyle Baker.
  • Destiny MMA will have a show in Hawaii on November 15th which will be headlined by UFC veteran and our favorite afraid to engage fighter, Kalib Starnes who will be taking on the talented and dangerous Hawaiian fighter Kala Kolohe Hose.  In addition, Po’ai Suganuma will be in action as wil Kaelo Kwan.
  • Also do not forget the Countdown to UFC 91, which will first air on SPIKE on Monday Night (Tonight)!
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EliteXC Rankings

Came up with some EliteXc rankings.  This is a work in progress for me.  I will post it in the MMA Rankings page, as I intend to develop my rankings for all MMA, UFC, DREAM, EliteXC, and Affliction. 

Heavyweight

1. Antonio Silva

2. Brett Rogers

3. Dave Herman

4. Kimbo Slice

5.  Jon Murphy

Light Heavyweight:

1. Rafael Feijao

Middleweight

1. Robbie Lawler

2. Scott Smith

3. Joey Villasenor

4. Murilio “Ninja” Rua

5. Frank Shamrock

6. Kala Hose

7. Giva Santana

8. Kyle Noke

9. Phil Baroni

Welterweight

1. Jake Shields

2. Drew Fickett

Lightweight

1. K.J. Noons

2. Eddie Alvarez

3. Nick Diaz

4. Yves Edwards

5. Paul Daley

6. James Edson Berto

7. Mike Aina

The Good, Bad and Ugly of EliteXC on CBS I

The Good:

·         Brett Rogers was impressive with his striking and quick KO of Jon Murphy and I think Kimbo will be up next for him.  I’d like to see that fight. 

·         Joey Villasenor looked far superior than Phil Baroni and could be a serious contender

·         Gina Carano unfocused and under trained is still one of the best women fighters in the world

·         Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith had an exciting fight going on

·         Kimbo Slice proved he can be a MMA fighter.  I don’t think he was great, but he showed some ground game, he had a good reversal or two.  Most of all I liked that he said afterwards that he knew he had a lot to learn.  He is a work in progress, but showed he is a serious MMA fighter.  I don’t have a problem with that stoppage as I think Thompson was on his way out. 

·         I thought the commentators did a pretty good job, and I liked the way Frank Shamrock covered the MMA basics for potential new viewers

The Bad:

·         I thought the show was tasteless.  From the nasty dancers who I have no idea why they were there, to the Busta Rhymes performance.  Phil Baroni led the way in tastelessness with his entrance.  He showed exactly what mixed martial arts is not about.  I was sickened by him coming in dancing with women dancing all around hum while they rubbed him down.  And could someone please tell me what was with all the fat guys in red after Rogers’ win.  It was way showier than I would have liked.  Joey Villasenor said in his post fight interview that Baroni was a good entertainer and I think he is right.  What a difference in how the two took the fight in their own minds, and look who won.  I would have liked more focus on the fights and less talk and less show. 

·         I thought the stoppage of the Laweler/Smith fight was sad.  Yes, I think Smith was doomed to be KO’d as Lawler was starting to pick him apart, but that stoppage nearly ruined the night.  I wanted to see it finish.  I think the stoppage was premature and Smith could have continued. 

·         Gina Carano, although she looked good needs to decide what she wants to do with her life.  She spent a lot of time videoing American Gladiators and too little time training.  If she trains more she will be dominant.

·         I didn’t like that Gary Shaw seemed to have his thumb on everything.  He stood over every fighter’s shoulder during every interview

·         Did anyone else notice that the former UFC sponsor “Mickeys” was a sponsor at this EliteXC event. 

The Ugly:

·         James Thompson’s ear.  That thing was nasty before the fight can you imagine it now?  I would have to get that thing fixed somehow. 

·         When the fans were booing the Lawler/Smith fight I was frustrated.  What a sorry bunch of fans!  They must not know anything about MMA, that was shaping up to be a great fight.  There was great action and good striking. 

·         The bottom line is that this show came nowhere near a UFC show and proved to me that UFC is far superior to EliteXC.  I argued constantly that EliteXC could compete with the UFC and now I am proven wrong and I will go eat crow.  They emphasized the show to the loss of the fights; they could have gone quicker and showed an undercard fight.  They could have pulled Phil Baroni aside and taught him that this is Mixed Martial Arts and now a Wrestling league. 

·         Overall, I think the show was only so-so.  I thought there were a few good fights and some good KO’s.  There was some good stand up fights, but I would have liked to see some technical ground fighting and jiu jitsu on display for America and MMA newcomers to see.  I thought the lack of class of the dancers, Baroni, and Rogers’ big boy posse proved that point and I am sure left a bad taste in some people’s mouths.  People will now think of WWE when they think of MMA.  I would like to see different guys next time like Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Antonio Silva, or Paul Daley.  In other words, EliteXC on CBS I made it, but not as grand as it could have been. 

 

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.