Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef

At DREAM 4 Melvin Manhoef destroyed legend Kazushi Sakuraba, watch and see…  Next up for Manhoef…the semi-finals of the middleweight Grand Prix against either Jacare, Zelg Galesic, or Mousasi.

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Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Tony Bonello

Bonello talked all sorts of trash and tried to intimidate Ninja, but it didn’t work too well. Ninja Rua rolled through Bonello and dropped devestating elbows. Perhaps the best I have seen Murilo “Ninja” Rua look.   Ninja is in the title picture at 185 in the EliteXC.  A fight with Joey Villasenor for the next title shot would make sense…following the Smith vs. Lawler re-match

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Fox News Talks EliteXC on CBS

Interesting perspective on EliteXC on CBS I on Fox News.  One news anchor on here got it right when he said UFC is the priemere promotion and EliteXC is secondary.  Also some interesting commentary on Gina Carano’s fight. 

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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. 

Fighting Organizations Rankings

I have ranked the organizations before, but here is the updated rankings of who has the best product.

1. UFC – Still the best of the best.  Has more ranked fighters by far.  Has the most recognizable names in the likes of Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Shogun, Wanderlei Silva, Rampage Jackson, Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn.

2. Affliction – By far the best competitive heavyweight divison with Fedor, Tim Sylvia, Aleksander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Pedro Rizzo and maybe Arlovski.  Not to mention Lindland, Whitehead and Babalu. 

3. WEC –  The WEC has some star power, but is in the UFC’s shadow majorly.  The growing featherweight divison will help them as will the bantamweight with star Miguel Torres.  Guys like Condit, Stann, Filho and Faber give WEC the name recognition.  WEC still seems to be the minor league UFC.  Their success will not come with the bigger fighters, but with lightweights, featherweights and bantamweights. 

4. EliteXC –  Their CBS deal will help them.  Kimbo can be a star.  They do great partnering with other promotions like Strikeforce and allowing guys to fight in DREAM. 

5. DREAM – DREAM 1-3 have been solid with solid fighters especially lightweights and middleweights. Has guys like Aoki and Ishida as well as Caol Uno and Kwajiri. Has other guys fight for them like Alvarez, Gilbert Melendez, JZ Calvancante, Diaz, Cro Cop, Jason Mayhem Miller, Manhoef, Denis Kang, Mark Hunt, Jacare, Kid Yamamoto, Sakurai and Hansen. 

6. Strikeforce – They have a few good fighters which helps them greatly.  They have Thomson, Le and Melendez

7. World Victory Road –  They don’t have an American appeal, but they do have Gomi and some other solid Japanese fighters.  Also they have Kazuo Misaki, Kevin Randlemen, Jeff Monson, and Nick Thompson

The Mess That Is UFC 85 (Updated)

UFC 85 is apty named Bedlam.  There has been a carousel of fighters on the card.  To start with it was a blockbuster fight between Shogun and Liddell.  Then Shogun gets hurt and pulls out of the fight.  They then tap Rashad Evans to replace him and fight Liddell in the main event.  The Chuck gets hurt and pulls out of the fight creating a big problem.  The problem is what will be the main event of UFC 85.  After a few rumors, the UFC was on the ball and signed Matt Hughes to fight Thiago Alves and got James Irvin to replace Liddell against Rashad Evans.  Not only that but they added some fights, most notably a main card fight of Michael Bisping vs. Chris Leben.  The hoemtown crowd will love to see the new and exciting middleweight Bisping.  However, it was not meant to be.  Chris Leben has some legal issues and turns himself in.  He then is sentenced to 35 days in jail, backing him right up to near the fight.  That fight is now off.  I don’t know if they will tap a replacement.  They can’t give Bisping some joke fighter.  He needs a top 20 guy.  It won’t be Anderson and I doubt it will be Okami.  Franklin and Henderson are out of the question.  Marquardt, Cote and Kampmann all are booked for fights.  My prediction is they will attempt to get Nate Quarry first followed by Jason MacDonald, Demian Maia or Jason Day.  Let’s hope that fight is not off.  We will just wait and see, UFC 85 is full of blunders.  We will see who the next to pull out will be.

UPDATE: It looks like it is official Jason “Dooms” Day has been asked to step up and fight Michael Bispin in place of Chris Leben.  If you look above Day was one of the four names I predicted could fill in for Leben.  How many people can predict like that?  I am glad Joe Silva and Dana White take my posts into consideration. 

Affliction July 19th Fight Card

The premiere of Affliction of Jult 19th is huge.  They have a great card taking shape

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia

Matt Lindlad vs. ?

It has been rumored that many other big name fighters could be on the card including: Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Aleksander Emelianenko, Murilio Bustamante, Dave Terrell, Ben Rothwell, Frank Trigg

I will comment more as the card takes shape.