Posted on: October 5, 2008 4:07 am
Edited on: October 5, 2008 4:13 am
I've had a few hours to digest the whole Saturday Night Fights experience. Here are some final thoughts on the show, in no particular order.
1) Petruzelli beating Kimbo was not an upset. I made this point briefly in my fight blog immediately after the fight, and I'll explain it here. Kimbo Slice is still a novice (YouTube doesn't count). Seth Petruzelli is not. He's had 16 pro fights in a little over eight years, winning 10 and losing four. Two of his losses were to Matt Hamill and Wilson Gouveia -- both UFC fighters, both more skilled than Kimbo Slice. Look, Seth Petruzelli may not have much of a name, but he's a solid enough fighter to beat a guy with less than two years of experience on short notice. Kimbo wasn't as likely to figure out a way to beat Petruzelli on short notice as vice versa.
Gabriel Gonzaga beating Mirko Cro Cop with a head kick was an upset. Seth Petruzelli beating Kimbo Slice was a case of perception vs. reality. This time, reality won. In 14 seconds.
2) Kimbo is not finished. He will not be the ratings attraction that he was before this loss, but a single loss does not end a fighter's career. And if he allows it to, he should be ashamed. What kind of fighter quits after one loss?
Kimbo will learn from his mistakes and get right back on the horse. That's the admirable thing to do.
3) Kimbo isn't ready for top-level competition. It turns out that James Thompson and Tank Abbott were probably suitable opponents for Kimbo Slice after all, if we're trying to match up guys by their skill level (OK, maybe Tank is a stretch). Some people say Kimbo was handed easy victories on a silver platter. In fact, moments before the Petruzelli fight, people were saying that exact thing about Petruzelli -- that Kimbo had once again been handed an easy win. For more on that, refer back to point No. 1.
4) This was bad for business. There's no other way to state it. When your biggest attraction (face it, Jake Shields didn't sell all those tickets) is beaten in 14 seconds by a last-minute replacement from the undercard, it does not help business. Kimbo Slice will still remain a curiosity to viewers -- unless he does something crazy and shaves his beard, or completely changes his look -- but there will be some loss of audience from all of this. His drawing power took a hit, and probably will not recover until he improves enough to string a few solid wins together. And that's neither a guarantee nor an impossibility. It's all up to Kimbo.
5) Ken Shamrock, exit stage left. I am not naive enough to think we've seen the last of Ken Shamrock in the cage, but for all practical purposes, he should not be booked as a main-event fighter on this kind of event again. Realistically, I know that somewhere, some time, a promoter will cough up the money to get his name associated with their show. I just get a bad feeling about it. Shamrock is not Randy Couture. I believe if he continues taking major fights, he'll not only tarnish his legacy further, but he'll endanger his health. I felt this way before the Kimbo fight that never was, but now that he's dodged that bullet, it might be time for Shamrock to bow out. Again.
6) Yoko Takahashi rules. This woman is a warrior straight down to the bone marrow. She got absolutely ravaged by Cristiane Cyborg and never stopped pushing forward and fighting back. She looked like she got hit by a truck after the loss. Yet there she was after the fight, limping around with a brace on her knee, a patch on her face, and several visible wounds... smiling. And socializing. And happily getting her picture taken with Seth Petruzelli. She left it all in the cage, and she was thrilled to be there, even after losing. That, my friends, is fighting spirit.
7) Cris Cyborg is Drago, Gina Carano is Rocky. It's coming soon, trust me. And it will be a war.
8) Carano deserves some respect. Weight issues aside, she is knocking down every opponent they give her, and looking good doing it. It's time for people to acknowledge that she's the real deal. Just because she's pretty doesn't mean she's a manufactured publicity stunt. She hasn't fought every single one of the top challengers out there, but she's been busy enough, and nobody has stopped her yet. The sad thing is, just like Kimbo (and every other fighter), she'll get beaten eventually... and people will immediately claim her career is over.
Posted on: October 4, 2008 8:58 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2008 9:02 pm
They just announced to the live crowd that Ken Shamrock is out of the main event with Kimbo Slice due to injury. Kimbo's new opponent is confirmed as Seth Petruzelli, which did not go over well with the live audience.
Petruzelli was scheduled for an undercard bout with Aaron Rosa. As a side note, CBSSports.com blogger and The Ultimate Fighter 8 contestant Tom Lawlor was planning to post a blog about the experience of cornering Petruzelli against Rosa tonight. I guess he'll have lots of juicy material for that blog, now.
Posted on: October 4, 2008 8:17 pm
Word is going around here that Ken Shamrock was injured (cut) in training within the past 24 hours and will not be able to fight. MMARated.com broke the news earlier tonight, and the report was that Seth "The Silverback" Petruzelli had been offered & accepted the fight against Kimbo Slice.
Petruzelli was scheduled to fight Aaron Rosa on the undercard, but that fight was supposed to go on before the Berto vs. Heun fight. No idea whether they skipped the fight because the main event is officially now Petruzelli vs. Slice, but it does fuel the speculation.
We'll see if we can find out more. Stay tuned. However, please keep in mind that NOTHING official has been revealed by EliteXC, so this is absolutely not a lock. Anything can happen, and I'm sure there is plenty of scrambling going on backstage as we speak.
Posted on: October 3, 2008 6:55 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2008 9:14 pm
The weigh-ins for CBS Saturday Night Fights took place Friday afternoon, and as weigh-ins go, this one was pretty eventful. Some highlights:
-- Gina Carano initially weighed in for her 140-pound bout with Kelly Kobold at 142.75 pounds -- which, due to the one-pound allowance, is actually 1.75 pounds over the limit. She was white as a ghost, walking very slowly and completely straight-faced. I would compare it to how someone looks when they are in the middle of a serious case of the flu. Clearly, Carano is still having issues getting down to 140, and it's getting to the point where you have to wonder if it's safe for her to continue cutting that much for a fight. At the very least, her method of cutting needs to be reevaluated.
This is where it gets a little bizarre. Rather than try to go cut more weight, Carano -- for the first time I can recall -- opted to weigh in again with no clothes on. Several officials shielded her from onlookers with a large towels. She removed her clothing, stepped back on the scale... and came in at 142.50 this time. Clearly upset and not feeling well, there was a few seconds of discussion on the stage, before Carano stepped onto the scale a third time. Although she didn't appear to remove any further clothing (she was already nude, as far as anyone knew), she came in at 141.0 on the third attempt. There was definitely plenty of confusion among the press and other onlookers in the room, who couldn't figure out what happened in that 10-20 seconds between weigh-in attempts that caused a 1.5 pound difference in Carano. I did not see anything personally, and I think very few people did. One theory kicked around on my side of the room was that some of the clothing Carano removed may have been sitting on the scale during the second attempt, causing the second failure, but I wasn't in a position to see her feet, so I can't confirm that.
It was definitely a curious scene. I'll try to get an official answer about what happened between the second and third nude weigh-ins that made such a difference, but a lot of people were scratching their heads after that one.
-- After Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice weighed in, a wild pull-apart shoving match took place. Before the fighters did the customary staredown photo op, Kimbo turned to walk away. Shamrock got angry and yelled at Kimbo for turning his back. Kimbo didn't respond, so Shamrock shoved him -- hard -- in the back. Both camps immediately jumped into the fray, with EliteXC's Jared Shaw and Jeremy Lappen in the middle, trying to regain order. Kimbo's people seemed legitimately upset and were yelling at officials about Shamrock's behavior. The curtain backdrop in the weigh-in stage was rocking back and forth in the melee, to the point that Andrei Arlovski -- who had weighed in moments earlier -- peeked out from behind the curtain, trying to see what the commotion was.
-- This one will get the rumor mill going in a hurry: "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" himself, Tito Ortiz, was in the house and openly mingling with the fighters and other officials. He was wearing an Affliction shirt, but no word on whether that bears any significance. Keep in mind that Affliction's deal with EliteXC is what got Arlovski vs. Roy Nelson onto this CBS show, and with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions now working with Affliction, the group might now have the financial backing to sign a guy like Ortiz. Especially if Ortiz has come down to earth a little on his asking price. Keep in mind, few in the history of MMA have been better self-promoters than Tito Ortiz, and Ortiz clearly understands the value of being seen on a CBS broadcast. Hmm....
No word on how Tito's presence affected Shamrock, who was beaten by Ortiz three times, all by TKO, in the UFC.
-- Also in attendance: Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, Roan Carneiro, Bas Rutten, and current cast member of UFC's The Ultimate Fighter 8 (and CBSSports.com blogger!), Tom Lawlor.
-- Pro wrestling fans from years past will be happy to know that former WWE star The Warlord is currently working as part of Kimbo Slice's entourage. It's not clear how many people in attendance made that connection, but I do know Tom Lawlor was very excited, and actually seemed to startle the big man by yelling out "WARLORD!" as he walked past.
-- The only fighter to miss weight was Nicolae "Curry" Sinicio. Jorge Boechat agreed to accept the bout anyway, so it did not affect the card.
Official weigh-in results:
Posted on: March 1, 2008 9:38 pm
We're going to have live round-by-round coverage of UFC 82 tonight starting shortly after 10 p.m. ET. Right now, four of the undercard bouts are over with. Here are the results:
Also during the undercard, Mark Coleman was inducted as the fifth member of the UFC Hall of Fame and gave a tearful speech. Coleman joins Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Dan Severn and Randy Couture in the UFC's Hall of Fame.
We'll be back with the last of the undercard results and round-by-round coverage of the five main broadcast fights soon. (Each fight will have its own entry, so be sure to refresh the link to the actual blog and not the link to any one entry, or you may miss the updates.)
Posted on: February 28, 2008 10:19 am
This morning at 9 a.m. ET, CBS and ProElite, Inc. announced a multi-year deal that will result in four EliteXC events per year broadcast live on CBS.
The deal is the first of its kind for a major U.S. TV network, and also the first of its kind for a U.S.-based MMA promotion. According to the official press release, CBS will air four EliteXC events per year, live on Saturday nights during primetime. The release also confirms that the EliteXC airings will be two hours in duration.
EliteXC began running shows last year, broadcasting on Showtime. The promotion has also worked in conjunction with MMA groups like Strikeforce in jointly-promoted events airing primarily on Showtime, which will continue to air EliteXC in addition to the CBS deal.
In conjunction with other MMA groups owned by ProElite -- which includes not just ElitexC, but others like Cage Rage and Icon Sport -- the roster of potential fighters on CBS broadcasts includes Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Antonio Silva, Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields, KJ Noons, Nick Diaz, Murilo "Ninja" Rua, Scott Smith and Ricco Rodriguez.
From the official release:
"Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and a wildly popular entertainment vehicle for upscale, young adult audiences," said Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime. "It's original programming for Saturday night; it's live, creating an event atmosphere and it's something that hasn't been seen on network television, until now."
EliteXC president Gary Shaw added this:
"Our world-class fighters and the high production value of our events continue to drive ProElite as a global MMA organization that is fortified by the bedrock foundation of a partnership with CBS," said Gary Shaw, President of EliteXC. "Broadcasting our events on CBS will instantly engage a new fan base, as well as provide an opportunity for EliteXC to further establish itself as the world's premier MMA organization."
I'll probably have more to say about this over the next day or two. For now, let's just say that no matter how this all turns out, this is already one of the most important MMA stories of the year.
These waters are unchartered. An MMA TV deal of this ilk has simply never been done before in this country, and whether it succeeds or not is likely to have a major impact on the future of the MMA business.
Posted on: January 15, 2008 9:19 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 10:46 am
Ken Shamrock is back. Again.
Both Ken and his 19-year-old son Ryan signed multi-fight contracts with EliteXC, the company announced Monday night in a press release.
Ken's first fight under Pro Elite's family of promotions will be for Cage Rage in London on March 8. An opponent has yet to be named. He will be 44 years old by the time of the fight.
Shamrock was one of UFC's most recognizable faces dating back to the very first UFC event in 1993. In his last fight for UFC, Shamrock lost for a third time to Tito Ortiz in an October 2006 fight that drew a significant TV rating for Spike TV. Shamrock announced his retirement after the loss.
Speculation has been brewing for more than a year that Shamrock and his adoptive younger brother Frank -- also an MMA legend and currently the top contracted star for EliteXC -- would fight each other. The chatter escalated this month with the surfacing of a web site, BloodBrothersPPV.com, featuring Ken and Frank facing off and a countdown clock ending in the spring. The countdown now lasts until December. Meanwhile, Frank Shamrock is slated to fight Cung Le at a Strikeforce event on March 29.
Ryan Shamrock is 1-0 in MMA after making his debut on a show in Oroville, Calif. in August 2007. Shamrock defeated Josh Besneatte with a choke in under two minutes at the event promoted by his father.