Posted on: January 30, 2010 11:49 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2010 12:04 am
The final bout of the night is for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title, as Nick Diaz fights Marius "Whitemare" Zaromskis. Five 5:00 rounds, since it's a title bout.
Round 1: Zaromskis comes out fast with a kick that misses and a pair of punches that connect. Diaz tees off on him with a few solid punches. Zaromskis with underhooks trying to defend against a Diaz takedown attempt. Diaz using knees to the thigh to try to complete the takedown against the fence. Diaz finally completes the single leg but Zaromskis is right back up. They exchange fists with both landing shots, but Zaromskis drops Diaz with a solid shot. Zaromskis pounds away trying to finish, but Diaz gets his wits back and regains his feet. Crowd is now cheering for Diaz. They play rock-em sock-em robots for a while, both of them landing unblocked punches. Diaz with a head kick. Another exchange from both sides, with Diaz now getting the better of Zaromskis. Diaz lands one final right hook that puts Zaromskis on his back, and the fight is over.
Winner: Nick Diaz def. Marius Zaromskis via TKO due to strikes at 4:38 of Round 1 to win the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title.
Posted on: January 29, 2010 9:23 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2010 9:27 pm
Nothing of major note coming out of the Strikeforce weigh-ins on Friday night. Everybody made weight, so all fights are on as scheduled.
-- Cris Cyborg and Marloes Coenen had a long staredown, which was prolonged because neither would flinch but nobody on the stage was stepping in to separate them. Coenen stood with her arms behind her back, not even raising a fist. (Cyborg now has black hair, too, if that matters to anyone.)
-- Wes Sims was in rare form, doing Hulk Hogan poses from the scale and clowning before and after the faceoff with Bobby Lashley . When Sims walked onto the stage, he handed Showtime announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr . a red, glowing object and claimed to have found it. He asked Lennon to announce that he had it, and that Sims was giving it back because "honesty is the best policy" (which he yelled multiple times before leaving the stage).
-- Lashley looked like he had swallowed Brock Lesnar . Seriously, the man is of superhero-like musculature. He tipped the scaled at a little over 250 pounds of what looked to be solid muscle.
-- Herschel Walker looked to be really enjoying the whole pre-fight experience, greeting everyone with a warm smile and handshake. Even though they'll be fighting at heavyweight, both Walker and opponent Greg Nagy weighed in a few pounds north of the light heavyweight limit.
-- Other fighters in attendance included, among others, Matt Hughes , former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown , Yves Edwards and Nate Diaz (accompanying brother Nick , naturally). Brown seemed to be a particularly big hit with the fans in attendance, posing for numerous photos.
-- No significant NFL presence yet, which was probably for the best considering the crowded nature of the room where the weigh-ins were held. As noted earlier, this show is happening at a time when a ton of big shots (of both the NFL variety and other celebrity types) are in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area for the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. It's rumored that some of them may show up to support Herschel Walker, or to just kick back and enjoy some fights before the game on Sunday.
Back tomorrow with a complete round-by-round live blog of the entire show (even the undercard). See you then.
Posted on: January 29, 2010 12:46 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2010 9:15 pm
This weekend, I'll have full coverage of the Strikeforce: Miami show at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
I will be at the weigh-ins later tonight to report on the various happenings, including any special guests that may drop in on the proceedings (remember, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale is crawling with big shots this week, due to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIV happening at Sun Life Stadium).
On Saturday, I will live-blog the entire show (including the untelevised preliminaries), round by round. Check back often for the latest updates.
The mainstream hook to this show is the pro MMA debut of NFL legend Herschel Walker, who will face Greg Nagy. There is also interest in former WWE powerhouse (and current TNA wrestling performer) Bobby Lashley, who will fight UFC alum Wes Sims. Sims was last seen on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter.
Lashley has similar attributes to WWE-champ-turned-UFC-mauler Brock Lesnar -- including freakish power and very strong amateur wrestling credentials -- but none of the bad attitude or bravado. It will be interesting to see if Lashley can develop into the next heavyweight MMA star.
The card also features a trio of very intriguing bouts, headlined by the return of the pride of Stockton, Calif., Nick Diaz, who will face Marius "The Whitemare" Zaromskis in the main event to crown a new Strikeforce welterweight champion.
Cris "Cyborg" Santos enters the cage for the first time since demolishing fan favorite Gina Carano last summer, defending her Strikeforce 145-pound women's title against Marloes Coenen.
At middleweight, "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler will attempt to rebound from his submission loss to Jake Shields last June, in a likely slugfest with the dangerous Melvin Manhoef.
The full card for Saturday's event is below.
Main card bouts (televised live on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET):
Check in later for news and notes from the weigh-ins.
Follow Denny Burkholder on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DennyBurkholder
Posted on: June 6, 2009 11:14 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2009 11:38 pm
Next up is Nick Diaz vs. Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith.
Round 1: Diaz is already putting his hands high and asking Smith to bring it. Smith with a straight right. Diaz with a combination. Diaz ties up his arms and Smith decks him with an overhand right on the separation. Smith with a left hook as Diaz stuck out his chin and asked for a punch. He may want to cut that out, but I'll bet he doesn't. Diaz with a variety of strikes and combinations, landing a large amount of them. Diaz lands a head kick for good measure. Smith looks confused by Diaz's style. Smith with a heavy right hand that Diaz takes with no problem. Smith lunges in for a right and connects, but Diaz lands a left at the same time and does more damage as Smith backs up to the cage. Diaz eats another right hand. Smith clinches Diaz against the cage. Diaz turns away from it and tries to work for a kimura. Smith's landing more combinations now. Smith with a nice inside leg kick. Smith is now the aggressor and he's landing a lot, but Diaz is still finding the mark with his own shots as the round ends. Diaz 10-9, but you really can't count Smith out, especially with an opponent willing to keep it standing... and willing to stick his chin out.
Round 2: Diaz with long jabs. Smith ties him up and Diaz turns his back to him again. Smith decks him with a hard right on the break. Diaz hurts Smith with a left to the ribs and hammers away with body and head shots. Smith gets off the cage and throws a few back, but he's hurt. They're both tagging each other with freebies trying to end it. Both look a little arm-weary, but with Diaz it's hard to tell. Diaz lands every shot he throws. Smith only lands some, but they look much heavier. Smith's got no head movement at all and is almost immobile, so Diaz is tagging him with everything. But Smith doesn't look finished, yet. He's hurt, but not punch-drunk. Smith misses a Superman punch and a kick. Diaz answers with fists. Another punch to the ribs drops Smith to the mat, but the round ends before Smith is finished. 10-9 Diaz again. I wonder if Smith will make it off his stool for Round 3.
Round 3: They duke it out, and Smith's got more left in his tank. Diaz gets him to the canvas and takes his back. Diaz puts the hooks in and taps Smith out with a bar arm choke.
Winner: Nick Diaz defeats Scott Smith via submission to a bar arm choke at 1:41 of Round 3.
Posted on: May 20, 2009 4:26 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2009 2:42 am
Strikeforce announced on Tuesday that a heavyweight bout between Brett "The Grim" Rogers and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski has been added to the card for the promotion's June 6 card in St. Louis, Mo.
The show will be the third Strikeforce event to air live in the U.S. on premium cable network Showtime.
Considered one of the top heavyweights in the world, Arlovski (15-6-0) last fought on Jan. 24, when he lost to Fedor Emelianenko via KO in the first round on Affliction and M-1's Day of Reckoning pay-per-view. Prior to the loss to Emelianenko, Arlovski had won five straight fights spanning from the end of his UFC stint to his signing on with Affliction.
Undefeated in his MMA career, Rogers (9-0-0) gained attention in 2008 with a pair of decisive knockout victories in EliteXC. He finished off James Thompson in 2:24 in February 2008, and followed that performance with a 1:01 KO over Jon Murphy in the first fight ever broadcast on live network television, during the first CBS Saturday Night Fights event on May 31, 2008.
Making the jump to Strikeforce this year, Rogers defeated Ron "Abongo" Humphrey via TKO due to knees in 1:38 of Round 2, marking the first time in Rogers' career that he had been taken beyond the first round by an opponent.
Arlovski vs. Rogers will air on the undercard of the Strikeforce show headlined by Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith at a catchweight of 180 pounds. The show airs June 6 on Showtime, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
Posted on: February 10, 2009 3:18 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2009 3:44 pm
Frank Shamrock will headline the Strikeforce debut event on Showtime on April 11, fighting fellow Californian Nick Diaz in San Jose, Calif.
When asked about the often-discussed possibility of fighting his brother Ken in the future, Shamrock did not rule it out, but said that Ken is working through some personal problems right now.
Posted on: September 20, 2008 9:59 am
Edited on: September 20, 2008 10:36 am
EliteXC head of fight operations Jeremy Lappen announced late Friday night that lightweight champion K.J. Noons had been stripped of the title for "reluctance to defend against leading 160-pound contender Nick Diaz."
The relationship between Noons and EliteXC has grown increasingly hostile since June 14, when Noons succesfully defended the title against Yves Edwards. After the fight, Nick and brother Nate Diaz entered the cage to challenge Noons, which resulted in a brief brawl between the Diaz and Noons camps, including Noons' father -- former boxer Karl Noons -- getting physical with the Diaz clan and the brothers flipping double middle fingers at the cage as they left the arena.
With Diaz on a win streak and a built-in rivalry existing between Noons and Diaz, a title rematch seemed inevitable, as did the chance that the brawl footage would be a perfect hype tool for the rematch. However, EliteXC did not re-air the footage, and shortly afterward, a media battle erupted between Noons and EliteXC matchmaker Jared Shaw. Shaw popped up on numerous MMA websites fanning the flames that Noons was ducking Diaz, and Noons fired back that he did not believe Diaz was the No. 1 contender. Noons said that on top of the fact that he already beat Diaz, there was a better challenger in the division -- Eddie Alvarez -- that he was willing to fight.
But it wasn't all about Diaz and Alvarez. Noons ran down a laundry list of reasons why he felt slighted by EliteXC. Noons felt Diaz was the guy EliteXC wanted as champion all along and was simply trying to set Noons up for that to happen. He speculated that he spoiled EliteXC's grand plan by defeating Diaz for the vacant title in the first place, and said that since his victory, EliteXC has failed to properly promote him as one of the company's champions. Predictably, money became another point of contention on both sides.
Lappen's official statement on the matter is below:
"We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz," Lappen said. "It's a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders. We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace. That's the mentality all champions should have.
"I feel very bad for KJ because I like him a lot on a personal level and have always thought he could be a big star. He's charismatic, has a very exciting fighting style and is a top level fighter. So I'm obviously disappointed that he has chosen to take this stance.
"I don't understand why he would turn down a chance to be a headliner on CBS on Oct. 4. KJ then turned down the fight again when we offered him a headlining spot on our next SHOWTIME date against Nick. From my view, it is a fight against a top-named opponent in Diaz (someone who beat the No. 1 fighter in the world in his weight class), a fighter KJ has bad blood with and most definitely a fight the fans really wanted to see. It seemed like a great opportunity for KJ to me.
"Personally, I do not think it was a smart career move, but I'm sure he sees it differently. KJ has two more fights remaining on his contract, so we are still looking forward to having him fight for us again soon, but not as our world champion.
Personally, I don't think Noons or EliteXC handled the situation exceedingly well, but if Noons is refusing to defend the title against a guy who -- No. 1 contender or not -- is an absolutely suitable opponent, then stripping Noons of the title was probably wise. When Shaw popped up on all these websites spreading the word that Noons wasn't willing to fight Diaz, it didn't sit right with me. It felt like a major official with a fight promotion was exploiting the media to try and embarrass one of his champions into taking the fight they picked for him. Using the media is a part of the business for those guys. Public embarrassment of one of your champions is a bit over the line, and isn't a very strong gesture of goodwill for the fighters you have under contract.
On one hand, I believe that a fight promoter has every right to expect that a champion will defend the title against anyone, at any time, unless there is an extenuating circumstance so severe that it would hurt all parties to do so. I do not doubt for a second that Eddie Alvarez is a fitting contender for the lightweight title -- in fact I'd favor him to beat Noons -- but it's not as if the failure of EliteXC to book that fight was a grave injustice, nor was the naming of Diaz as a contender again. Noons seems convinced that Diaz was slated as No. 1 contender as a way to spite him, or as a way to try and correct the mistake of Noons winning the belt. EliteXC may have expected Diaz to win that first fight, but to paint it as a grand conspiracy to bring Noons down is a bit paranoid. And even if it were a conspiracy against Noons, at the end of the day, Noons has the ability to end it by simply beating Diaz a second time and keeping the title.
The fact is, Diaz won more than enough fights to have a legit claim to a title shot in EliteXC. Contrived or not, he was also involved in a brawl that gave EliteXC a built-in way to promote the fight and build fan interest, and he plays the villain role well enough that plenty of people would tune in for the mere chance to see him get beaten -- again -- by Noons.
We'll keep you posted on the announcement of the fight to fill the vacant title.
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.