Elite XC Primetime Review, The Good, The Bad, The Ulgy

Baroni Entrance at EliteXC CBS Primetime

The Great:

  • Quality Night of Fights — From top to bottom, the Elite XC were almost entirely a success. Looking at the event from a strictly fight perspective, it was an incredibly successful night for the organization. Aside from the main event, every bout lived up to expectations, if not surpassing them, and contained thrilling action. The telecast was smooth and made effective transitions between commercials, commentary, and the actual fights. Elite XC announcing team was solid, despite it being their first event together. Despite too much conversation by the announcers, extremely long walk outs, bad cheerleading dancers, and some controversial stoppages, the fights itself redeemed the less than stellar presentation. The entire night was exciting and certainly helped to establish the legitimacy of mixed martial arts.
  • Jon Murphy’ Future Looks ‘Grim’ — As expected, the fight between Jon “The Man of Faith” Murphy and Brett “The Grim” Rogers was not very technical. None the less, it was entertaining and fast paced. Rogers is massive and has bricks in his gloves. Murphy got caught with several huge haymakers and was KO’d with a flush shot to the chin. Rogers’s stock is on the rise and he will be one of the driving forces in Elite XC’s heavyweight division. This is critical, because the lack of talent in that division is apparent and the organization will need marketable big men down the road. Lastly, as I state in my preview for this event, Rogers would have been a viable opponent for Kimbo Slice and could be in the future. As it turns out, Kimbo and Rogers exchanged heated words and had to be held back at the post fight press conference. Turns out, fans might not have to wait too long for that fight.
  • Another key reason which made this fight great, was the ring entrance of Rogers. He walked out to a flow spit by rapper Busta Rhymes who was making a cameo appearance. Always charismatic, Rhymes got the crowd riled up as Rogers entered the arena. Secondly, after the fight Rogers was accompanied in the ring by “Big Black” (from MTV’s show Rob and Big). That Big Black appearance was classic. It was awesome to see that hilarious character “doing work.”

The Good:

  • Villasenor Just Too Bad Ass — Phil Baroni started the fight off quick but his night was ended early. His flashy entrance lasted longer than his fight did. From the opening bell, Joe Villasenor found a comfortable range and was able to connect with hard left hooks. Villasenor exhibited quality jiu-jitsu, while locking on a standing, front guillotine, which was reminiscent of Baroni’s fight against Frank Shamrock, where he allowed Shamrock to lock on that exact move. Like the Rogers fight, the bout ended in the first round, but was action packed until it was stopped.
  • Carano in a Thriller — Gina Carano once again proved that women’s MMA can be just as fun to watch as men’s. Against Kaitlin Young, Carano met a very game and capable opponent. There were some fantastic exchanges and both fighters held nothing back. Carano seemed tired and gassed midway through the fight, which could be due to her lack of training before it. Still, Carano put on a great performance. By the fights conclusion, which was stopped after the second round, the tough as nails Young, was left battered. Carano busted her open with a deep gash and pounded on her seriously swollen face. Carano was able to consistently land an effective front kick (most under utilized technique in MMA) to create distance, in order to land her rocket over hand right. Carano’s right hand was the determining factor in the fight. When she connected it had devastating effects. Although not in peak shape, Carano and Young performed at a very high level and could have stolen fight of the night honors.

The Bad:

  • In pre-fight interviews, Robbie Lawler stated he wanted to, “break the fighter down, then wear them out.” Lawler claimed he was not the same over zealous, unfocused fighter he once was. He continually raved about his training and desire to stick with his designed game plan. Surprisingly, the fight began slow, with both fighters seemingly content to wait for their openings. As the fight progressed though, Lawler continually improved, looking great in doing so. For the most part, he was elusive and patient. When he saw a potential opening, he turned on the heat and picked up the tempo. The fight was slow in spots with sudden bursts of explosive action. At one point, Lawler was landing bone crunching body kicks that left Smith’s ribs crushed and bruised. Robbie Lawler’s maturity was evident in his strategy, patience, and evolving skills. The second and third rounds saw back and forth action, with both fighters taking turns dominating. But in the third round, Lawler’s jab started to land at will as he found a rhythm. Smith became tentative, looking to land the big shot, as the tension for a stunning finish began to build. In the midst of the action, Lawler incidentally poked Smith’s eye, at which point the controversy began. After the ringside doctor looked at the unnerved Smith, she deemed him unable to continue. Incidental eye pokes are not uncommon in MMA, but ending a fight because of it is. It was unreasonable for the fight to be stopped without giving Smith his due five minutes of rest. Smith was distraught over the ruling and Lawler looked furious as well. Despite the booing of the crowd, the fight had some great back and forth action. But, the controversial and seemingly unnecessary stoppage was a major downer and created an anti-climactic, disappointing finish.
  • Weight Problems? — As a professional athlete, one is held to a certain level of accountability. Although the rigors of making weight are well documented, it is in-excusable that Gina Carano missed her target weight of 140, by four pounds (144). Not only did she have to relinquish an estimated 12.5% of her purse to her opponent, but it is a slap in the face to the fans, organization, and most importantly, the sport. If Carano wants women’s MMA to be viewed, treated, and criticized the same as men’s, then hopefully she realizes how unprofessional she was in coming in overweight. It shows a lack of proper training and carelessness that should never take place at this level. Her performance certainly made up for this lapse, but it was disappointing to see it happen at this juncture in her career.

The Ugly:

  • Kimbo Wins Ugly — Hands down, Kimbo Slice is an intimidating looking individual. His pre-fight stare down was unflinching and menacing. But his performance lacked that same ferocity. James Thompson tried to outwrestle Kimbo by forcing the majority of the fight to the ground. Numerous times, Thompson had Kimbo in precarious positions. During the last two minutes of the second round, Slice was virtually defenseless, taking a lot of uncontested elbows and punches. At that point, there was a strong case for the fight being stopped and when it wasn’t, it drew strong reactions and cries of “fixed fight,” from those who watched the fight around me. Although Slice displayed some decent reversals, he was clearly uncomfortable and inexperienced on the ground. Another startling display, was the lack of conditioning from both fighters, especially Slice. Midway through the second round, Slice’s hands were dropped and he was breathing heavily from his mouth. On the ground, Slice could barely muster a scramble attempt because of his exhaustion. It was a lackluster performance and Kimbo was close to losing to a very mediocre competitor. As the face and future of the organization, this was not a promising showing. By the end of the fight, the popular Slice was being booed by the audience for such an unimpressive fight. Lucky for Slice, he has atom bombs as hands. Slice has one punch knockout power and throws heat seeking missiles. As the third round commenced, Slice caught Thompson with some insanely hard punches. An uppercut jerked Thompson’s head back and was followed by two maniac hooks, that busted Thompson’s mangled ear open in a grotesque display. While the ending to the fight was sensational, albeit controversial (the clearly dazed and hurt Thompson was still on his feet when the fight was stopped and was so angry over the stoppage he face pushed the referee), Kimbo did not look good. As a whole, the bout was a disappointment and was not without controversy. Fans looking for Kimbo to silence his critics with an overwhelming performance did not see that happen. Instead, a relative newcomer to the sport was exposed as being inexperienced and far from elite. Still, Kimbo has potential and room to grow. What will now be interesting is whether all of Slice’s appeal will remain after a let down of this magnitude.

Quote of the Night:

There were two sound bites from the event that were deserving of recognition. The first, was a comment made by Brett Rogers in his pre-fight build up. In explaining what he does for a living, Rogers stated, “I mirk and beast people!” What a hilarious and ferocious comment. Caught the viewer’s attention and also drew applause and laughter from the crowd who was watching around me.

The second quote was made by one of the announcers during Kimbo’s entrance. It was incredibly high on the unintentional comedy scale (a Bill Simmons line) and came out sounding awkward and forced. As Kimbo strolled to the ring with music blaring, the announcers stayed silent allowing the unfolding events to do the talking for them. All of a sudden, as the camera zooms in on Slice, one of them blurts out, “not so long ago this man was homeless!” Everyone in the room began laughing uncontrollably at the hilarity and absurd timing of the comment.


  1. katz outta the bag

    June 3, 2008 at 3:41 am

    i wonder if this guy was watching the same fight as the rest of us. CBS had 61 minutes of fighting in the whole first 70mins of the broadcast. The announcers were retarded, the intros were lame, and most of the fights were low quality (gina's and smith fights were good) I love this quote off of yahoo though:

    "It was kind of ironic that at the show’s opening, Shamrock said with a straight face, “You won’t find them fighting in a bar and you won’t find them fighting in the street.”


    Well, this card featured a guy (Baroni) who fights in bars and another who made his name by fighting in the streets."

  2. Deakson

    June 3, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Love the quotes, pure hilarity. As for Katz outta the bag, while I slightly agree that the intros were a bit too long, i generaly like the announcers…as the article points out it was their first time commentating together and all in all I thought they did a pretty good job…great article all the way through

  3. katz outta the bag

    June 3, 2008 at 3:56 am

    sorry, had a typo, should be: 61 seconds (not minutes) of fighting in the whole first 70mins of the broadcast

  4. Tim

    June 3, 2008 at 4:02 am

    The main event showcased two mediocre fighters in mediocre condition, though after listening to Johnson, Ranallo and Shamrock, you’d have thought we were watching the MMA equivalent of Ali-Frazier. Have no doubt about this: Slice would be destroyed by any legitimate mixed martial artist. Had Slice faced ex-WWE champion Brock Lesnar, the current UFC rookie hopeful, he’d have been beaten in less than two minutes. As it was, Slice struggled his way to a sloppy third-round knockout of a complete tomato can which i believe was stopped early. You can’t blame Slice, because he had no business being in a main event of a mixed martial arts bout at this stage of his progression. It takes years of training and sacrifice to reach the main event in MMA and Slice was only there because of the notoriety he’d gained in his YouTube street brawls. The whole show was built around Kimbo Slice, the Internet-generated star whose street fights made him into something of a mythical figure in the sport before he’d ever faced a serious opponent.

  5. Thomas

    June 3, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Slice and Thompson should not have been the main event. Not the fault of either of them. I think that Kimbo's ground fighting was better than Cheik Kongo's in the last fight I saw him in. Don't remember all the "he could never face Lesner" statements then. Maybe just because of the lower billing. Why the hell is Lesner's name brought up every time Kimbo's is? What is the link? For God's sake people, name somebody else you are sure would kick Kimbo's ass.

  6. TKAY

    June 4, 2008 at 3:35 am

    Look, if you actually like fighting, it was an OK event as Jordan says.

    But he also rightly points out in his Good, Bad and Ugly, that some of the fighters were NOT top quality, that some of the fights ended badly, that some of the fighters were not properly condidtioned, that the presentation had some flaws (first segment way too long, not enuf actual fighting, some announcer issues, etc.), and that there were some controversial stoppages. But many of the fights were entertaining and the program and fighters will improve – – especially as the promoters and network review and digest all the subsequent commentary on Cage Today and elsewhere.

    His overall assesment is basically right on target.

    Was it the BEST MMA can offer? No. Were some matches (ie. Kimbo) WAYYYYY overhyped, given the ACTUAL level of talent? Yes.Was some of the announcing clownish? Yes again.

    But it was free and entertaining, for the most part. It garnered a relatively large audience, and in case you all forgot to notice, is still generating a lot of talk. That's how you popularize something and put it on the map.

    Let's not forget one implication from this article: looks like it's working!

  7. Thomas

    June 4, 2008 at 3:41 am

    I had almost given up hope that anyone with intelligence leaves comments here.

  8. Deakson

    June 4, 2008 at 4:16 am

    fuckin right TKAY

  9. Tim

    June 4, 2008 at 5:50 am

    TRUE….but pure overall quality of the sport of MMA is about fighting, ratings is one thing and cant blame elite XC for that but if a promotion is going just for ratings and nothing else that is pathetic and that is what i and alot other feel is going on with Elite XC, you dont see the UFC doing this shit.

  10. dane drebin

    June 4, 2008 at 6:41 am

    the ufc is a power house elite is just starting it was a horrible show but the females and the title fight were pretty good. as of right now kimbo sucks. i dont hate the guy but he's only had 3 mma fights. he's pretty old to be starting an mma career only time will tell of how his career will turn out. also i think kongo would dominate kimbo in a wrestling match that is all

  11. TKAY

    June 4, 2008 at 7:07 am


    Long run, shows like elite xc's of last weekend will doom theie brand. Elite has NO choice but to improve the quality of he fighters and presentation if it wants enduring success – – like UFC. Meantime, in the short run, a lot of buzz was generated. At the end of the day, I think we agree.

    let's see if they learned anything the next time out.

    Did like the article tho, that divded up the show into Good, bad, Ugly, etc.

  12. Tim

    June 4, 2008 at 7:24 am

    I believe we do…

  13. Deakson

    June 4, 2008 at 10:47 am


  14. kom34

    June 4, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    yeah nice article. it wasnt just plain news it had creativity. although you make me feel like crap because i cant write.

    nice comments by tkay. if they want to keep the brand alive and not screw up mma for network tv fans then they need more than hype to drive their next event. at least lawler and smith probably earned main event status, maybe for the next CBS show.

  15. Deakson

    June 5, 2008 at 4:20 am

    Tim…wow im thouroughly impressed wiht ur knoledgwe of MMA and the way you exprwessed it here…especially cause I saw the same article word for word on Yahoo sports, do us all a favor and before u critisize someone make them ur own words and not pass someone elses words off as ur own just to be an asshole

  16. Tim

    June 5, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Thank you and i never said it was my own words and i am sure i am not the first to post something that was from another article not to mention, any true MMA fan or sports enthusiast would know that i copied and pasted this as the article was all over the place so i wasnt trying to hide anything and your just the one that said something about it. No big deal.

  17. Deakson

    June 5, 2008 at 5:31 am

    well u probably should have mentioned u were quoting someone else so maybe u should stop trying to cover it up and man up , have fun having no opinions of ur own

  18. Tim

    June 5, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Well i have no problem maning up to anything you see i am a former Marine and pride myself on Integrity. This is just a freaking blog site its not like i cheated on a fucking test or plagerized a paper for college. Get a grip Deakson…if all you care about is someone posting someone elses comment which i think were in a sense what i was thinking and many others the person that wrote the article just happened to explain it percisly to the T. So shame on me for posting someone elses comments and not mentioning who wrote the article my bad. Now go worry about the next person you little baby.

  19. Achilles

    June 5, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Fellas there is no cage to fight in on this site so there is no pint in arguing w/ each other unless it is over who's fighter is better.

    But as for the event, I can't say that the event was all bad. People watched to see knock outs and brawls and that was what all the fights were. YOu can make a case that BARONI's music video intro would have looked a lot better if he lasted at least a round. I usually do get a good laugh out of his SHADES ansd ROBE stroll to the ring. GINA and that other chick rocked it that was the best fight by night's end. I not big on chick fights but that fine woman probably made herself a lot of endorsement money having that kind of exposure. The knock out were good. KIMBO obviously needs a llot of work on his ground and cardio game. But that dude's ear was gone and we was pretty much out on his feet another shot would have done serious damage. He should not have HEADLINED for that reason he is to vulnerable to lose in what could be a boring decision.

    SMITH and LAWLER was turning into a classic. SMITH was screwwed by the DR. but what can you do they will fight again in 3 months or so. But the Dr. is not supposed to amke a decision whether the fight should continue after a foul until the 5 recovery minutes has finished. At least the ELITE XC boss gave them both their winner's bonuses and said it on TV. That carries weight with a lot of people and want them to see the rematch.

    I have been more board by an MMA event it was not GREAT but NOT BAD


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