Benji Radach

Smith’s Camp Responds to Radach Protest


Scott Smith. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

Days after it was revealed that Benji Radach had decided to send a formal protest of his April 11 knockout loss against Scott Smith to the California State Athletic Commission, Smith’s camp has released an official response regarding the matter:

“He’s obviously entitled to his opinion, but we’re disappointed that Benji is trying to take away from what was such a great fight,” said Smith’s manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. “At this point, we’re moving on and are completely focused on Scott’s June 6 fight with Nick Diaz.”

It’s nothing more than your standard statement, but what makes it interesting is the tone. It seems as if Roberts and company are moving on partly because they too believe that the chances of Radach’s attempt to have the fight overturned are slim to none.

Radach Planning to Appeal Loss to Smith


Scott Smith vs. Benji Radach. Photo by Tom Casino/Strikeforce.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday. Well actually you kinda do. It happened recently when Shane Nelson picked up a surprisingly quick TKO win over Aaron Riley at UFC 96 after knocking Riley down and having the referee stop the fight prematurely. Happens all the time unfortunately and some fighters choose to protest the decision.

Remember Scott Smith’s come-from-behind Strikeforce win over Benji Radach last month? Hell of a fight, but another questionable stoppage, at least in Radach’s eyes. But what makes his decision to appeal his recent loss interesting is the fact that he’s claiming he should have never even been knocked out in the first place:

Radach’s appeal is not quite official yet; he says he and his managers are putting together the official paperwork and plan to file it soon. In the submitted documents, Radach will point to several mistakes he feels referee Herb Dean made.

He had a second-round guillotine he cinched up tight on Smith, and says he felt Hands of Steel grab the cage to help him ease out of Radach’s grip. Radach says he even heard Dean say something to Smith about grabbing the fence. “If Scott hadn’t gotten ahold of the cage—which is blatantly against the rules—I think I would have finished him there,” Radach says.

Radach also stated that the “blow that finished the fight”, a final right hand while Radach was already on the floor courtesy of a bomb from Smith, was illegal because it hit the back of his head. The video proves that he has a point, but also shows Dean running in to stop the fight at the same time.

So does Radach have a case here? Not really in my opinion. After rewatching the fight this afternoon, Smith grabbing the cage has very little to do with him scoring a takedown. It’s the majority of Radach’s balance leaning backwards into the guillotine that causes him to hit the mat. Also, while Smith may have struck Radach in the back of the head after knocking him down, Dean will likely state that Radach wasn’t intelligently defending himself and the bout was going to be stopped regardless.

Diaz Batters Shamrock in Strikeforce Debut


Nick Diaz. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Many former EliteXC fighters were victorious during Strikeforce’s first event of the year on Saturday night in San Jose, California, but none of those wins were more emphatic than the one brash UFC and PRIDE veteran Nick Diaz earned over longtime veteran Frank Shamrock.

A younger, faster, and more well-conditioned Diaz pummeled Shamrock on the feet and on the ground over the course of nine minutes in the featured attraction of Strikeforce’s “Shamrock vs. Diaz” show before finally putting “The Legend” away, possibly for good, at least in terms of the sport’s relevant stars.

“I give everything to Nick Diaz,” Shamrock graciously said after the fight. “I trained for him 100% and I didn’t take him lightly. I knew he was a dangerous opponent, but I stepped up. I always fight the best and I come to entertain, but Nick kicked my ass tonight. There’s no two ways about it. He beat me.”

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Photos: Strikeforce/Showtime Presser


Frank Shamrock attempts to shake hands with Strikeforce opponent Nick Diaz. Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime Networks.

Here’s a small gallery of photos from this past Thursday’s pre-fight press conference for Strikeforce’s “Shamrock vs. Diaz” event, which takes place on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California and will be televised live on Showtime.

Those in attendance at the press conference included former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock, Nick Diaz, former EliteXC champions Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler, and female MMA star Cris “Cyborg” Santos.

All photos were taken by Tom Casino and come courtesy of Showtime. Quotes from the press conference are here.

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Strikeforce Acquires ProElite Assets; Lands Deal With Showtime


Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.

It’s been a busy past few weeks for Scott Coker and his fledgling Strikeforce brand. Once thought to have been just a small success story in the San Jose area, the promotion seems to be on the fast track to becoming the legitimate number-two MMA organization in North America after securing a deal to purchase a limited number of assets from ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC.

Under the terms of the deal announced this afternoon, Strikeforce will acquire a select number of fighters contracts, along with the ability to sign additional fighters to Strikeforce deals, as well as a video library of past EliteXC and ShoXC events.

“This is a tremendous development that will bolster the Strikeforce roster and allow us to produce even more competitive matchups between top fighters,” Coker said in a press release today. “Some of these athletes have been on the sidelines for a while now and are eagerly waiting to return to competition. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to do so in the next few months.”

 

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EliteXC Still Backpedaling on Bonus Debacle


Jeremy Lappen. Photo by Esther Lin/CombatLifestyle.com.

If Seth Petruzelli wasn’t already pretty popular after knocking out Kimbo Slice last Saturday, he’s likely finding out that he’s gaining notoriety by the minute these days. Just about of the major news outlets are now covering Petruzelli’s botched comments - he inadvertently claimed that EliteXC had offered him a bonus to keep his fight against Slice on the feet on an Orlando radio show Monday - and no one involved is content with the current situation.

What is EliteXC doing during all of this? Continuing to try and save face while contradicting itself of course. One of Bloody Elbow‘s readers discovered that EliteXC figurehead Jeremy Lappen has been giving differing answers during interviews this week. He’s not the only one either.

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EliteXC Announces Partial Oct 4. Card


Kimbo Slice. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

EliteXC has officially announced the televised main card for the upcoming third edition of “Saturday Night” Fights, which will be broadcast on CBS and will take place at the BankAtlantic Center, in Sunrise, Florida on October 4.

The show’s main event will feature EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson taking on the biggest test of his young career thus far in the form of UFC Hall-of-Famer Ken Shamrock. EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields will defend his title against top British welterweight Paul Daley in the night’s co-main event.

Additional featured bouts include a women’s 140 lb. bout between the ever-popular Gina Carano and female veteran Kelly Kobold-Gavin and a middleweight affair between former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua and UFC and IFL veteran Benji Radach.

Another female bout between Brazilian standout Cris Cyborg and Yoko Takahashi will serve as the show’s swing bout, meaning that it could be featured on the CBS broadcast time-permitting. Also announced for the non-televised undercard was Edson Berto vs. Mike Aina and the participation of UFC veterans Crafton Wallace and Seth Petruzelli.

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Back to the Future: Recap Edition


Takanori Gomi. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

Here’s a little recap of what we might have missed over the past few days or so…

Gomi, Trigg Win at Sengoku IV

Former PRIDE standouts Takanori Gomi and Frank Trigg were victorious in their respective bout Sunday morning at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” event in Japan. Gomi earned a decision over Seung Pang Hwan while Trigg went all three rounds with Makoto Takimoto.

Former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz was upset in the first round of World Victory Road’s inaugural lightweight grand prix, losing via knockout to Mizuto Hirota. Kazunori Yokota, Eiji Mitsuoka, Satoru Kitaoka all also moved on to the tournament’s next round.

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Let’s Play Catch-Up

A wealth of news and events have developed over the four days that we were sidelined due to those damn server gremlins. Here’s a little recap of everything that has gone on since then. The majority of the news is displayed after the jump.

Frye-Taktarov Booked for YAMMA Pit Fighting

Longtime mixed martial arts veterans Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will headline the main event at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show, which is slated to take place at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ on April 11th.

Frye revealed the news during his weekly appearance on TAGG Radio.

“I hope (YAMMA) made the announcement because I just signed to fight Oleg Taktarov,” Frye said.

Quote courtesy of MMA Junkie.

EliteXC Reveals Complete Card for “Street Certified”

Elite Xtreme Combat has announced the complete card for their upcoming “Street Certified” event, which will take place this Saturday night at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center. The event will be airing on Showtime.

The full card is below:

Main Card:

Tank Abbott vs. Kimbo Slice
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Antonio Silva
Kyle Noke vs. Scott Smith
Yves Edwards vs. Edson Berto
Brett Roges vs. James Thompson

Preliminary Fights:

Rafael Feijao vs. John Doyle
Jon Kirk vs. Yosmany Cabezas
Dave Herman vs. Mario Rinaldi
Eric Bradley vs. Mikey Gomez
Mike Berhard vs. Lorenzo Borgameo

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Schultz Stops Horodecki in Night of Upsets


Provided by IFL. Getty Images.

UNCASVILLE - Ryan ?“The Lion? Schultz” knocked out previously undefeated 20-year-old Chris ?“The Polish Hammer”? Horodecki, capping off an exciting night of action with Schultz winning the lightweight championship at the inaugural International Fight League World Grand Prix finals, held tonight in front of 5,731 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Four other championship fights also took place, including victories by Roy ?“Big Country” Nelson at heavyweight, Wagnney Fabiano at featherweight, Jay Hieron at welterweight, and Matt Horwich at middleweight.

The five championships were the most ever contested on one night in North American MMA history.

Schultz took control early in the first round and continued to pound Horodecki before the referee stepped in late in the round to stop the bout. Schultz had been named a late replacement in the title bout after injuries to Horodecki?‘s previous two opponents.

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