Gary Shaw. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
If anything could make EliteXC’s situation even worse right now, it would be a current or former employee involved in the matchmaking of the fights they put on to come out and basically admit that, yeah, the organization does tell fighters to keep their bouts standing “for the fans.”
Enter Gary Shaw. The former face of the promotion has told the Los Angeles Times that he hasn’t hesitated in the past to tell fighters that the company was looking to put on a certain kind of fight. And his comments couldn’t come at a worse time:
But Elite XC consultant Gary Shaw said he wouldn’t hesitate to “go to a fighter and say, ‘We’re looking for a stand-up fight.’ You’re not asking him to throw a fight. You’re talking about a fan-friendly fight, not about protecting Kimbo.”
Shaw said he has urged MMA fighters in the past to maximize the action, to avoid an abundance of yawn-inspiring wrestling.
“Do I think that’s unethical? No,” Shaw said. “Because in MMA, you get bonus money for a knockout. I don’t see it as unethical . . . asking him to be TV and fan friendly.
Gary Shaw. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
Things haven’t been going that well lately for EliteXC. After a predicted ratings bomb for their latest show on CBS this past weekend became a reality, the UFC and Spike TV, which ran a replay of UFC 84: Ill Will on Saturday night to counter-program the event, have decided to rub their success in a key demographic in EliteXC’s face through a press release sent out to the media earlier today.
As you can see, they didn’t hesitate to essentially pants EliteXC in front of everyone at the mall: (Yeah, that happened to me before, so what?)
Need proof the UFC is the preeminent mixed martial arts brand in the world? On Saturday, July 26, more men 18-34 watched a repeat…a repeat…of a UFC event on Spike TV than a LIVE telecast of a Pro EliteXC championship card on CBS. Despite being available in over 17 million
less (you can pay me for my editing skills later Dana) homes, Spike TV drew 27% more Men 18-34 for a re-broadcast of “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” from (9:00-12:00am ET/PT) than CBS’s live show (9:00-11:00pm). Spike TV’s telecast tallied 433,000 Men 18-34 to CBS’s 341,000.
Oh snap! Talk about a press release with an attitude. Guess what? It gets even better:
Robbie Lawler. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
With EliteXC’s next network television event on CBS being officially announced for July 26th, additional details have surfaced regarding a potential venue for the show, some of the participants on the card, and the potential of featuring three title fights on the broadcast as well.
In his latest column for Yahoo! Sports, Dave Meltzer is reporting that EliteXC officials will work with executives from both Showtime and CBS on a dual-network show that would have Showtime air a 60-90 minute lead-in show that would feature a couple of preliminary fights before the main card goes live on CBS later that night, marking the first time in the history of this sport where two networks have combined to air a single event.
The promotion has already revealed the main event of the show as EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler will go head-to-head with Scott Smith in an anticipated rematch of their exciting bout that took place just two weeks ago during Memorial Day weekend. The first bout between the two ended in a no-contest after Lawler inadvertently poked Smith in the eye in the third round of their bout.
The ringside doctor ultimately ruled that Smith was unable to continue due to vision problems, despite protests from Smith himself to let the fight continue. However after the fight, Smith admitted that he would have likely been knocked out by Lawler because he couldn’t fully see out of his eye. Distraught as well after the fight was Lawler, who may now find solace in the fact that EliteXC officials have been working to bring the event to his hometown of St. Louis. Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall seems to be the second option.
Kimbo Slice and James Thompson exchange punches. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Despite original reports that EliteXC wouldn’t be putting on another network television event until at least the fall, CBS officials have reportedly expressed a large amount of interest in capitalizing on the success the show garnered last month by airing another event as soon as next month.
EliteXC President Gary Shaw informed Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports on Monday that CBS would like to hold the next show in late July and that the exact date is expected to be finalized this week after meetings with CBS officials.
However Shaw feels that the date may be a tad too early and three of the stars of the May 31st show - Kimbo Slice and Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler, whom Shaw is intending on pairing together for a rematch, would likely not be ready in time to compete at the show.
Putting on a show in July could force a real problem for EliteXC in terms of talent available for the event. Many of the fighters that fought in May will be serving medical suspensions for the next month or so. EliteXC putting on another show this weekend also prevents them from using K.J. Noons, Yves Edwards, Murlio Rua, or Nick Diaz on the card.
Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain has come up with some suitable replacements - Jake Shields and Antonio Silva as headliners. Problem is that Shields is slated to fight Drew Fickett in the promotion’s first-ever welterweight title fight yet Fickett is currently slated to fight Ryan Ford on July 25th.
The bottom line is that an EliteXC show on CBS in June could lack real star power and may have a major negative effect on ratings. Hopefully CBS officials take note of a potential failure and don’t settle to have an event anyway just so America can see some fights.
Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
The International Fight League announced earlier this afternoon that they have opted to cancel their scheduled August 15th event at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, in light of the company’s current financial condition which is looking very bad at the moment according to company officials.
The event was rumored to be featuring title defenses by current IFL champions Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Schultz as well as the participation of lightweight standout Chris Horodecki and the debut of the IFL’s new six-sided ring called “The Hex”. A future date for the show to potentially take place in the future was not announced.
The organization will now apparently explore options that would have it essentially saved by investors interested in pumping money into the company. However if they aren’t found in the near future, it seems that the IFL will seek protection from its creditors through the courts and pretty much shut down for good.
Because a date for another event is not even on IFL officials minds at this point, the fighters under contract to the promotion will now have the option of fighting in other organizations while the IFL attempts to save itself. It will also continue to downsize its staff to reduce operating costs.
On a conference call this afternoon with the media, IFL CEO Jay Larkin expressed his desire to partner or work with a number of other organizations currently still successfully running, namely EliteXC and Strikeforce who have both made great strides in securing television deals over the last year, one of Larkin’s sticking points throughout the call.
“We’re open to anything as of right now,” Larkin said. “We’d definitely be willing to partner up with another organization in order to work together and continue to put on the IFL brand of product that has made us so well-liked within the MMA community. In order to do so, we’d want a partner that has a solid financial base and an existing television deal, without the television deal these days, it’s becoming harder and harder to promote your product to the fans.”
Kaitlin Young: Commissioner stopped fight, not doctor
On Saturday night, Kaitlin Young put on a great performance against Gina Carano in EliteXC Primetime debut on CBS. The fight was stopped between the second and third rounds and it was announced that the ringside doctor had recommended the stoppage. In a post to the FighterGirls website, Kaitlin Young disagrees, giving a detailed perspective of how the fight was stopped and raising an interesting accusation.
My left cheek and area surrounding the eye are looking pretty ugly today, but there was no major damage. Though it may have looked like it on tv, I never actually had an open wound.
What you didn’t see was that the doctor actually cleared me to fight the third round but the commission said “no”. I wanted to continue, my corner wanted to continue. The cut likely would have opened in the third but it was under the eye. If I had to guess, I would say that they didn’t want the visual of a woman with a bloody face on CBS.
They also chose not to do a post fight interview with me or to include me in the post fight news conference and after party. I think the reason for that was my beat up appearance after the fight because I was not seriously injured and was completely coherent.
I am very disappointed about that but cant help but wonder how people would have responded to that, as stupid as it is.
She continues here.
Yeah, I have to agree. I think if people were shocked or upset by the look of it they may have been put at ease a bit by seeing that I was okay. I think some people probably assumed the worst because I basically disappeared from the camera after the fight.
I’m not trying to be one of those people “Well, I would have won if they had let it go into the third round so it wasn’t my fault. Yada yada yada….” Gina was obviously getting the better of me at that point in the fight, but I wasn’t ready to be done. It really bothers me that I didn’t get a chance to thank my sponsors and all that jazz.
Sounds pretty fishy. When the fight was stopped, they had a close up of Kaitlin’s face. I said right away that fight would not have been stopped if it was a male. Apparently, there may have been a good amount of truth to it. And shame on EliteXC for not even allowing Kaitlin to attend the post fight press conference.
More Fallout from EliteXC Primetime
Our friends at MMARated have posted a video from the post fight press conference featuring EliteXC President of Live Events Gary Shaw and heavyweight James Thompson. In a comical moment, Gary Shaw relays the fact that thompson was having difficulties breathing and was being transported to the hospital. Shaw then asks for everyone’s prayers for Thompson. Meanwhile, Thompson is standing in the middle of the press conference drinking a bottle of water! Check out the video after the jump.
It’s been about 26 hours since I entered the Prudential Center Arena for the premiere of EliteXC’s Primetime on CBS. The reviews across the internet are as varied as the show was, but after taking a day to digest it, these are my observations from a live observer point of view. I have not had a chance to review the tape of the event, so I will not comment on the actual CBS broadcast and how it was presented.
I have been to a variety of MMA events, including two UFC PPVs, two WEC events, two IFL events, and a few small show such as Battle Cage Extreme, and Reality Fighting. Far and away, this may have been the worst live MMA show I have ever attended. Read on for my reasonings why.
Robbie Lawler connects with a vicious kick to the body against Scott Smith. Photo: Tom Casino/EliteXC
Results from the CBS show tonight:
Joe Sampieri def. Mike Groves - TKO
Zach Makovsky def. Andre Soares - Unanimous Decision
James Jones def. Calvin Kattar - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Wilson Reis def. Justin Robbins - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Matt Makowski def. Nick Serra - TKO
Carlton Haselrig def. Carlos Moreno - TKO
Chris Liguori def. Jim Bova - TKO
Brett Rogers def. Jon Murphy - KO
Joey Villasenor def. Phil Baroni - TKO
Gina Carano def. Kaitlin Young - TKO
Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith - No Contest
Kimbo Slice def. James Thompson - TKO
Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.
With his days as a featured fighter with the Ultimate Fighting Championship coming to an end, Tito Ortiz, the one-time face of the organization, has mentioned that he’d like to take his services elsewhere following his upcoming fight against Lyoto Machida on May 24th.
One of the organizations in which Ortiz has expressed interest in Elite Xtreme Combat, headed by former boxing promoter Gary Shaw. Brash and out-spoken, Shaw is no stranger to giving his opinion when asked by the media and didn’t shy away earlier today when the potential of Ortiz shifting his career to EliteXC was brought up.
“In all my years in the fight game, I can see, touch, feel a superstar,” Shaw said this afternoon on a conference call promoting EliteXC’s network television debut on CBS later this month. “Everytime I see Tito Ortiz, he reeks of stardom. I think when his days in the UFC are over, that I can reincarnate him. Could you imagine Tito and Kimbo Slice in the cage together? I hope when his contract with the UFC is up that he will not be sitting across the table with me, but sitting with me at that table.”
“Please tell Tito that our door is wide open for him,” Shaw continued. “When his deal with the UFC is up, I’d love to talk with him and figure things out.”
Ortiz’s falling out with the UFC stems from his rocky relationship with the promotion’s figurehead, Dana White. The two have been at each other’s throats for years but things took a major turn for the worst after a proposed exhibition boxing match between the two fell apart and White opted to begin his verbal bashing of Ortiz in the media.
Ortiz has since stated multiple times that his fight against Machida will be his last with the UFC. (His current contract with the promotion ends this summer) Reasons for his departure circulate solely around White and his negative treatment of Ortiz as well as other contracted fighters on the organization’s roster.
Shaw mentioned that Ortiz wouldn’t have to worry about any kind of lack of respect from himself or others in the organization if he decided to sign with EliteXC.
“All of our fighters can attest to this, but we here at EliteXC put the fighters first,” Shaw said. “Our fighters are of the utmost importance to us. They come before the organization. The spotlight should be put on them. We treat everyone with respect and like they are a champion, regardless of who they are. Tito wouldn’t have to worry about that sort of thing if he decided to take his services to our camp.”
Additional conference call notes from today are after the jump.
Gina Carano grapples with Tonya Evinger. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw announced his organization’s plans to expand their promotion of women’s mixed martial arts with the potential of the addition of a women’s championship and a strictly female fight card at some point next year.
“We’re talking about doing two things,” Shaw stated earlier today during a conference call with the media. “We’re talking about doing a women’s title and we’re also talking about an all-women’s show where we feature one night of all women’s fights. “That’s something that I’d like to present to the public, a night of women’s fights. I think that would be a major milestone.”
Shaw stated that the first women’s title, at 140 lbs, could possibly be decided as early as this fall, with the winner of the scheduled bout between Gina Carano and Kaitlin Young on May 31st possibly being able to be part of the historic bout. Additional titles could be added in the future depending on the amount of divisions the organization decides to incorporate.
The all-female show, which are rare these days save the events put on by California-based Fatal Femmes Fighting, would be the first to be televised on national television. (Showtime) Shaw also stated that while many of the other major organizations have refused to put on female fights, his promotion will continue to do so without hesitation.
“We’ll continue putting women on Showtime and on CBS and we’ll continue putting them on the ShoXC cards as well,” Shaw said. “If no one else wants to do it, it’s all the better for us.”
HT: MMA Junkie