Nick Diaz in action against Takanori Gomi. Courtesy of Pride FC.
UPDATED: Nick Diaz’s trainer, Cesar Gracie, is now reporting that Diaz was given the go ahead to fight this weekend. While the weight cut was going to be an issue, he’s scheduled to board a plane Thursday morning bound for Tokyo.
In the ever changing fight career of Nick Diaz, the fight against Katsuya Inoue that we reported last week, has now been called off at the request of EliteXC. Apparently, there was once again a miscommunication within EliteXC’s management and president Gary Shaw was never informed of Nick’s participation in the Dream event this coming weekend. Josh Gross, formerly of Sherdog and now with Sports Illustrated, reports that Shaw just found out about the fight this past weekend and called Diaz’s management Tuesday morning to call off the fight. Shaw was concerned that the fight within the confines of Dream would jeopardize Diaz’s participation in the EliteXC event scheduled for June 14th.
Gary Shaw phoned Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie early Tuesday with the news that the league was killing the fighter’s appearance on the May 11 Dream card. Diaz will make his next scheduled contest versus Muhsin Corbbrey at 160 pounds June 14 on the Showtime-televised EliteXC card from Honolulu, Hawaii.
GracieFighter, the website of Diaz’s fight team, confirmed the news. There’s no telling whether this could hurt relationships between EliteXC and the Dream promotion. They already are sharing the services of Eddie Alvarez and EliteXC could certainly have used some of the talent in the Dream promotion to sure up its thin roster.
Will the Nick Diaz saga ever end? Stay tuned…
Jake Shields. Photo courtesy of ProElite.
Shields vs Fickett Delayed Again
EliteXC has announced that the Welterweight Title fight between Jake Shield and Drew Fickett has been delayed once again. Originally scheduled for the undercard of the Frank Shamrock vs Cung Le event, the bout was put off due to Shields suffering a back injury. It had been rescheduled for EliteXC’s June 14th card in Hawaii, but now word comes that Drew Fickett suffered a knee injury.
Just last week, Shields was quoted as saying he was not sure whether he’d be physically ready by June 14th. Now this announcement. Considering the need for EliteXC to start filling their second US network primetime show in late July, this is pretty convenient. It would look bad for Shields to be the one who is injured again, so maybe EliteXC “encouraged” Fickett to ask for the delay. It would certainly not be below EliteXC’s Gary Shaw to do something of that nature.
At this point, the June 14th EliteXC show is still scheduled and will include a lightweight title fight between Yves Edwards and champion KJ Noons, as well as Nick Diaz.
Aoki? JZ? Anyone?
Fresh off his victory over JZ Calcavante in Tokyo on Tuesday at the Dream 2 show, Shinya Aoki’s further participation in the Lightweight Grand Prix is once again clouded. Before the rematch with JZ ever occurred, Aoki has expressed concerns over whether he would be able to fight in the 2nd round of the GP just two weeks after the JZ rematch. Now rumor has it that he suffered some facial injuries and will not be allowed to continue whether he wants to or not. Originally this rumor of the injury was spread by Calcavante’s ATT team. But it was confirmed by the FEG USA head, Mike Jogan, to USA Today.
Aoki “wants to go on, but it’s up to the doctors,” said Mike Kogan, head of U.S. promotion for Dream’s owner, Fight Entertainment Group. The examination is scheduled for later on Friday — keep in mind that Japan is 13 to 18 hours ahead of North America — so Aoki’s fate could be known several hours from now.
American Top Team made it known that JZ was asked to continue into the next round in place of Aoki but that the fighter and FEG could not come to a financial agreement.
Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
LOS ANGELES - Fans can continue to expect to see mixed martial arts standouts and fan favorites Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano and Robbie Lawler fighting for Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s live fight division, EliteXC, for a long, long time.
“I am proud and very excited to announce that Kimbo, Gina and Robbie have all re-signed with us,’’ EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw said today. Terms of the long-term, multi-year agreements were not disclosed.
Kimbo, Carano and Lawler are three of EliteXC’s most popular, talented and exciting fighters and all will be featured Saturday, May 31, in the first of four prime time events on the CBS Television Network in 2008.
Kimbo (2-0) of Perrine, Fla., and Carano (5-0) of Las Vegas will face fighters to be announced while the exciting Lawler (15-4) of St. Louis will defend his EliteXC middleweight title against hard-hitting Scott “Hands Of Steel’’ Smith (15-4) of Sacramento, Calif., in a slugfest that figures to be non-stop, toe-to-toe action.
Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
The California State Athletic Commission has surprisingly ruled that Nick Diaz will not be permitted to fight at this weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, which will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
According to CSAC Executive Officer Armando Garcia, Diaz failed to submit medical papers in time.
“He did not turn in his medical information in time for the fight,” Garcia told Sherdog’s Josh Gross. “They were just turned in today.”
EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw says different. According to Shaw, the issue has nothing to do with a deadline for Diaz’s medical papers and everything to do with the fact that the Stockton, California native owns a medical marijuana card, stemming from Diaz’s case of Attention Deficit Disorder.
“He never mentioned anything about late medicals,” said Shaw. “And if there were late medicals it wasn’t because of Nick Diaz and it wasn’t because of EliteXC. Nick does what you ask him, and you punish him? It’s like if you have a Ferrari and a police officer gives you a speeding ticket before you turn the key.”
Diaz’s adventures with marijuana have gotten him in trouble before. After submitting former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi in April of last year, Diaz’s enormous upset was changed to a no-contest after the Nevada State Athletic Commission found that the amount of marijuana in Diaz’s system during the fight gave him a competitive advantage.
Drew Fickett, who was originally slated to take on Jake Shields for the EliteXC welterweight title before Shields suffered a back injury during training, will now step in and take on Diaz’s scheduled opponent, Jae Suk Lim.
Gary Shaw (center) speaks at an Elite Xtreme Combat press conference. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Among those fielding answers on Tuesday’s conference call for next weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” event included EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw.
When it comes to the drama involving Randy Couture and his desire to fight the world’s top heavyweight in Fedor Emelianenko, Shaw has been relatively conservative in his answers. With the Ultimate Fighting Championship handing lawsuits out like candy these days, it’s no surprise.
Neither was Shaw’s answer when asked why his name and promotion were not being linked to rumors about a potential home for a showdown between the two legends of the sport by Chris Fries of The Lights Out Show, a member of the TAGG Radio network.
“I won’t do anything until Randy Couture is absolutely out of his contract with the UFC,” Shaw said. “Everybody knows me and my reputation. I do not tortuously interfere with anybody’s contract with any fighter. I respect the fighter, I respect the contract, and believe it or not, I respect the UFC. I don’t deny that I have had talks with Fedor, but I have not approached Couture and I can’t approach Randy until I know he is out of everything with the UFC.”
However pretending that all of the smoke had cleared and both fighters were free men, Shaw’s answer to playing host to a fight between the two was loud and clear.
“I would sign it in less than a heartbeat,” said Shaw.
The prospects of a fight between Couture and Emelianenko happening under the EliteXC banner would be absolutely huge for the promotion. The chances of it happening also increased recently when Couture stated in a recent interview that he didn’t have a preference where the fight took place, as long as it didn’t take place in the UFC.
“I don’t care where it happens as long as it doesn’t happen in the UFC,” Couture said in the interview. “Outside of that, I don’t care where it happens as long as it does happen.”
Among the many organizations lining up to bid for the Russian’s services, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Emelianenko’s management team have both confirmed that they are interested in speaking with each other once again in hopes of striking a deal.
While negotiations between the two sides ended badly last time around, one has to assume that Emelianenko may be looking for a solid home after his dilemma with M-1 Global. EliteXC officials will be praying that he doesn’t choose the house of Dana White and company.
The Lights Out Show is part of the TAGG Radio Network and is hosted by Chris Fries and The JDH. Be sure to visit TAGGRadio.com, TheLightsOutShow.com or iTunes to be able to listen to their most recent show as well as past shows in the archives. The Lights Out Show airs live every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 8 PM ET exclusively on TAGGRadio.com.
Gary Shaw speaks at an Elite Xtreme Combat press conference. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
ProElite, the parent company of Elite Xtreme Combat, today announced a new, multi-year network television deal with CBS that will make the promotion only the second in the history of the sport of mixed martial arts to produce an event for live broadcast television.
“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 heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is expected to headline the first event produced for CBS. The events are scheduled to air on Saturday nights in a prime-time slot. CBS will broadcast four events per year.
“This is a pivotal moment for the sport of mixed martial arts now that a major television network plans to broadcast live MMA events during primetime hours,” said Douglas DeLuca, Chief Executive Officer of ProElite. “We are delighted to enhance our partnership with CBS to bring American audiences the very best in MMA competition through our EliteXC brand.”
The International Fight League became the first mixed martial arts promotion to land a network television deal when they partnered with MyNetworkTV to televise a number of taped highlight shows and one live event last year. However the network has since has placed IFL programming “on hiatus”, meaning they may or may not decide to continue airing IFL-related shows, potentially leaving EliteXC as the lone promotion with as much exposure.
The deal also comes close to two months after CBS broke off discussions to air live events with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“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.”
Showtime, which partners with Elite Xtreme Combat in producing and televising live events, is owned by CBS. Showtime will continue to air EliteXC events.
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:
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
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
Late yesterday, EliteXC announced that Antonio Silva has a new opponent for the co-main event at the Feb 16th card featuring Kimbo Slice vs Tank Abbott. The new opponent will be none other than former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Ricco Rodriquez. This is the third opponent slated to face Antonio Silva. The first announced foe, Shane Carwin, turned down a deal in order to sign with the UFC. Then late last week, EliteXC’s president Gary Shaw announced that Cage Rage’s Gary Turner would fill the slot. Now, a few days after Shaw challenged the UFC and stated that Silva could beat any of the UFC heavyweights, EliteXC puts the former UFC champ in the cage with Junior. Coincidence?
The story gets more interesting in that it turns out that EliteXC apparently did not treat Turner fairly in his mind. EliteXC stated in an article on MMAWeekly that they ended up with contract problems and thus had to drop Turner from the card. Turner, in an open letter to Gary Shaw/EliteXC on the Mat-Magazine website, disputes those facts and rips into the business practices of EliteXC.
Kimbo Slice arm-wrestles EliteXC president Gary Shaw. Photo by Tom Casino.
In a long-awaited, much-anticipated grudge match that figures to be an absolute slugfest, the incredibly popular pride of Perrine, Fla., and hometown hero, Kimbo Slice, will face David “Tank” Abbott, of Huntington Beach, Calif., in the main event Saturday, Feb. 16, on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
It will be the second professional MMA fight for Kimbo, the legendary Internet street fighter and YouTube sensation who scored a smashing 19-second, first-round knockout in his Street-to-Elite debut. “With these hands I can part the sea. With these hands I feed the family,” Kimbo said.
Tank, of Huntington Beach , Calif. , is a feared knockout artist and notorious bad boy and trash-talker. A veteran who has never turned down a fight, Tank has called out Kimbo on numerous occasions, including after Kimbo’s EliteXC and MMA debut in November. Tank is supremely confident he will send home Kimbo and his fans unhappy.
Photo courtesy of KenShamrock.com
The world’s most dangerous father and son combo are headed to London, England to show their stuff.
Elite Xtreme Combat has announced that they have to come to terms on multi-fight deals with former UFC superfight champion Ken Shamrock and his 19-year-old son, Ryan. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“We’re thrilled to have signed Ken and Ryan Shamrock,’’ said EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw, who made the announcement Monday through a press release. “Ken is one of the most recognizable and popular figures in MMA. He has fought the biggest and some of the most important fights in MMA history.”
“Ken is responsible for putting MMA on the worldwide map and making it what it is today,” continued Shaw. “I have the utmost respect for all the Shamrocks. Believe me, I have signed fighters with EliteXC and many more in boxing, but I can truly say I’m as excited about this signing as I have ever been. I’m realIy looking forward to seeing the Shamrocks in action.’’
Both father and son will be back in action at EliteXC-sponsored Cage Rage 25: Bring it on, which will take place on Saturday, March 8th, at the Wembley Arena in London, England. Opponents for both have not yet been announced.
Ken’s return marks the first time the veteran will fight since announcing his retirement following a first-round loss to Tito Ortiz at Shamrock vs. Ortiz III: The Final Chapter back in October of 2006. However Shamrock remains focused despite the layoff.
“I’m totally committed to returning to the cage injury free and anxious about fighting in England for the first time,’’ the older Shamrock said. “It is very exciting for both Ryan and I. We will be making MMA history by being the first father and son to ever fight on the same card. This is a great opportunity we are getting with EliteXC. Give me a fight or two and I will be ready to fight anybody.’’
Ryan made his mixed martial arts debut this past August. He was victorious, submitting opponent Josh Besneatte at a show promoted by his father.
“I think I am more excited than nervous about fighting on the same card with my dad,” said Ryan. “If anything, it gives me more incentive. I get the chance to show that there is another Shamrock out there who can compete as well as he can.’’
The event also features a featherweight title bout between Jean Silva and Masakazu Imanari as well as a clash of heavyweights between England-native Gary Turner and top contender Mustapha al Turk.