Icon Sport

EliteXC’s Demise Likely to Signal Change in MMA Landscape


Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

High network television ratings, the financial backing of two media giants, and the greatest amount of visibility for an MMA promotion to date proved to be not enough for ProElite and its figurehead brand, EliteXC, as another organization that attempted to dethrone the Zuffa empire has likely come to a crashing halt.

The news of ProElite’s demise has quickly spread throughout the mixed martial arts community and as expected, so has reaction. However the story of the downfall of one of MMA’s most influential companies is just beginning as facts regarding ProElite’s insurmountable debt, failed sale, and questionable tactics will likely surface within the next few weeks following its expected cessation at the end of this week.

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Hose, Baroni Win at “Hard Times”


Phil Baroni. Photo by Greg Honda/ICON Sport.

ICON Sport middleweight champion Kala Kolohe Hose bounced back from a recent loss in EliteXC to Rolando Dominique by way of strikes in the second round of their non-title bout at last night’s “Hard Times” event at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hose appeared to be in trouble early on after a first-round exchange on the feet saw Dominique stun Hose with a left hook. Hose was able to recover and ended the round on top of Dominique, controlling his opponent and landing strikes. Hose then dropped Dominique with a right hand midway through the second and pounded away for the stoppage win.

Also victorious on last night’s card was Phil Baroni, who remains undefeated at welterweight after scoring a controversial knockout of fellow veteran Ron Verdadero just 51 seconds into their co-featured matchup. A wild exchange on the feet saw Baroni tag Verdadero multiple times before knocking him down with an uppercut and a right hook, prompting referee Yuji Shimada to quickly wave off the bout. Verdadero immediately jumped to his feet and protested the stoppage amongst boos from the crowd but his argument fell on deaf ears.

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Baroni, Hose on Weight for ICON


Ron Verdadero and Phil Baroni. Photo by Greg Honda/ICON Sport.

Both Phil Baroni and former opponent Kala Kolohe Hose, who will be fighting in a non-title matchup, successfully made weight Friday afternoon after stepping on the scales to make their respective bouts official for tonight’s ICON Sport: Hard Times event, which will take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.

All other participants were able to make weight as well except for a trio of fighters that were dropping down to lower weight classes. World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Sidney Silva was forced to take extra time to make weight after accidentally beginning to re-hydrate since opponent Hideto Kondo showed up late to the festivities. After weighing-in two pounds over the limit, Silva was able to shed the extra pounds after less than an hour.

Former ICON Sport 145. lb champion Sadhu Bott was unable to make weight for his bout in the newly formed 140 lb. class. Rather than forfeit a percentage of his purse to opponent Kurrent Cockett, Bott accepted an offer that will have him attempt to make weight once again today. Handing over part of his purse though was Ed Newalu, who was unable to make the 151 lb. limit for his bout against Ricky Wallace. Their bout will go on as planned.

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ICON Returns Saturday With “Hard Times”


Kala Kolohe Hose. Photo courtesy of ProElite.com

ICON Sport will put on their second event of this year in the form of “Hard Times”, which will take place this Saturday night at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. The event will not be streamed online but videos of the fights are expected to be put on ProElite.com following the show’s conclusion.

Kala Kolohe Hose, who defeated Phil Baroni to claim the vacant ICON Sport middleweight title back in March, will look to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Robert McDaniel at EliteXC’s “Return of the King” event in June against newcomer Rolando Dominique.

A streaking Bao Quach, who has won his last eight fights, will take on former ICON Sport bantamweight champion Mark Oshiro for the promotion’s newly created 140 lb. title in the night’s co-main event. Oshiro, who is also riding a seven-fight winning streak of his own, recently submitted Chris Willems at EliteXC’s Hawaiian event.

Fresh off a victorious debut at welterweight, Phil Baroni will look for his first win inside the confines of ICON Sport when he faces fellow veteran Ron Verdadero in a featured bout on the main card. Baroni scored a highlight reel knockout of Scott Jansen at Cage Rage 27 last month. Verdadero has dropped his last two bouts.

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CKA: July 8, 2008

Forrest Griffin
Forrest Griffin, by Becky Bollom on Flickr

The main bout of UFC 86, Forrest Griffin vs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, is still the talk of the MMA world.

Sherdog weighs-in on the general displeasure of the decision and possible rematch, along with fighters’ opinions on who won the fight.  An official count wasn’t made, but giving it a casual read, it does seem that most think Griffin won the fight.

The number one reason for Griffin not winning - and notice it’s not written Jackson winning or even Griffin losing - is that “you have to beat the champ”, a quote from Jackson’s coach Juanito Ibarra, some fighters, and even readers of this site.  The concept is well understood, but scoring systems don’t change for championship fights and champions don’t get awarded bonus points (although we’ve all seen some fights where it seemed like they were).  The UFC does increase the number of rounds for a title fight, but that’s the lone rules change, and no scoring changes come along with that.  Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports has similar thoughts.

Payouts

Griffin’s win made him the highest paid fighter of the night according to MMA Weekly.  The $150k win bonus helped him top former champ Rampage.  The two also were awarded fight of the night bonuses of $60k.  The third highest paid fighter wasn’t even on the main card.  Gabriel Gonzaga, who defeated Justin McCully on the preliminary card, received $100k with the win bonus.

Nogueira tests positive

MMA Weekly is reporting Alexandre “Pequeno” Nogueira has allegedly tested positive for the Boldenone according to the CSAC.

Kolohe to defend title Aug 2

Kala “Kolohe” Hose will defend his ICON middleweight title against Rolando Dominique in his home state of Hawaii on Aug 2.

Bosse to take on the Colossus

Former hockey enforcer Steve Bosse is scheduled to take on James “The Colossus” Thompson at TKO 35 on Oct 3 in Montreal.  Bosse’s last fight was a controversial win against Wes Sims, while Thompson was “that guy who fought Kimbo” at Elite XC’s initial CBS show.

Kicking a live horse

Our Cage Potato buds are already having fun with the UFC’s swat at Affliction’s Fedor card

Hose Outlasts Baroni; Captures ICON Title


Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Hometown favorite Kala Kolohe Hose captured the vacant ICON Sport middleweight title with a fifth round stoppage of UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni in what turned out to be an exhausting war for both fighters and those in attendance inside the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.

Going against his traditional style, Baroni immediately shot in for a takedown to start the fight. Swiftly transitioning back and forth between half-guard and side control, Baroni easily controlled Hose and landed strikes from the top position while his opponent squirmed around, looking for some way to get the fight back up to the feet.

As the round progressed, Baroni visibly began to lose steam, allowing Hose to mount a small attack from the bottom and at least give the judges something to think about during the break.

Baroni scored another takedown at the start of the second round but found himself trying to fight off a kimura midway through. Baroni eventually let Hose stand up and the two exchanged on the feet for the first time in the fight. Baroni tried for another takedown moments later but Hose was able to stuff it and wound up on top. Hose pounded on Baroni but his attack was halted after being warned for an illegal punch to the back of Baroni’s head moments before the round ended.

“Coming into the fight, I knew Baroni had been working on his wrestling a lot,” Hose said after the fight. “When I would grapple in the gym, we would constantly work on my back, different submissions and standing back up.”

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ICON Sport: To Hell and Back Weigh-In Results


Phil Baroni weighs-in for UFC 48: Payback. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tonight’s ICON Sport: To Hell and Back are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

The event features a much-anticipated main event between Phil Baroni and Kala Kolohe Hose, who will slug it out for the ICON Sport middleweight title, which was vacated by former champion Robbie Lawler last month.

Colin MacKenzie provided the only hitch at yesterday’s weigh-ins, failing to appear. Fortunately for ICON Sport President T.Jay Thompson, Brandon Pieper, the twin brother of Bronson who will take on Sadhu Bott in an ICON Sport featherweight title bout, agreed to take the fight against Ricky Wallace on short notice.

Phil Baroni (186 lbs) vs. Kala Kolohe Hose (184 lbs)
Auggie Padeken (205 lbs) vs. Jeremy Williams (205 lbs)
Sadhu Bott (143 lbs) vs. Bronson Pieper (146 lbs)
Russell Doane (135 lbs) vs. Tyson Nam (135 lbs)
Brennan Kamaka (181 lbs) vs. Ross Ebanez (173 lbs)
Wayne Perrin (170 lbs) vs. Koa Ramos (170 lbs)
Zack Rapal (133 lbs) vs. Dwayne Haney (134 lbs)
Brandon Pieper (150 lbs) vs. Ricky Wallace (147 lbs)
Eddie Rincon (160 lbs) vs. P.J. Dean (160 lbs)
Matt Comeau (145 lbs) vs. Elias De Los Reyes (145 lbs)
Alan Lima (149 lbs) vs. David Padilla (153 lbs)
Nui Wheeler (136 lbs) vs. Jay Bolos (137 lbs)
Wade Ke (175 lbs) vs. Micah Ige (173 lbs)

The Fight Network to Televise Baroni-Hose


Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage.

The Fight Network has announced that they will be televising tomorrow night’s ICON Sport: To Hell and Back event live starting at 10 PM ET.

The network made the announcement on their daily radio show on Sirus Satellite Radio.

A total of ten fights are slated to be shown including a main event between Phil Baroni and Kala Kolohe Hose, who will slug it out for the vacant ICON Sport middleweight title.

ICON Sport officials vacated the title from the waist of current EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler after the Miletich Fighting Systems product was forced to pull out of two consecutive title defenses against Hose due to injury. Lawler has since announced his intention of competing for the belt again in the near future.

Other fighters competing on the card include former professional boxer turned mixed martial artist Jeremy Williams, who will attempt to stay undefeated against submission expert Auggie Padekan. Tyson Nam will try to win his second consecutive fight when he takes on Russell Doane.

Ross Ebanez will try to bounce back from a devastating knockout loss to Eddie Alvarez in January when he clashes with Brennan Kamaka. An ICON Sport featherweight title bout between Sadhu Bott and Bronson Pieper is also scheduled to take place.

For those who don’t have The Fight Network, the event will be available to members of ProElite.com free of charge. The televised portion of the card will begin at 8 PM ET. You can visit the event’s official site here.

Phil Baroni: Back From Hell


Photo courtesy of Phil Baroni/EliteXC.

The title of ICON Sport’s latest event tomorrow night couldn’t be more fitting. “To Hell and Back”. It takes on a great amount of meaning for Phil Baroni, who is attempting to piece his career back together after testing positive for steroids under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission last year.

To this day, Baroni maintains that he did not take steroids.

“It still bothers me to this day,” Baroni said during a recent interview session. “It doesn’t matter though anymore because the damage is done. Who knows what’s going to happen in the future when I go to fight in other places. Will New Jersey even take me or are they just going to toss me aside because I’m a guy who failed a test for steroids?”

“I’m frustrated. I can’t wait to get in there and fight,” Baroni continued. “My career literally stopped in it’s tracks. Now I want to get it going again.”

With the past behind him, Baroni now has his attention focused on his latest opponent, hard-hitting middleweight convert Kala Kolohe Hose, who has experienced his own fair share of frustration after previous chances at the now vacant ICON Sport middleweight title were spoiled by former champion Robbie Lawler’s continual injury problems.

With Hose, Baroni receives an opponent that will likely play right into what he usually loves to do in fights - stand and slug it out. That’s exactly what “The New York Bad Ass” intends to do.

“I’m going in and I’m knocking the kid out, it’s that simple,” Baroni said. “There’s really not that much to say. He’s not the brightest crayon in the box. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. He acts like a wise ass, probably because he’s been hanging out with Frank Shamrock these days. I hope he’s content with the new tricks that he’s learned. I’m still going to put him to sleep.”

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ProElite Releases Full ICON Card for Sat


Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage.

ProElite, the parent company of ICON Sport, has announced that it will be streaming Saturday’s ICON Sport: To Hell and Back event for free on it’s official website.

The event will be available to members of ProElite.com. The televised portion of the card will begin at 8 PM ET. You can visit the event’s official site here.

A total of ten fights are slated to be shown including a main event between Phil Baroni and Kala Kolohe Hose, who will slug it out for the vacant ICON Sport middleweight title.

ICON Sport officials vacated the title from the waist of current EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler after the Miletich Fighting Systems product was forced to pull out of two consecutive title defenses against Hose due to injury. Lawler has since announced his intention of competing for the belt again in the near future.

Baroni is coming off of a six-month suspension stemming from a positive steroids test under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission. Baroni has not fought since being submitted by Frank Shamrock at a EliteXC and Strikeforce promoted show last June. He signed a multi-year deal with ProElite last month.

In between his canceled fights with Lawler, Hose knocked out Full Force Productions veteran Frederic Belleton at a ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series event in January.

Other fighters competing on the card include former professional boxer turned mixed martial artist Jeremy Williams, who will attempt to stay undefeated against submission expert Auggie Padekan. Tyson Nam will try to win his second consecutive fight when he takes on Russell Doane.

Ross Ebanez will try to bounce back from a devastating knockout loss to Eddie Alvarez in January when he clashes with Brennan Kamaka. An ICON Sport featherweight title bout between Sadhu Bott and Bronson Pieper is also scheduled to take place.

The current fight card for the event is after the jump:

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