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.”
Photo: Tom Casino/EliteXC/CBS
Can’t really call it Kimbo-Shamrock if that didn’t happen, can we? After some technical difficulties preventing live blogging, it’s time to post the results.
Seth Petruzelli def. Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson - TKO (Strikes)
Jake Shields def. Paul Daley - Submission (Armbar)
Andrei Arlovski def. Roy Nelson - KO
Gina Carano def. Kelly Kobold - Unanimous Decision
Benji Radach def. Murilo “Ninja” Rua - TKO (Strikes)
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos def. Yoko Takahashi - Unanimous Decision
Connor Heun def. Edson Berto - TKO (Strikes)
Mikey Gomez def. Lorenzo Borgomeo - Submission (Armbar)
Bryan Hamade def. David Gomez - Submission (Guillotine)
Nicolae Cury def. Jorge Bouchat - Submission (Reverse Triangle)
Yup, you read that right, Kimbo was TKO’d. Not only that, but he was TKO’d in 14 seconds. Shocker? A little, but not completely, despite the popularity difference.
EliteXC announced a sellout, and ratings may have been good for the event, but with Kimbo dispatched so quickly, EliteXC’s possible success tonight will be overshadowed by their biggest draw falling so fast.
The weigh-in’s for tonight’s CBS broadcast of EliteXC Heat: Slice vs Shamrock took place yesterday and were not without their fair share of controversy. Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock got into a physical pushing match while Jake Shields and Paul Daley also got very confrontational and had to be separated multiple times including behind the scenes. And Gina Carano made weight. But not without having to fully disrobe in front of the crowd covered by a few flimsy towels. Here are the weights.
Main Card on CBS
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson - 234.5 vs. Ken Shamrock - 206.5
Jake Shields - 169.75 vs. Paul Daley - 170
Andrei Arlovski - 240.75 vs. Roy Nelson - 262.75
Gina Carano - 141 vs. Kelly Kobold - 141
Benji Radach - 185 vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua - 185
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos - 148.5 vs. Yoko Takahashi - 148.5
Edson Berto - 157.75 vs. Connor Heun - 160.75
Seth Petruzelli - 205.5 vs. Aaron Rosa - 204.75
Lorenzo Borgomeo - 170.25 vs. Mikey Gomez - 170.25
David Gomez - 138.75 vs. Bryan Hamade - 138.75
Jorge Bouchat - 159.5 vs. Nicolae Cury - 161.25
I have some opinions on this after the jump.
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.
Shinya Aoki. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
During the ongoing process to find EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields an opponent for the promotion’s scheduled October 4th show on CBS, various options and fighters were considered. Defending his title against John Alessio, who is currently recovering from a broken arm, and challenging Matt Lindland at Affliction’s latest event were discussed before EliteXC officials and Shields eventually decided on British sensation Paul Daley.
However one name that went previously unmentioned but is now popping up is standout grappler Shinya Aoki. According to Shields, EliteXC is currently attempting to book Aoki to face him in the near future. Shields doesn’t think that the fight will take place though according to what he told MMA Weekly:
“I guess they were trying to get Aoki, but he’s got no bushido,” Shields said. “I don’t think Aoki wants to fight me. He’s got no warrior spirit. He’s from Japan, who’d have thought?”
Aoki could easily be brought in to face Shields because of the working partnership EliteXC and DREAM formed earlier this year. It’s key to note though that he hasn’t fought at 170 lbs in over a year. Eddie Alvarez‘s stint in Japan has worked out great for both sides but being able to use the services of Aoki may cost EliteXC one of their bigger name stars. Aoki is arguably one of if not the biggest attraction for the promotion right now. Who would EliteXC have to give up in order to bring Aoki stateside?
Jake Shields. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
Mark your calendars because this is going to be a fight you want to see.
It seems that Jake Shields’ camp has finally made a decision about his next fight. He’ll reportedly defend his EliteXC welterweight title against Paul “Semtex” Daley at the organization’s latest edition of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS, which will take place at the at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida on October 4th.
The news comes from MMA Weekly, who have confirmed the bout as taking place with EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw.
“Jake Shields and Paul Daley have a date on Oct. 4,” Shaw said. “Both fighters have verbally agreed. Bout agreements are out and we’re just waiting for them to come back in. Unlike some others, these are two guys that I trust their word.”
Vitor Belfort. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort has been forced to pull out of his scheduled middleweight bout against Matt Lindland at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” show on October 11th due to a lingering hand injury that will leave him unable to compete.
Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio informed MMA Weekly of Belfort’s withdraw late last night and MMA on Tap has since confirmed the change with Belfort’s camp. The Brazilian suffered a broken hand in the first round of his knockout win over Terry Martin on July 19th. Belfort was originally optimistic about being able to compete this fall, but the opinions of a handful of doctors have apparently now changed his mind.
“Vitor is out, I spoke with him I think yesterday and he told me,” Atencio said. “Actually, it was on Tuesday we had a conversation for about an hour or so, and yeah, I guess he broke his hand in two places is what he told me and he had been having 2, 3 and 4 opinions on it. He finally got the opinion that he wanted I guess and they told him to step out for a while.”
While a replacement opponent for Lindland has not yet been found, rumors are now circulating that EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields would consider moving up in weight to face the former Olympic wrestler should EliteXC officials permit him to take the fight. However neither side has been very open about the possibility or the potential ongoing negotiations.
Jake Shields. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
Update 6:21 PM ET: John Alessio tells MMA Junkie that he will not be ready in time to fight at EliteXC’s September 20th event due to a lack of preparation time and a continual recovery from his broken arm. “Sept. 20 is the date [EliteXC] brought up (for a bout with Shields), and that’s just too soon for my arm,” Alessio said in the report. “I had surgery on [my arm] three days after the fight (with Spratt). I had a cast on it for a little while. Now I’m out of it, and I’m back in training. But I had to take five weeks off. Getting ready for a five-round fight by Sept. 20 is too much.”
Update 4:24 PM ET: Jake Shields has told MMA Weekly that while a fight against John Alessio is on the table, he’s unsure if he will accept it because of a standing offer from another organization to fight at 185 lbs. this fall. “That fight might happen, but it’s not 100%, not finalized yet,” Shields said in the article. “Right now I have a really good offer on the table to fight a top 185-pounder. I’m just waiting, hoping EliteXC will give me that opportunity to go out there and represent [them] and test myself.”
Jake Shields will reportedly make his first defense of his newly-won EliteXC welterweight title against former UFC and WEC title challenger John Alessio at EliteXC’s “Showdown at the Pit” event on September 20th at the University of New Mexico.
The news comes from MMA Mania, who have confirmed the bout with a source close to the fight’s negotiations. The matchup was first uncovered by Five Ounces of Pain via Nokaut.com yesterday when Shields mentioned that he would be facing Alessio during a recent interview.
From Rumble on the Rock’s welterweight tournament in 2006, here’s the tourney’s championship bout between current EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields and reigning WEC welterweight title holder Carlos Condit.
Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
The negative fallout from EliteXC’s second show on CBS is continuing. Yesterday the UFC and Spike TV blasted the organization for drawing lesser numbers on their network television broadcast than a replay of UFC 84: Ill Will in certain demographics last Saturday night. Gary Shaw and Doug DeLuca’s resignation from ProElite were also announced on Tuesday as well.
One of the things EliteXC heads DeLuca and Jeremy Lappen continually harped on in the weeks leading up to the event was the tremendous ticket sales they were enjoying. DeLuca stated that five days out from the event, they had already sold half of the available tickets and were expecting a sellout.
“We’re definitely well over half sold already,” DeLuca said during a pre-event conference call on July 22. “That was as of the weekend. I know we picked up a full head of steam on Monday. I’m really not too sure where ticket sales are at exactly, but we are fully expecting it to be a complete sell out.”
It turns out that DeLuca fibbed a bit.