Kimbo Slice. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and female mixed martial arts star Gina Carano will both return to action at the organization’s scheduled October 4th event, which will take place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
The promotion announced the fighters’ participation and the event itself on last night’s CBS broadcast of “Unfinished Business”. The October event is slated to air on the television network as well. In a busy stretch, EliteXC will also put on a pair of ShoXC events and another card on Showtime prior to this one.
Although Slice remains undefeated in his professional MMA career, he received loads of criticism for his lackluster performance against veteran James Thompson at EliteXC’s “Primetime” event back on May 31st. Slice was visibly fatigued at the conclusion of the first round and seemingly coasted through the rest of the bout until referee Dan Miragliotta controversially halted the fight after Thompson’s blood-filled ear popped.
Carano picked up her sixth career win in as many fights at the aforementioned spring show as well, earning a second-round TKO of Kaitlin Young. Carano, who fights out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, has been splitting her time training and fulfilling her duties as ‘Crush’ on the latest edition of NBC’s “American Gladiators. She also owns wins over top-ranked female fighter Tonya Evinger and Rosi Sexton.
Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
While it’s pretty easy to assume that the current relationship between UFC President Dana White and his reigning heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, might be a little rocky considering White’s company filed a defamation suit against Couture earlier this year, things might be starting to get a little better between the two.
White was a guest this morning on CBS and XM Satellite Radio’s “Opie and Anthony Show” (audio here) where he talked about a variety of topics, including his current situation with Couture. As he’s done all throughout the past eight months since Couture formally resigned from the promotion, White had nothing but good things to say about the UFC Hall-of-Famer.
“I have nothing but respect for Randy Couture,” White said on the program. “This guy is a real fighter and he’s always fought the best fighters in the world. So whatever his reasoning his for wanting to sit out for the remainder of this thing, I want Randy Couture back in the UFC. I want him to be a part of this thing for the rest of his life and I’m trying to work that out with Randy right now so we’ll see what happens.”
Whether or not White and Couture are really trying to work something out remains to be seen, but this is the first time in quite a while that White has even mentioned anything related to an attempt to patch things up with Couture.
White also discussed his attempts to sign former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. While one of Couture’s main reasons for leaving the UFC was White’s inability to sign Emelianenko, he noted that his attempts were not made in vain.
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.
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.
Kimbo Slice follows up with an uppercut as a bloodied James Thompson attempts to retaliate. Photo: Tom Casino/EliteXC
On a history-making evening which featured a lot of exciting, entertaining two-way action and a little bit of everything, including licks, kicks and controversy, unbeaten Kimbo Slice (3-0) of Perrine, Fla., scored a hard-fought third-round TKO over England’s James “Colossus” Thompson (16-9) in the main event of the inaugural “CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights” on the CBS Television Network.
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
Courtesy of ESPN.com
ESPN The Magazine’s anticipated cover story on EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson hit newsstands nationwide on Wednesday and is now available for public viewing on at The Mag’s official website. (Cover picture here)
The story, entitled “Not Quite What You Were Thinking” and written by Miami Herald reporter and frequent ESPN contributor, Dan Le Batard, chronicles Ferguson’s journey from being homeless in 1994 all the way to becoming one of mixed martial arts hottest prospects today.
An excerpt from the piece:
Let’s rewind to the most desperate time in the desperate life of a desperate man. Before he traveled by stretch Navigator limo and private jet. Before rap stars requested his menace in their videos. Before Randy Moss approached him like an awestruck teen. Or Jason Taylor wanted the best seats to watch him fight. Or Lamar Odom said, “Manny Ramirez was born to swing a bat. Peyton Manning was born to throw a football. And Kimbo Slice was born to kick ass.” You know, before he made that clichéd climb from strip-club bouncer to porn bodyguard to street-brawling Internet legend to broadcast-TV star, ho-hum.
Kimbo Slice—real name Kevin Ferguson—was homeless 14 years ago. He lived out of a green, 1987 Pathfinder that had four mismatched tires. He taped plastic bags to the shattered window to keep most of the rain out. He bathed in the ocean and pools and went to the bathroom wherever he could. He was too proud to live with his mother but not too proud to wash the cars of strangers when he got turned down for menial jobs. And that mind of his—the one that has surprised the CBS suits trying to morph him into an MMA star, that convinced them to sign him for MMA’s network debut on May 31—drowned in shame.
In my opinion, the article was extremely well done and is a must-read for anyone that has a one-sided opinion of Slice.
Just one week from Saturday, Slice will be headlining the first-ever live MMA event on CBS as he takes on PRIDE veteran and fellow heavy-hitter James Thompson in the main event of EliteXC’s “Primetime” event, which emanates from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on May 31st.
Kimbo Slice. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson will serve as one of the presenters at Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas according to Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated. The event will air on CBS from 8-11 PM ET. Slice’s appearance will likely have him make some kind of mention of EliteXC’s debut on the network next Saturday night.
Report: Moreno to Face Haselrig at EliteXC on CBS
New Jersey-based heavyweight Carlos Moreno will step in to face former NFL All-Pro offensive lineman and NCAA wrestling champion Carlton Haselrig at Elite Xtreme Combat’s upcoming “Primetime” event on May 31st according to Sherdog.com.
Moreno has won two out of his last three fights. He most recently fell to Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Kevin Jordan at a Battle Cage Xtreme event last October. Haselrig was originally slated to take on Fightfest veteran Joe McCall, who will be unable to compete at the event due to family obligations.
Kelly Perdew Resigns as CEO of ProElite.com
EliteXC parent company ProElite announced today that Kelly Perdew, the winner of the second season of NBC’s “The Apprentice”, has resigned as President and CEO of the organization’s official website through the company’s SEC filing.
Perdew filed his resignation on May 9th and it will go into effect next week. According to MMA Junkie, Perdew will now move on to rotohog.com to serve as the fantasy sports company’s CEO. A successor for Perdew has not yet been named.
Donruss to Create Cung Le Trading Card
Popular trading card company Donruss has announced it’s intention to create a trading card featuring the likeness of newly crowned Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, who defeated former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock in March to claim the title.
“We’re excited to be able to include Cung in our program,” said Scott Prusha, Marketing Director for Donruss, said in a press release sent out to the media today. “Cung is an extremely exciting fighter and winning the Strikeforce championship was really a big thing.”
B.J. Penn. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The war of words between UFC lightweight kings B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk raged on yesterday, a little over a week until their highly anticipated showdown that will decide the organization’s true lightweight champion in Las Vegas.
Even before the bout was officially signed, Penn has been adamant about blasting Sherk with every chance he gets concerning Sherk’s failed steroids test last year under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission, a ruling that the Minnesota native still feels is wrong to this day.
“It’s hard for me, being a guy that’s never used performance enhancing drugs,” Penn said on yesterday’s pre-fight conference call for UFC 84: Ill Will. “You wake up every day after training tired and in pain and it kind of gets to you when you learn that someone is taking those kind of things. I’m a purist and I love this sport more than anythning. When someone goes ahead and perverts a sport as pure as this, I can’t take it.”
Even though the two both agreed that the conclusion of the fight would most likely result in the end of the bad blood and hard-feelings, Penn continued to push Sherk’s button as the call went on, even going as far as asking the former champion himself about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, prompting Sherk to strike back.
“I know what I did and I know what I didn’t do,” Sherk said. “I went above and beyond what I had to do in order to try and prove that I was innocent. Anyone that has followed the case and what I’ve had gone through will know that I didn’t do what they said I did.”
“I have fans who stand by me and who believe that I didn’t take steroids,” continued Sherk. “Then there are those who will think a certain way because of the way I look. I’ve looked the same for the past 10 years. Shit, I’ve apparently been doing steroids and I’ve been able to drop down to 155 lbs. Amazing, isn’t it?”
Moderating the banter was UFC President Dana White. While White was hesitant to give a definite opinion on the situation involving Sherk, he also stated that he can’t complain about the amount of animosity between the two.
“I’ve known Sean Sherk for a long time. I respect him as an athlete and as a man,” White said. “B.J. has his opinions of Sean and he’s going to let you know what they are. This happens sometimes. One of the cool things about this sport is the sportsmanship and everything else. But you know sometimes guys just rub each other the wrong way and it happens. Everything I just said about the two best fighters in the world facing each other in their prime, it doesn’t suck when they hate each other either.”
Additional conference call notes from yesterday are after the jump.