Robbie Lawler

Photos: Strikeforce/Showtime Presser


Frank Shamrock attempts to shake hands with Strikeforce opponent Nick Diaz. Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime Networks.

Here’s a small gallery of photos from this past Thursday’s pre-fight press conference for Strikeforce’s “Shamrock vs. Diaz” event, which takes place on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California and will be televised live on Showtime.

Those in attendance at the press conference included former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock, Nick Diaz, former EliteXC champions Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler, and female MMA star Cris “Cyborg” Santos.

All photos were taken by Tom Casino and come courtesy of Showtime. Quotes from the press conference are here.

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Shields-Lawler Set for May Strikeforce


Jake Shields. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

In an interesting matchup that is taking place in an unexpected weight class, former EliteXC champs Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler will meet in a middleweight bout at Strikeforce’s scheduled May event. Shields’ April bout against Joe Riggs is now off:

Former EliteXC champions Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler will face off in a non-title middleweight contest for Strikeforce in May at a yet-to-be-announced Washington state venue. Shields will take the leap to middleweight to face the Iowa striker, said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker at a press conference on Thursday.

The 29-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt had been previously announced to square off against power puncher Joe Riggs at Strikeforce’s April 11 event in San Jose, Calif. That bout is now on hold, said Strikeforce representatives.

The fight will reportedly take place at a catch-weight of 182 lbs. Riggs is also not injured and will likely be used for a different fight, possibly on the same card or in his original April spot. At the moment, I’m torn on making a prediction about this fight. Standing with Lawler wouldn’t be the best idea for Shields, but I wonder if he’ll even be able to take him down. Then again, if it does hit the canvas, Lawler has shown that he’s susceptible to getting caught in submissions. Interesting matchup.

Strikeforce Acquires ProElite Assets; Lands Deal With Showtime


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.”

 

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EliteXC Announces “A Night of Champions”

EliteXC today officially announced details regarding their scheduled November 8 event, titled “A Night of Champions”. The show will take place at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada and will air live on Showtime.

The card will be headlined by two separate championship fights: EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler will defend his title in a rematch against a streaking Joey Villasenor while Nick Diaz and DREAM standout Eddie Alvarez will battle it out for the vacant EliteXC lightweight belt.

Tickets are on sale now, start at $38, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Additional fights expected to take place at the event include Kaitlin Young vs. Sarah Kaufmann, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Cyrille Diabate (possibly for the vacant EliteXC light heavyweight title), and Brett Rogers against an opponent yet to be determined.

Lawler-Villasenor II Set for EliteXC in November


Robbie Lawler. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

Robbie Lawler will defend his EliteXC middleweight title in a rematch against longtime veteran Joey Villasenor at a scheduled EliteXC show on November 8 that will air on Showtime. The organization officially announced the bout during last night’s ShoXC telecast on the network.

Lawler and Villasenor originally fought at PRIDE 32 in October 2006, where Lawler was victorious via knockout due to a flying knee that came just 22 seconds into the bout.

Since then, the two have gone on their separate ways. Lawler defeated Chute Boxe product Murilo “Ninja” Rua at EliteXC’s “Uprising” event last fall to win the EliteXC middleweight belt and successfully defended his crown against Scott Smith in July.

Following the first Lawler bout, Villasenor went on to decision former UFC middleweight title challenger David Loiseau and go on a three-fight winning streak inside EliteXC, most recently scoring an impressive first-round stoppage of Phil Baroni at EliteXC’s first ever show on CBS this past May.

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The “Unfinished Business” Fallout Continues


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.

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Lawler Stops Smith to Retain EliteXC Belt


Robbie Lawler. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Robbie Lawler prevented history from repeating itself Saturday night as he wore down Scott Smith before finally finishing him with a barrage of knees in the second round of their EliteXC middleweight title fight at the Stockton Arena in California.

The two exchanged blows for the second time in two months, this instance serving as the main event of EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” event, which became the promotion’s second such show to be broadcast on primetime network television via CBS. Their original meeting saw both men battle back and forth for fifteen minutes before Lawler inadvertently poked Smith in the eye in the third round. The ringside doctor ultimately ruled that Smith was unable to continue due to vision problems and the fight was ruled a no-contest.

Early on, it looked as if Lawler would once again earn a decisive opening round in his favor, stunning Smith with a trio of jabs. Smith bounced back however, continuing to push the pace and catching Lawler with a right hand late in the round, following up with a flurry that swung momentum in his favor. Smith then opened up a cut just inches away from the previous one Lawler suffered in their first bout. The blood forced Lawler to turn it up a notch, leading to a flurry of knees in the clinch that knocked Smith down twice.

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EliteXC: Unfinished Business Weigh-In Results


Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s EliteXC: Unfinished Business event, which will take place at the Stockton Arena in California, are below. All fighters successfully made weight. The fight card will be joint-broadcasted by CBS and Showtime - A one-hour special will air on Showtime starting at 8:00 PM ET and will continue on CBS at 9:00 PM ET. Additional weigh-in photos are after the jump.

Heavy hitters Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith will battle it out once again for Lawler’s EliteXC middleweight title, this time in the show’s featured attraction. Additional main card bouts include the second of three championship bouts as Jake Shields and BodogFight transfer Nick Thompson will fight for the vacant EliteXC welterweight strap as well as hometown favorite Nick Diaz attempting to extend a two-fight winning streak against journeyman Thomas Denny.

CBS Bouts:

Robbie Lawler (184.5 lbs) vs. Scott Smith (185 lbs)
Jake Shields (169.5 lbs) vs. Nick Thompson (169.5 lbs)
Nick Diaz (159.5 lbs) vs. Thomas Denny (159 lbs)
Shayna Baszler (139 lbs) vs. Cris Cyborg (140 lbs)

Showtime Bouts:

Antonio Silva (257.5 lbs) vs. Justin Eilers (218 lbs)
Rafael Fejiao (203.5 lbs) vs. Travis Galbraith (202 lbs)
Wilson Reis (139.5 lbs) vs. Bryan Caraway (140.5 lbs)

Preliminary Fights:

Jeremy Freitag (205 lbs) vs. Anthony Ruiz (206 lbs)
Mike Cook (232.5 lbs) vs. Carl Seumantafa (255.5 lbs)
Brandon Tarn (252 lbs) vs. Drew Montgomery (224 lbs)
David Douglas (157 lbs) vs. Marlon Mathias (161 lbs)

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EliteXC Back on CBS to Finish Business


Jake Shields. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

Mixed martial arts will once again be featured on prime-time network television this Saturday night as EliteXC puts on their second show for the channel, entitled “Unfinished Business”. The show will emanate from the Stockton Arena in California and will be joint-broadcasted by CBS and Showtime.

The premise of the event’s name stems from a disappointing ending to the first bout between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith on May 31st. After battling for two and a half rounds, Lawler inadvertently poked Smith in the eye in the third stanza. 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.

Now the two will battle it out again for Lawler’s EliteXC middleweight title, this time in the show’s featured attraction. Additional main card bouts include the second of three championship bouts as Jake Shields and BodogFight transfer Nick Thompson will fight for the EliteXC welterweight strap as well as hometown favorite Nick Diaz attempting to extend a two-fight winning streak against journeyman Thomas Denny.

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Lawler, Smith Ready for Another Round


Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

Less than two months after their first bout ended in disappointing fashion, Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith will duke it out once again for the EliteXC middleweight title during the organization’s second network television event on CBS this Saturday night.

The two spoke about their upcoming battle on a pre-fight conference call with the media yesterday that also included female fighters Shayna Baszler and Cris Cyborg as well as ProElite chairman Doug DeLuca. As usual, Lawler kept his answers short and sweet, just letting everybody know that his focus was on this weekend’s fight with Smith and nothing else.

“Really, I don’t care,” Lawler said when asked about his previous fight with Smith. “I look at it as a new fight and I kind of look at it as we’ve never fought before. I’ll be ready to go. I’m not focusing on that anymore. I’m focusing on this next fight and I don’t care how that last one went. I just need to go out there and get the job done on Saturday.”

Meanwhile Smith revealed that he was especially happy that a rematch between the two happened so soon. With his eye and foot injuries suffered in the first bout completely healed, Smith discussed his training for the fight and how he feels that a different regimen this time around may result in seeing an even better fighter this weekend.

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