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 Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Elite Xtreme Combat has announced that their first prime-time televised event on CBS, “EliteXC and CBS Saturday Night Fights” will take place on May 31st and will be broadcast live from the brand new Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the same venue that hosted UFC 78: Validation last year.
“We’re excited to introduce broadcast television viewers to America’s fastest growing sport with this prime time event,” said Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime, in a press release sent out to the media today. “EliteXC is putting together a lineup card that showcases the unique personalities, world-class athleticism, and raw power and emotion that characterizes mixed martial arts.”
EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson will indeed participate at the event against an opponent yet to be announced. EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler will also put on his belt on the line against Scott Smith in a bout that will likely be a sure-fire war on the feet.
Lawler has not fought since stopping Murilo Rua with strikes in September. He was slated to take on fellow heavy-hitter Kala Kolohe Hose in a December title unification bout but a nagging injury bug prevented Lawler from fighting and he was ultimately stripped of his ICON Sport belt. Smith knocked out Kyle Noke in his EliteXC debut last month.
“I am very happy for the highly trained fighters, who will finally get the kind of exposure they deserve, and, of course, the viewers, who will get the opportunity to learn that MMA is truly a sport that requires an abundance of skills, both mentally and physically,” said Gary Shaw, EliteXC Live Events President.
Five Ounces of Pain reports that a heavyweight swing bout between Brett Rogers and Jon Murphy is currently in the works and that Gina Carano may also return to action at the event as well.
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
MMA on Tap has learned that Kala Kolohe Hose will now fight as part of ShoXC’s next event on January 25th.
The news comes from a press release sent out by Pro Elite yesterday.
Hose’s originally scheduled fight against EliteXC Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler for this weekend was postponed after Lawler suffered a torn right bicep during a recent training session. This is the second time that Lawler has been forced to pull out of a proposed bout between the two. Lawler pulled out of a slated bout in June because of a shoulder injury.
According to Pro Elite officials, Hose will remain the number one contender for Lawler’s ICON Sport belt regardless if he is victorious or not in January.
A venue for the event will be announced later this month. An official opponent for Hose and additional matchups on the card will be revealed in the near future
Icon Sport, the premier MMA promoter in the state of Hawaii, has cancelled their upcoming Fearless show, scheduled for this weekend December 15th. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler was slated for the main event against Kala Kolohe Hose, but pulled out due to a pretty severe shoulder injury. When no replacement was found for Lawler, Icon Sport cancelled the whole event.
Personally, I think its pretty sad that they had to cancel the whole event over the loss of one fighter just 5 days before the event was slated to happen. There were 14 other fights featuring mainly local talent scheduled for the event. Obviously, it bad luck that they lost their main attraction in Lawler, but they should have made due somehow. If you have to offer partial refund, reduced priced tickets, or whatever, Icon should have done this. Telling 29 fighters just 5 days before their fight that its off is garbage. For an organization that’s affiliated with EliteXC, that’s unacceptable. Its hard to imagine that Gary Shaw couldn’t have helped out somehow. Isn’t that what part of the reason ICON was bought by EliteXC?
BTW, Icon via MMAHawaii actually posted the MRI report detailing Lawler’s injury. It shows a type 2 SLAP lesion with a complete tear of the long head of the bicep tendon. They said he hadn’t seen an orthopedic yet but that he would be out 6 weeks. That’s wishful thinking in my opinion. First off, it was likely an orthopedic who sent Robbie for the MRI in the first place. And with the findings that are outlined in that report, I’d be rather surprised if he doesn’t need surgery to at minimum correct the bicep tendon tear. This is more likely a 6-10 month recovery than the 6 weeks Icon is saying. Not good for Robbie.
EliteXC and ICON Sport Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler will finally square off against Kala Kolohe Hose at ICON Sport: Fearless on December 15th.
The two were originally set to meet in June but the event was postponed after Lawler suffered a shoulder injury during training.
Lawler has won 7 of his last 8 fights since being released from the UFC in 2004. He knocked out Frank Trigg back in March to claim the ICON Sport Middleweight Title and then unified the belt with Murlio Rua’s EliteXC Middleweight Title when he stopped Rua with strikes last month at EliteXC: Uprising.
Hose sports a professional MMA record of 4-1, all four of his wins have come by KO or TKO.
Other fights on the card include a title fight between Bronson Pieper and Sadhu Bott as well as a meeting between Po’ai Suganuma and Richard Desforge.
Brazilian website Tatame recently sat down for an interview with former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort where “The Phenom” revealed that a proposition for a potential title bout against EliteXC Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler had been sent to him. Belfort also discussed his wish to take on current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the future:
What are your plans for the future? People are asking for you in UFC…
I want to start everything from the beggining and win the most big belts that I can. I´ll give the maximum attention to my career and fight against the best athletes. I have this big wish of fighting against Quinton Jackson, I think it would be a great combat. EliteXC that´s buying all the events, made a proposal for me to go to a lower category to face Robbie Lawler and fight for the big belt. Me and Spike, we are taking a careful look at this proposal of lowering my weight, getting this belt from Robbie Lawler or the big belt of the medium weight in Ultimate and then winning the superheavy belt. I want to fight in all events I can, but this I´ll decide after taking a look at all the proposals I´ve got. I still have a fight in Cage Rage. I liked this guy, Gary Shaw (president of EliteXC).
With all of the recent talk of Lawler fighting overseas now that Pro Elite has purchased Cage Rage, the fight would most likely take place in that promotion in order to unify the EliteXC and Cage Rage belts. The card for Cage Rage 24 in December isn’t even close to being filled as of yet. I guess we’ll see if the fight could happen then.
As for Belfort taking on Rampage - Vitor is going to have to rack up a string of impressive wins if Dana White is going to invite him back once again.
In a sensational main event on a spectacular cage fight card this Saturday, Sept. 15 at Blaisdell Arena on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast), talented, exciting Murilo “Ninja” Rua will make his first EliteXC middleweight title defense against hard-hitting, crowd-pleasing ICON Sport titleholder, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.
So who is going to triumph in the featured attraction in “Uprising’’—the biggest MMA event in the history of Hawaii and the initial collaboration between Los Angeles-based ProElite’s respected live fight division, EliteXC, and Hawaii-based promoters and former rivals, ICON Sport and ROTR (Rumble On The Rock) and Showtime?
The experts expect what figures to be a hotly contested five round, 5-minute fight to be close. Of the 11 MMA media sorts who participated in an EliteXC/SHOWTIME Prediction Poll, seven picked Rua and four took Lawler. Here’s how they see the evenly matched Rua-Lawler EliteXC title fight:
Scott White, MMAonTap.com, (Lawler): “Lawler has shown improved cardio in his past few fights along with excellent power and striking skills. He will prove to be too much for Ninja on the feet and will score a stoppage via strikes partway through the second.’‘
David M Singer, MMAonTap.com, (Lawler): “Each fighter is coming into this fight on a three-fight winning streak. Lawler’s last couple fights going long give him the recent experience he’ll need in a fight that has the potential to go past round three. Lawler wins by late KO/TKO.’’
John Chandler, MMAonTap.com, (Lawler): “Both Lawler and Rua have a solid chance to win. It is going to come down to the fighter that is able to impose his will on the other. Rua has the obvious advantage on the ground and he would be smart to take the fight there early and often. Lawler sports the better striking ability, but Rua showed in his last fight against Joey Villasenor (Pictures) that his hands are to be feared as well. Ultimately, I think that the temptation to stand and trade with Lawler will be Rua’s downfall. Lawler wins by KO.’’
Showtime hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming EliteXC: Uprising event scheduled to take place on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fighters featured on the call were ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua through the use of an interpreter, Jake Shields, and Gina Carano. Other officials participating in the call were EliteXC President Gary Shaw and ICON Sport President T. Jay Thompson.
Former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes and current ICON Sport Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler are set to leave Miletich Fighting Systems in Iowa to start their own gym in Granite City, Illinois.
MFS founder Pat Miletich confirmed the news on The Fight Network’s radio show earlier today.
“Matt’s been with me for almost a decade,” said Miletich on Fight Network Radio today. “We’ve had a lot of great years together. This is a natural progression for guys to eventually go out on their own.”
“I’m sure he’s had a lot of offers to do something like this and he got one close to home,” said Miletich. “I know it’s been tough on him driving up to Iowa all these years, spending the week up here and going home on weekends year after year.”
The gym will be named H.I.T (Hughes Intensive Training) and will officially open to the public in January of next year. Matt Pena and Rob Fiore are said to be two of the members of the gym’s staff. Various reports also have TUF 5 alumnus Corey Hill switching gyms to train with Hughes and Lawler as well.