Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Craig Ferguson

To promote his upcoming UFC 130 light heavyweight main event against "Ultimate Fighter" product Matt Hamill, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson appeared on Monday's  "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" on CBS.

Emelianenko-Rogers to Be Held in Chicago

Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of M-1 Global.

Strikeforce and M-1 Global announced today that longtime heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko’s U.S. network television debut against undefeated prospect Brett Rogers on November 7 will take place at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, located just outside of Chicago.

Tickets for the event will go on sale to the public on Monday, September 28 at 11 AM ET. A special pre-sale ticket purchase opportunity will take place for “Strikeforce Insider” e-newsletter subscribers beginning at 10:00 AM ET on Friday, September 27.

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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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Kimbo Wasn’t Exposed, the Truth Was

Seth Petruzelli. Photo by Tom Casino, EliteXC/CBS.

After a weekend without a steady internet connection because of work going on in my area, I hopped on the computer this morning and immediately noticed the headlines concerning Seth Petruzelli’s quick and easy victory over Kimbo Slice this weekend.

They were “shocking” to say the least. Not shocking because of the amount of coverage the fight got, that was expected in my opinion, but shocking because people are actually treating Petruzelli’s destruction of Slice as surprising.

Give me a break…

The second that Petruzelli was announced as Ken Shamrock’s replacement opponent, I immediately turned to my friends and told them to expect a Kimbo Slice loss. Joe Rogan did the same thing. Although I’m sure no one expected Slice to go down in just 14 seconds, his first professional defeat was clearly coming against a much more experienced and credentialed fighter than he.

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“Heat” Garners 4.3 Million Viewers for CBS

Gina Carano. Photo by Tom Casino, EliteXC/CBS.

The numbers are in for EliteXC’s latest effort and it seems that the organization did pretty well with the network television return of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano.

According to CBS executive Kelly Kahl, who was contacted by MMA on Tap early this morning, “Heat” pulled in approximately 4.3 million viewers, which is an obvious increase from the dismal 2.6 million that watched “Unfinished Business” on July 26.

The 4.3 rating is expected to fluctuate over the next couple of days due to still-incoming numbers and the fact that Saturday night’s broadcast went approximately 20 minutes over it’s scheduled 11 PM ET ending time. (The overlap also featured Seth Petruzelli’s 14 second TKO of Kimbo Slice) In addition, EliteXC pulled in a live gate of $826,433 and a decent attendance total of 9.414 with 7,723 tickets paid for and the rest complimentary according to EliteXC figurehead Jeremy Lappen at the show’s post-fight press conference.

Bottom line: While Slice’s star power may have been damaged, he’ll still draw viewers for his next fight, and EliteXC has potentially bought itself a little more time in the MMA promoting business with a solid rating and possible financial help from CBS.

EliteXC Heat Weigh-ins and News

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

Preliminary Bouts:
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.

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Reger’s Rant Sept 29, 2008

John has been on me in the past to write some opinion pieces and he’s right.  So once a week, I’ll try to comment on some of the happenings in the world of Mixed Martial Arts as I see them in my warped eyes.

Affliction-EliteXC co-promotion

News last week that Affliction was loaning Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson to EliteXC to compete on the CBS October 4 Primetime show was really the best news to come out of either promotion in quite a while.  Many feel the only way for either group to survive is to join forces.  To me, it’s not even about competing with the UFC, it’s more a case of survival.  By combining the MMA promotional experience of EliteXC with the roster and deep pockets of Affliction, they could carve out a very nice segment for themselves.  Affliction, specifically Tom Atencio and Michael Cohen, have made it clear that this is a one time co-promotion at this point, which is the wise thing to do until they see how it works out.  Conversely, EliteXC’s Jared Shaw of course is making veiled threats at the UFC, but that’s nothing new for $kala.  Ultimately though, this could be a huge positive for both promotions.

Where is Fedor fighting next?

So will we next see Fedor fighting in Affliction, or in a thus unannounced New year’s Eve show in Japan?  Upon hearing Fedor promise to fight in Japan on NYE during the Dream 6 show, Jerry Millen of Fedor’s M-1 Global team issued a statement saying that Fedor is under contract to fight for Affliction on their January show that is being co-promoted with boxing’s Golden Boy Promotions.  Affliction has made similar statements.  Just last year Monte Cox, fresh off the creation of M-1 Global featuring Fedor, stated Emelianenko would not be fighting on NYE and instead would compete on a January card.  A few weeks later, Fedor announces his intention to compete on the inaugural Yarennoka show.  This is becoming eerily similar.  From all indications, Fedor’s Affliction contract is exclusive to bouts taking place in the US.  But since the fight would occur in Japan, they might be powerless to prevent it. 


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Report: Ken Shamrock to Fight Kimbo Slice at Oct 4 EliteXC

Loretta Hunt of Sherdog is reporting that UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and famed street brawler Kimbo Slice have agreed to a contract to throwdown at the next EliteXC show on CBS, October 4, 2008 at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida..  This show will be the third of four contracted shows for EliteXC on CBS, but given the ratings from the second show in July, it is believed that EliteXC is really needing to put up big numbers to continue the contract.

Despite Kimbo getting called out after his last fight by undefeated heavyweight Brett Rogers, EliteXC has decided to go the safer route with the matchup against MMA legend Ken Shamrock.  The 45 year old Shamrock will enter the fight riding a five fight losing streak.  But his name recognition and selling power can not be underestimated.

A relative newcomer to organized Mixed Martial Arts, Kimbo, aka Kevin Ferguson, will take a 3-0 record into the fight against the Lion’s Den founder.  Kimbo’s last fight against James Thompson at the first EliteXC on CBS show ended up shrouded in controversy and resulting in a 3rd round TKO for Kimbo.  Many felt that the fight should have been stopped in the third round with Thompson dominating Slice on the ground.  Then, many felt the fight was stopped prematurely when Kimbo rocked Thompson to start the third round.

An official announcement from EliteXC is expected later today.

Update ( 3:45pm EST) - Jared Shaw of EliteXC has confirmed to 5 Oz of Pain that Ken Shamrock will indeed be the opponent for Kimbo Slice on October 4.

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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EliteXC on CBS Draws Lackluster Ratings

Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

The overnight ratings are in from EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” show on CBS last night and the numbers aren’t very eye-popping to say the least. Those who predicted that the show wouldn’t do even close to as well as it did during EliteXC’s network televsion debut earlier this year were correct. It looks like MMA over-saturation and a lack of advertising might have done this card in from the start.

The numbers explained via here:

EliteXC Saturday Night Fights without any buzz surrounding Kimbo Slice performed much worse without Kimbo than it did with him. That airing back on May 31, 2008 scored 4.3 million viewers and a 1.9/6 among 18-49 year olds and since the Kimbo Slice bout for that airing aired past primetime (11p) the most viewed portion wasn’t included. But lacking any Kimbo anticipation, last night’s fights pulled a mere 2.62 million and a 1.0/3 from 9pm-11pm.

Bryan Alvarez also reports that as of right now, the show did a 1.9 rating overnight. However the number should bump to 2.0 after the rest of the numbers come in. While the numbers aren’t completely terrible for a Saturday night, CBS likely isn’t pleased that MMA, which is supposed to be America’s hottest growing sport, isn’t exactly delivering for them.

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