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.
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.
Smith tapes his hands before working out for the media. Photo: Esther Lin/EliteXC
“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler of St. Louis will defend the EliteXC middleweight title against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith of Sacramento in the main event on the second primetime broadcast of CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on Saturday, July 26, (9 p.m.-11 p.m. ET/PT).
In a second world title fight, Jake Shields of San Francisco and Nick “The Goat” Thompson of Minneapolis will collide for the vacant EliteXC 170-pound belt.
Stockton’s Nick Diaz will face Thomas “Wildman” Denny of Victorville, Calif., in a lightweight match and Shayna “The Queen Of Spades” Baszler of Sioux Falls, S.D., will take on Brazil’s undefeated Cristiane Cyborg in a women’s fight at 140 pounds at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif.
The event is presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.‘s live fight division, EliteXC. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. PT. The first live fight is at 3:15.
Preceding the two-hour, four-fight broadcast on the CBS Television Network will be a three-fight, one-hour telecast live on Showtime (8 p.m. ET/PT).
In the main event, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva will face Justin Eilers for the EliteXC heavyweight crown. In other Showtime fights, promising Wilson Reis will meet Brian Caraway at 140 pounds and talented Rafael Feijao will be opposed by an opponent to be determined in a light heavyweight fight.
The female bout between Shayna Baszler of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Brazil’s Cristiane Cyborg has been added to the lineup for the second primetime broadcast of CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights, live from the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif. on Saturday, July 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Baszler and Cyborg, who are fighting in the 140 pound weight class, complete the primetime matchups for the CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on July 26. Other CBS fights include:
Antonio Silva. Photo courtesy of EliteXC.
Our friend Sam Caplan over at FiveOuncesOfPain.com is reporting that EliteXC is expected to announce a fight between Antonio “Junior” Silva and Justin Eilers for their upcoming show on CBS on July 26. Sam’s source is EliteXC Vice President, Jared Shaw. It was later confirmed by Monte Cox, Eilers’ manager.
A verbal agreement for Antonio Silva to fight former UFC heavyweight title challenger Justin Eilers during EliteXC’s second-ever CBS telecast on July 26 has been secured.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw revealed the news when contacted by FiveOuncesOfPain.com earlier this afternoon.
Five Ounces of Pain later contacted Eilers’ manager, Monte Cox, who indicated that it is their intention to FAX a signed contract to EliteXC officials later today.
It is still uncertain whether the Silva vs. Eilers fight will be for the vacant EliteXC heavyweight title, but Shaw indicated a belt will more than likely be at stake when the two square off.
Silva is one of the brightest heavyweight prospects in MMA. He has recorded wins over Tengis Tedoradze, Ruben “Warpath” Villareal, Tom Erikson, and Wesley “Cabbage” Correia. His most recent victory, a split decision over former UFC champion Ricco Rodriquez was disappointing in many respects, so I’d fully expect Silva to come out very strong.
Justin Eilers is a banger pure and simple. His gameplan is to hit and be hit until someone falls. While this has made him quite successful against the majority of competition (he is currently riding a 3 fight win streak, 10 out of 11), Justin has generally fallen short when facing high level competition. His style has produced highlight reel KO losses against Andre Arlovski, Brandon Vera, and Paul Buentello while in the UFC.
Unfortunately, compared to the many names that have been floated around as possible opponents for Silva, this one is a bit disappointing when one considers it will likely be a title fight. Rather than match Silva up against another EliteXC prospect like Brett Rogers, IFL Champion Roy Nelson, or Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov, they chose to sign Eilers for a title shot. Mr. Shaw says guys either refused the fight or priced themselves out of the market. IMO, none of the rumored opponents would have refused the fight. Thus pay was the only concern. If as Shaw’s father has stated many times, that the fighter’s are first and foremost in EliteXC, that’s pretty weak that they refused to pay for a legitimate title contender.
LOS ANGELES — CBS and EliteXC announced today that the next CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights will be broadcast live from the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif. on Saturday, July 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The four-fight broadcast will be highlighted by the highly anticipated rematch between “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith for the EliteXC Middleweight Title.
The night of mixed martial action will begin with three live fights on Showtime (8:00-9:00 PT, ET/PT) including an EliteXC Heavyweight Championship match featuring Antonio “Big Foot” Silva.
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.
Nate and Nick Diaz. Photo courtesy of ProElite.com
In terms of the fights that took place last night at EliteXC’s “Return of the King” show in Hawaii, the event was a success. Just about every fight on the card was filled with action from start to finish and each of the televised bouts had explosive and definitive endings, especially the main event, which saw lightweight champion K.J. Noons successfully make his first title defense by quickly stopping former training partner Yves Edwards in the first round.
However morally and ethically, the event was an epic failure.
The biggest reason was what happened after Noons had his EliteXC championship gold wrapped around his waist for a second time. In an attempt to hype a potential rematch between Noons and Nick Diaz, whom Noons defeated last November, EliteXC officials brought Diaz into the cage, his younger brother Nate, a current UFC lightweight, in tow.
Diaz, still suited up in fight gear from his bout against Muhsin Corbbrey earlier in the night, basically told Noons to “man up” after the champion’s hometown crowd disapproved of a second bout between the two when asked by Noons.
“Don’t be scared, homie,” Diaz said. He followed up by flipping Noons the middle finger while the younger Diaz opted to exchange words with Noons’ father, Karl Sr.
Robbie Lawler connects with a kick to the body against Scott Smith during their middleweight title bout at EliteXC: “Primetime in May 2008. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
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 when Gary Shaw and company put on their second “Saturday Night Fights” show for CBS on July 26th.
Smith announced the bout on last night’s EliteXC: “Return of the King” telecast on Showtime.
The first bout between the two, which arguably the most exciting fight on the televised portion of EliteXC’s network television debut on CBS during Memorial Day weekend, 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.
It’s unknown at this point whether or not the rematch will headline next month’s card. No details concerning a venue or ticket sales for the show were announced.
Kimbo Slice and James Thompson exchange punches. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Despite original reports that EliteXC wouldn’t be putting on another network television event until at least the fall, CBS officials have reportedly expressed a large amount of interest in capitalizing on the success the show garnered last month by airing another event as soon as next month.
EliteXC President Gary Shaw informed Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports on Monday that CBS would like to hold the next show in late July and that the exact date is expected to be finalized this week after meetings with CBS officials.
However Shaw feels that the date may be a tad too early and three of the stars of the May 31st show - Kimbo Slice and Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler, whom Shaw is intending on pairing together for a rematch, would likely not be ready in time to compete at the show.
Putting on a show in July could force a real problem for EliteXC in terms of talent available for the event. Many of the fighters that fought in May will be serving medical suspensions for the next month or so. EliteXC putting on another show this weekend also prevents them from using K.J. Noons, Yves Edwards, Murlio Rua, or Nick Diaz on the card.
Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain has come up with some suitable replacements - Jake Shields and Antonio Silva as headliners. Problem is that Shields is slated to fight Drew Fickett in the promotion’s first-ever welterweight title fight yet Fickett is currently slated to fight Ryan Ford on July 25th.
The bottom line is that an EliteXC show on CBS in June could lack real star power and may have a major negative effect on ratings. Hopefully CBS officials take note of a potential failure and don’t settle to have an event anyway just so America can see some fights.