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.
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:
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.
Drew Fickett submits Jae Suk Lim. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
It was only a little more than three months ago when Jake Shields and Drew Fickett were set to battle it out in order to crown EliteXC’s first-ever welterweight champion. Their March date was squashed after Shields suffered a back injury during the week leading up to the bout, forcing Fickett to take on Jae Suk Lim instead.
A fight between the two was tentatively scheduled for this past weekend’s “Return of the King” event, but concerns involving Shields ability to be ready in time for the fight began to mount. Then unexpectedly, it was Fickett who fell victim to the injury bug, suffering a knee injury during training. Or did he?
Five Ounces of Pain points out that while Fickett signed on to fight rising Canadian prospect Ryan Ford at a Maximum Fighting Championship event in July, his most recent fight, a submission win over Jeff Horlacher at a Rage in the Cage event just ten days go, has flown under the radar.
Why would Fickett take a fight on June 7th if he was supposedly too injured to be able to compete against Shields one week later?
While his injury healing up quicker than expected and Shields deciding against fighting this past weekend could have happened, Shields camp says that isn’t the case according to the latest post on their graciefighter.com site.
Apparently EliteXC officials have been unable to get in contact with Fickett and are now considering releasing him from his contract, a move that would go against the type of employee Fickett has been to other organization’s in the past.
In addition, Shields will now be fighting in one of the featured bouts on EliteXC’s next network television event on CBS on July 26th. Two current welterweight champions in different organizations are being discussed as potential opponents for Shields: BodogFight welterweight champion Nick Thompson and reigning IFL welterweight title holder Jay Hieron.
Hidehiko Yoshida grapples with Yosuke Nishijima. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Japanese legend and former Olympic judoka Hidehiko Yoshida was victorious this weekend at World Victory Road’s third “Sengoku” show, submitting former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith with a neck crank in the first round of their main event bout.
Yoshida went right in for a takedown to start the bout but his attempt was stuffed by Smith, who punished Yoshida with punches for even trying to take the fight to the ground. Yoshida was able to maintain his composure and after a brief exchange on the feet, was finally able to take Smith down. A scramble allowed Yoshida to quickly grab ahold of Smith’s neck and Yoshida locked in a modified neck crank that forced the longtime veteran to tap out just minutes into the fight.
The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Yoshida, who needed to be victorious in order to maintain his headliner status inside the promotion. The loss was Smith’s first since he came out of retirement following a seven-year hiatus.
YAMMA Pit Fighting tournament champion Travis Wiuff knocked out fan-favorite Kazuyuki Fujita in the first round. Also victorious on the card were Marcio Cruz, former PRIDE grand prix winner Kazuo Misaki, and current BodogFight welterweight champion Nick Thompson.
Complete results from the event:
Fabio Silva def. Yoshiki Takahashi - KO (Knee)
Rodrigo Damm def. Jorge Masvidal - TKO (Strikes)
Marcio Cruz def. Mu Bae Choi - Submission (Modified Triangle)
Sanae Kikuta def. Chris Rice - Submission (Armbar)
Nick Thompson def. Michael Costa - Submission (Kimura)
Kazuo Misaki def. Logan Clark - Unanimous Decision
Travis Wiuff def. Kazuyuki Fujita - KO (Punches)
Hidehiko Yoshida def. Maurice Smith - Submission (Neck Crank)
Jonathan Goulet. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Jonathan Goulet, who recently knocked out Kuniyoshi Hironaka in Canada last month, has reportedly pulled out of his upcoming scheduled bout against Paul Kelly next month at UFC 85: Bedlam in London, England.
The circumstances concerning Goulet’s withdrawal differ however. In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Goulet apparently stated that he was pulling out of the Kelly bout due to health reasons that he wished not to discuss. However our friends at TKO Xtreme have learned that Goulet may have backed out of the fight at the request of his training partners at the Tristar Gym, of which the Victoriaville native recently aligned himself with.
WVR Announces Thompson-Costa for ‘Sengoku III’
With the fight card for it’s upcoming May 18th event completed, World Victory Road officials today announced the first fight for the promotion’s third event on June 8th via their official website: Nick Thompson vs Michael Costa. Thompson, the current BodogFight welterweight champion, won a unanimous decision over Fabricio Monteiro at Sengoku I in March. Costa, a Chute Boxe product, is currently riding a two-fight winning streak.
Additional fighters being advertised as competing at the event include Hidehiko Yoshida, Rodrigo Damm, Kazuyuki Fujita, Fabio Silva, and Marcio Cruz. Former PRIDE lightweight title holder Takanori Gomi has also stated that he intends to return to action at the show.
Talks Between WEC, Alessio Stall
Contract negotiations between veteran welterweight John Alessio and World Extreme Cagefighting have reportedly come to a halt according to a report by The Fight Network.
“I’m actually wondering myself what’s going on,” Alessio said in the report. “I figured I would have heard something by now. They offered me the rematch with Larson, but it’s now up to my manager to negotiate. It’s going to come down to money and if they want to sign me long-term or not.”
Alessio also went on to say that he had been offered a bout against the above-mentioned Nick Thompson by Hardcore Championship Fighting officials. However it’s key to note that Thompson has stated in the past that he is not locked into any sort of contract with HCF to date.
MTV’s “True Life” to Feature Kit Cope
UFC and WEC veteran Kit Cope will reportedly be featured on MTV’s “True Life” series for the second time according to a report by our friends at MMA Junkie.
Cope, who was originally featured in “True Life: I’m a Muay Thai Fighter” back in 2004, will now serve as one of the featured fighters in “True Life: I’m an MMA Fighter”. Filming for the show is currently being done and cameras will also accompany Cope to his next scheduled fight for World Fighting Championships against Dave Cochran later this month.
Photo courtesy of Bodog Fight.
Current Bodog Fight welterweight champion Nick Thompson is reportedly close to signing with Alberta-based Hardcore Championship Fighting.
The news comes from a report by The Fight Network.
Thompson, a Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product, has won eleven straight fights since losing to Karo Parisyan in April 2006. He last defeated Fabricio Monteiro via unanimous decision at World Victory Road’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” earlier this month.
It’s still unknown whether or not Thompson is now a free agent after fighting overseas. Thompson fought outside of Calvin Ayre’s project for the first time since October 2006.
Thompson’s potential signing comes just one week after Hardcore Championship Fighting CEO Keith Crawford announced that the promotion has been purchased. ProElite, the parent company of Elite Xtreme Combat is rumored as the potential buyer.
An official announcement regarding the purchase is expecting to come sometime before the organization’s next event in May.
Josh Barnett throws a right hand at Pawel Nastula at PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
A full recap of the event will come later today…
Nick Thompson def. Fabricio Monteiro - Unanimous Decision
Ryo Kawamura def. Antonio Neto - Unanimous Decision
Evangelista Santos def. Makoto Takimoto - Submission (Heel Hook)
Kazuyuki Fujita def. Peter Graham - Submission (North-South Choke)
Kazuo Misaki def. Siyar Bahadurzada - Submission (Guillotine)
Takanori Gomi def. Duane Ludwig - TKO (Cut)
Josh Barnett def. Hidehiko Yoshida - Submission (Heel Hook)
Josh Barnett weighs-in for PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
For those of you in North America, a new era of mixed martial arts will take place over in Japan while you are sleeping Tuesday night. World Victory Road will hold it’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” Wednesday at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
The show will feature a main event between former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and former Olympian Hidehiko Yoshida. Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and one-time K-1 kickboxing standout Duane “Bang” Ludwig will clash. Kazuo Misaki will also compete on the card.
A definite mix of former PRIDE veterans and other notable fighters that have competed in various organizations around the world make this event intriguing.
As far as the main event goes, both Barnett and Yoshida will be attempting to shake of a good amount of ring rust as neither fighter has competed since PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 on New Year’s Eve two years ago.
Barnett lost a unanimous decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a rematch of their Open-Weight Grand Prix bout at the event. Yoshida was stopped with strikes by heavyweight slugger James Thompson.
While Barnett has been staying in shape thanks to a regular schedule involving professional wrestling appearances and grappling matches, Yoshida is a complete question mark conditioning wise. In reality though, it won’t matter very much in this fight.
Even though the two are former training partners, it shouldn’t be much of a chess match. Look for Barnett to dominate Yoshida and pick up an easy win.
Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
World Victory Road has announced the addition of three more bouts for it’s inaugural event entitled “Sengoku” on March 5th at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
The biggest one has to be a lightweight battle between former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and one-time K-1 kickboxing standout Duane “Bang” Ludwig.
Gomi has not fought since he took on Nick Diaz at PRIDE 33 in February of last year. Diaz submitted Gomi with a gogoplata in an exciting fight but the decision was later overturned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after it was found that Diaz had tested positive for marijuana at the conclusion of the event.
“The Fireball Kid” had been courted by multiple organizations since PRIDE was purchased by Zuffa last March, including the UFC. Speculation had him headed over to K-1 Hero’s at one point but a deal between the two sides never came to fruition.
Ludwig was originally slated to take on Steve Berger at the upcoming “Strikeforce at the Dome” event later this month but MMA Weekly reports that Ludwig will pull out of that fight.
Additional bouts that were announced include current BodogFight welterweight title holder Nick Thompson going up against Fabricio Monteiro and Pancrase veteran Ryo Kawamura taking on Antonio Neto. Also mentioned at today’s press conference was the signing of legendary PRIDE heavyweight Kazuyuki Fujita, who will take on a yet to be announced opponent at the show.