Kicking off the live broadcast was a lightweight battle between PRIDE veteran Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett and K.J. Noons. The started out fairly slow as both fighters exchanged some hard low leg kicks. Eventually Noons began to open up as he landed a few hard shots but they didn’t seem to have any effect on Bennett. The end of the fight came as both fighters unleashed hard rights. Noons’ ended up being a glancing shot and Bennett’s was a vicious bomb that sent his opponent to the canvas in a heap. Bennett pounced and finished Noons off winning by TKO.
Stealing the show was definitely a 140 lbs match-up between female fighters Gina Carano and Julie Kedzie. They met in the cage and trade bombs for three rounds. Carano looked great on her feet landing numerous big shots and kicks. Kedzie was able to secure a few takedowns during the fight but never was it enough to put Carano in danger as she continuously landed big shots on the feet to earn herself a unanimous decision victory.
Next on the menu was a middleweight showdown between David “The Crow” Loiseau and Joey Villasenor. Villasenor made a statement in the first round putting taking Loiseau to the canvas at will as he worked from the top for the majority of the first round. Loiseau had no answer for the wrestling skill of Villasenor and when push came to shove, Loiseau just seemed to lack the heart he once had.
The second was a lot like the first as Villasenor put Loiseau on the canvas at will while working his ground-and-pound from the top. During the intermission, Brandon Vera told Loiseau that he had to do something big in order to win. Finally something seemed to register with Loiseau as he came into the third as a different fighter.
Loiseau began the third with some wild kicks followed by a few lefts. For the first time in the fight, Loiseau finally began to push the pace but Villasenor had an answer as he was able to land some excellent punches including a hard right body shot. During an exchange partway through the round, Villasenor fired off a right that looked to drop Loiseau. When seeing the replay it looked more like the momentum that sent “The Crow” the canvas but when he went down he definitely looked rocked. Whether that was from the punch or hitting the canvas I don’t know. In the end Villasenor was declared the winner by unanimous decision over David Loiseau.
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva notched up another victory tonight after he made quick work of UFC veteran Wesley “Cabbage” Correira. Early on Silva landed a few shots before securing a solid takedown. Silva unleashed some vicious ground-and-pound from the top but Cabbage was able to return to his feet a short while later. Silva continued where he left off on the feet landing some excellent combinations. After picking Cabbage apart from the outside, Silva put an end to things but charging forward with a flying knee followed by a left hand that put Cabbage to the canvas. Once he went down Silva pounced putting a finish to the battle.
The main-event was next on the slate and in the end the fight ended up taking on a story of its own. After kicking the fight off with a glove touch, Shamrock set the pace by landing some hard leg kicks to his Brazilian opponent. Gracie seemed to easily fend off Shamrock’s onslaught gaining the clinch and moments later the takedown. Gracie did an excellent job from the top working position but the 15-second stand up rule came into play and they were forced to return to the feet. Shamrock began to let his hands go but again Gracie secured the takedown. The round closed with Gracie working some ground-and-pound from the top.
The second round starts a lot like the first. Shamrock utilized his punches but they were deemed ineffective once Gracie put him on his back for the third time in the fight. As was the case in the first, Gracie worked excellent positioning from the top but suddenly things took a drastic turn. From the bottom, Shamrock fired off two straight knees to the head of Renzo Gracie, rocking him in the process. Herb Dean stepped in between the fighters and stopped the fight. Gracie was given 5-minutes to recover and Shamrock was deducted 1 point on the judges score cards.
Clearly dazed Gracie did everything possible to recover but he was unable so he left the cage with the entourage and made his way to the back room. Shamrock stood in the cage stating that he was there “to fight, not wrestle”. Herb Dean, Jimmy Lennon Jr. and the commissioner gathered outside of the cage where they decided that the knees were intentional which meant Shamrock was DQ’d.
Clearly unhappy Shamrock was interviewed afterwards where he attempted to make up lame excuses saying he was “old school” and not used to these “new rules”. Eventually Cesar Gracie, Renzo’s manager, made his way out from the back where he responded by saying that there were rules and Shamrock didn’t follow them.
Even though it was controversial, I feel Herb Dean definitely made the proper call. Overall the show was mediocre at best. The best fight on the broadcast was definitely the battle between the females but beside that there weren’t any barn burners. David Loiseau looked terrible and Gracie-Shamrock had a sub-par ending. With that being said, EliteXC did a good job for their debut show. The overall picture, lighting and announcing were all good, that was one thing that couldn’t be said about the debut WFA show. Also kudos to Bill Goldberg, he did a great job tonight.