Lawler, Smith Ready for Another Round


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.

“It’s perfect for me,” Smith said when asked about his short, two-month layoff. “It doesn’t give me a chance to get fat and out of shape. I took about a week off of training, just to make sure the foot was fine. I started running a week later and then a week after that I started back to my Muay Thai and grappling. Instead of starting my training camp out by getting into shape - and usually I take a couple weeks to get into shape - I’m starting out my camp by learning and staying in shape. So I’ll be a better fighter this time around.”

The highlights of the call involved DeLuca, who revealed many details concerning the promotion’s future plans to the media. Among the topics that DeLuca touched on were co-promoting with other organizations, a future PPV event, talks with FOX Sports Net, Eddie Alvarez, and potential television ratings for Saturday’s show. Notable quotes are below.

DeLuca on future co-promotions with other organizations: “You know, we speak to everybody probably except one competitor in the sport. We speak to everybody. We’re friendly with all the other promotions. We’ve all talked about doing co?promotions. We’ve done two co?promotions with Strikeforce. We will definitely do more. Like I said, we talk to everyone. There’s nothing definitive in the works. We’ve talked to DREAM about doing a co?promote in Japan. We’ve co?promoted with FEG when we did that fight card at the Los Angeles Coliseum last year.”

DeLuca on EliteXC’s fall schedule: “You’ll see an EliteXC show in September. We’ll announce that fully I believe on Saturday. And, then, you’re probably going to see another CBS show down the road.” (Our friends at MMA Junkie believe that the show may take place on September 20th and air on Showtime. Sam Caplan says the show will be a ShoXC event on the 26th and will feature Erik Apple vs. Matt Makowski and Jon Murphy vs. Shane Del Rosario.

DeLuca on EliteXC holding a future PPV event: “Absolutely, the Pay?Per?View model is the goal for most people in this sport. So, yes, it’s our goal, too. The exact plan is broadcast television drives the Pay?Per?View. It builds stars. Showtime to CBS. CBS to Pay?Per?View. Build stars, build the interest in the stars, let people know even more that these fighters – the guys and gals—are people and they have real stories and make people care about them and drive the Pay?Per?View. So that’s absolutely the goal. As far as timing goes, you’ll probably see a Pay?Per?View from us early in ‘09.”

DeLuca on a potential TV deal with FSN: “We’re not prepared to really talk about anything in detail, but we certainly are talking.  You’ll probably see something soon.”

DeLuca on Eddie Alvarez fighting for DREAM again later this year: “The way his contract works, and the way we work with most of our fighters, is when a fight arises that they really want to take or will help their career, they come and talk to us. We sit down and we see if it’s the right move for everyone. So, I mean, it’s a potential, but it has not been brought up yet and it’s nothing that we’ve discussed.  So I can’t really comment on it specifically. Certainly we’ll entertain all thoughts and all comments.”

DeLuca on the possible addition of a swing bout: “We’re definitely adding a swing bout to the card. We’re still working on it. In a bout that we thought we might do, one of the fighters got hurt. We should have something in the next day or so.” (Jeremy Freitag vs. Anthony Ruiz was thought to be already signed but I’m assuming that one of the two are now injured. ProElite.com is showing two new preliminary fights for the show instead.

DeLuca on the potential for lesser ratings on CBS for Saturday’s show: “We certainly are managing all of our expectations. It is summer and we did have a number of good PR items going for us on the first event. It was the first event on primetime network television. That alone drummed up a huge amount of press for the event and a lot of people were interested in seeing. But I’m confident in our fight card. I’m confident in MMA and I’m confident at what we can do at EliteXC in terms of producing events. We understand the numbers might not be as big as the first time, but still, we’re all expecting to do some good numbers. I really couldn’t tell you what a success is, or what a success isn’t. I’m just looking forward to putting on the best event possible and getting as many people out to watch it as we can get.”

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