I don't know if this is going to become a staple around here, but I did catch the MMA fights this weekend, and wanted to share a bit with you.
It looks like we now have 3 promotions that are really trying to take over the MMA world. There is the big dog, the UFC, who has probably 95% of the best fighters in the sport. Big stars such as Anderson Silva, George St. Perrie, Chuck Lidell and BJ Penn are what make this promotion great. Every PPV is a much watch for the most part, and they put on free shows on Spike TV that really help keep them in the forefront of the sport. They aren't going anywhere.
Then you have the newest Affliction promotion, who is trying to go the same rout as UFC and is offering big named fighters, who are either fed up with the UFC, or not even signed by them, big contracts to fight for them. The biggest example is heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, who is regarded as by far the best heavyweight in MMA.
Then you have the little Elite XC. These guys are the only MMA that is on prime time network TV, they have a deal with CBS to show a card once every couple of months on Saturday evening, and they have some legit fighters, Robbie Lawler and Jake Sheilds, who are among the best in Elite, but would be middle of the pack guys in UFC. What separates Elite from the other is two things; First they have Kimbo Slice, the oft talked about former homeless guy/porno strongman, as their biggest draw, and while not a pure MMA guy, and he would probably get demolished by any good fighter, he is fun to watch and worth the price of admission. Second they have the best women fighters in MMA.
The first go around on CBS a few months ago featured all of these elements on the first CBS show for Elite. We were introduced to Kimbo Slice and watched him explode an ear, we saw a great stand up MMA fight between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith that ended in controversy, and we were introduced to the face of women MMA, Gina Carano, and were pleased.
Last Saturday was round 2 for the upstart Elite XC on CBS. This card introduced us to a few more of the promotions better fighters, and gave us the rematch of Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith.
The show started with what once was thought of as a gimmick, but now what might be the most legit thing XC has, the women's division. The last fight a smoking hot Gina Carano beat the shit of some chick, and it wasn't disgusting, like i thought it would be, and it wasn't "cat fight" esque like other thought it would be, but it was just a good fight, with two professional fighters, and it doesn't hurt at all that the hot one turned out to be the better fighter. So that brings us to this last sat, where 2 of the top women in MMA went at it, the winner to probably face Gina at the next show in October. The two fighters were Brazil's Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos and American Shayna Baszler. Here's a pic of Cyborg(and yes they called her cyborg the whole night)
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an imposing beast for sure.
Her opponent was no sloth either, Shayna Baszler was 12-0 going into the fight will all 12 wins coming from submission I think. It was even mentioned that she tapped someone out using the STF. A move i thought only worked in pro wrestling.
The Fight jumped off with Baszler shooting for Cyborgs legs, almost getting her in some sort of knee lock, that must have just made Cyborg angry, as she then started to beat the shit out of Baszler. At one point, Cyborg landed a clean hit that knocked Blaszler down, the fight should have been stopped as a KO, at least so thought Cyborg who started to celebrate and even jumped up on the cage top to cheer, the ref stood there like "uhh miss Cyborg, would you like to finish the match?" She finally understood and walked over to a glass eyed Baszler and pummeled her till the ref said stop.
A fun fight to watch, and sets up nice for the Sexy, everybody favorite Carano vs the freakish, Brazilian Cyborg. That's going to be fun.
The rest of the fight card was good, we got to see the best welterweight outside of the UFC, Jake Sheilds, choke out Nick Thompson, and then Nick Diaz show the world what it ment to be a patent fighter as he just played defense and conserved energy for a whole round against his opponent, Thomas Denny , only to explode on him in the second when he was tired.
The main event was a rematch from the last shows best fight, Robbie Lawler defending his 185lbs strap vs Scott Smith. The last fight was fun because it was mostly a stand up fight, with the guys exchanging blows on a regular basis. This one was no different, but you could see that Robbie Lawler, who may be the best true fighter in EliteXC, didn't want to leave any doubt he was the better man in this one.
Lawler was cut early and the blood seamed to fuel him to start a powerful barrage on Smith's mid section that stoped the fight after a few big knees and pops to the face.
The fight was good, not as good as the first one, but with Gus Johnson calling the fight, you thought it was Ali-Frazer. I don't believe there is anyone outside of pro wrestling who gets excited like Gus. There is lots of "IF the world collided into a thousand pieces and every piece spawned great fighters, you still wouldn't see a fight like this!!!!!" You gotta love him.
All in all a nice MMA night for EliteXC. They have a long way to go to catch up to the UFC, but they are trying. And they have now put up two very entertaining shows, and I'm looking forward to October when they will be on prime time again, and this time they will bring both Carano and Kimbo, so stay tuned.