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Posts Tagged ‘Elite XC’

Mike Tyson In MMA?

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Mike Tyson's Punch-Out

Oh please, please, please let this be true. There are some rumors going around Mike Tyson has been seen in Las Vegas and apparently, he’s been training and getting his body in shape. Although, no one knows what for. Sherdog.com has more:

A source, who asked to remain anonymous, informed Sherdog.com that Tyson has been quietly “training his ass off” with a prominent strength and conditioning coach in the area. The source also stated that Tyson “is not going to do boxing anymore,” but when asked if “Iron Mike” was going to try MMA, the source shrugged, “I don’t know, I can’t say.”

Please, please, please let this happen. I’m begging here. If you thought a name like Kimbo Slice could give credence to a UFC challenger — in this case, Elite XC — imagine what a presence like Mike Tyson would do. Now, imagine a Tyson/Slice fight. While a fight of this size would probably be reserved for the Elite XC PPVs, imagine if it made its way to CBS.

The marketing blitz and subsequent reactions from the media would be obscene. While a PPV match-up would get tons of coverage, putting Tyson back on network TV for fighting purposes would draw so many more viewers — and attention — it would make the Gina Carano/Kimbo Slice “event” seem like undercard scheduling.

Even with the exploding cauliflower ear.

The UFC Has Nothing To Worry About

Besides a nasty looking cauliflower ear that happened to explode on national television, the debut of Kimbo Slice and the Elite XC brand of MMA came off with more of a fizzle instead of the the desired bang. The Internet sensation that is Kimbo Slice was exposed as what most MMA experts thought he was — a hard-punching brawler with no discernible ring/octagon skills. His grappling ability is suspect and if he can’t score with his haymakers, he’s just not very effective MMA fighter.

If it wasn’t for that cauliflower ear stoppage, the rise of the headliner of Elite XC’s stable — and Elite XC themselves — was almost stopped in its tracks. While he might be able to beat folks like you and me up, it looks like Kimbo is going to have his hands full when he goes against any MMA technician. Here’s a video of the final round of the Slice/Thompson fight.

Gus Johnson does not agree with the stoppage.

The Ultimate MMA Video Blog has much, much more on this fight and the related fallout. In the other headliner, American Gladiator Gina Carano handled her business by stopping Kaitlin Young after a competitive second round. Again, the need for the stoppage is being questioned. Here’s the entire fight if you interested in forming your own opinion.

While it looks like the ring-side doctor made the decision to stop the fight, it does look like Young could have continued the match. Did the Elite XC borrow a page from the NBA front-office playbook, ensuring the biggest, most recognizable names are victorious? ;)

MMA Ready For Primetime?

Kimbo, Gina

This weekend marks network TV’s first foray into the MMA craze sweeping the nation when CBS presents its Saturday Night Fights featuring the talent from the Elite XC stable of fighters. The headliners includes Internet sensation, Kimbo Slice and American Gladiator, Gina Carano, a favorite of ours around here.

But is this the right way to bring MMA to the masses? By relying on star-quality instead of talent? Dan Wentzel of Yahoo Sports doesn’t think so and he gives some very compelling reasons why:

The sport has taken off in a way few others have – fueled purely by fan interest. It stands in stark contrast to all the network airtime spent on sports propped up on political correctness or obligation. MMA long ago deserved network attention.

Individually, nothing is wrong with a shooting star such as Kimbo Slice fighting on Saturday’s EliteXC card on CBS.

Together, plenty is. In fact, practically everything is.

EliteXC is a desperate promotion that’s hemorrhaging money. It’s willing to sell anything, even a false portrait of its sport, to succeed.

Kimbo is a guy with unexpected and most likely fleeting earning potential; understandably he’s willing to cash in even if it means tomato-can opponents and an image so unfortunately stereotypical.

The gist of Wentzel’s article is instead of relying on recognizable names, they should follow the lead of the UFC and focus on the proven talent. Yes, Kimbo is becoming a household name because of his YouTube fights (and ESPN’s 60 Minutes knock-off) and Gina Carano is very well known around the sports blogosphere but are these two really the face of MMA?

I doubt Dana White would agree as long as he has the Anderson Silvas and Quinton “Rampage” Jacksons of the world under contract.

Nevertheless, the MMA is coming to your network television whether you are ready for it or not. Just be warned, instead of seeing the best of the best, you’ll be seeing the most recognizable faces — and in Gina’s case, one of the hottest. Although, it would be nice if she actually made her fighting weight. Giving up a portion of your fight purse because you can’t get down to the regulated weight can’t feel very good.

For your enjoyment, FanHouse has a great little guide for those of you new to the MMA craze. Before I go, is there anyway possible we can get a Kimbo Slice/Eric “Butterbean” Esch match-up before I die? It’s not like Butterbean is some kind of pushover, even though he’s as big as a house. Observe: