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EliteXC Renegade: detailed review


Disclaimer: Sam Caplan is the lead writer and an editor for, a sibling company to EliteXC.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Yes, the matches were short and there was a lot of controversy. However, the action that we did see was good and the controversy made things very interesting and left me wanting to see more.Below is my full review, with my thoughts on the overall production of the list presented first, followed my my thoughts on each individual fight.

I thought the production was good and much improved over the Sept. 15 show. However, it wasn’t perfect and there’s room for improvement in any promotion.

First, I will start out by saying I don’t know what was up with that opening sequence with the male dancers. I just don’t get the whole Spirit Squad crew. Were they break boys? Male cheerleaders? I guess what they were is irrelevant because they had nothing to do with fighting and the skit came off bad. There’s no place for that type of stuff in the age of YouTube. If you mess up like that it’s going to get repeated over and over again and take away from the outcomes of the fight. Someone HAD to have said something during the production meetings and suggested that maybe the male dancers might have been a concept that would translate well on TV. How does a concept like that not get shot down from the get go?

I mean, has EliteXC not learned from the Dragon during the Mississippi show?


  • Jake Taylor says:

    I mostly agree with Sam’s comments on how the show could be better…..although I wonder how the execs at Elite XC are going to take the constant comparisons to “the way the UFC does it”…..

  • HexRei says:

    Well sam, maybe we didint see the same event, the opening sequence had ONE male dancing, the other five dancers were pretty assuredly women. Also, the male was doing mostly gymnastics and kung fu, with perhaps two break moves thrown in. He was throwing punches and kicks, for god’s sakes, it was pretty fighting-related imho.
    Also, it lasted like thirty seconds tops. I think your complaints are exaggerated.

  • HexRei says:

    Also sam, to be honest, i’m baffled by why you would write such a hyperbolic tirade against a single male dancer at the opening when the featured FIVE scantily-clad female dancers throughout the entire show, including between fights. I can’t help but smell a little sexism…

  • RT says:

    That dancing is really not that big of deal I’d just get rid of it all together or leave it for the live audience. That TV time should be used to show promo videos for your fighters, upcoming events and where you can check out elite XC.

    I thought the fights were pretty good but I would seriously like to see them get some more quality guys. The guy silva fought has no right competing at that level, same thing with the dude Kimbo fought. When you get that scared your in the wrong line of work. Cans don’t do anything for me, cause your supposed to beat them and if they manage to beat you very rarely do they amount to anything. If he had fought some one who was 8-2 at least then he beat a quality prospect and if he looses, that just garners name value for your prospect and really it takes nothing away from Kimbo its his pro debut. People will watch Kimbo 0-1 or 1-0.

    All in all a good show

    I 100% agree that they need to get gary and the boys out of the ring unless its a title fight. I have to digress when it comes to G-burg he adds nothing and is at times insulting to the fighters. Watch his post fight with kimbo g-burge is a total tit. Mauro and Quadros have more then enough to say and if you want, add a fighter like Baroni to the mix that guy is a decent commentator with personality to spare + he wouldn’t dwarf everyone he interviews.

  • RT says:

    Riki vs Noke +1

  • el feo says:

    Sam, the write up of the show is great. You’re a first class mma writer.
    To me it looks like Diaz’s life choices (smoking a lot of pot for one) may be affecting his in-ring performance. Those takedowns…he almost looked stoned in the cage. You’re absolutely right about him needing to change his style in order to win. He is still young, 25 or 26, and has plenty of time to do it.
    I love his personality and interviews, which is necessary for a fighter to really get over (on top of winning).
    I can not wait for Kimbo to step back in the cage. He’s got all the potential in the world. Imagine 3 years from now, Kimbo vs Brock, Kimbo v Fedor, etc. For now Kimbo v Antonio Silva would be a great fight.
    Despite all the production flaws you pointed out, I am rooting hard for Elite to fix those and succeed. More and better fights…

  • Ben Fowlkes says:

    I hate to see people pointing to Diaz’s marijuana use as the reason for his loss. That seems a little too easy. I mean, something tells me that smoking weed is not exactly a new thing for him, and yet nobody was claiming that it helped him win matches (aside from the CSAC) back when he was on a roll.

    I think his bigger problems have to do with an ego that will not allow him to play to his strengths instead of his opponents’. That, and maybe Noons is just very good.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    HexRei – Sexism? LOL. Whatever. Read the whole thing. Male AND female dancers received criticism in the article. Nice try. Thanks for playing.

    Jake – Why would statements about the UFC be an issue? The UFC has produced events under various ownership since 1993. EliteXC has been running shows for less than a year. To ignore what the UFC has done and is doing would be crazy.

  • Jake Taylor says:

    Sam – Comparing Elite XC’s current production to the way you think it should be done…..which coincidentally happens to be the same way the UFC does it, may be met with resistance from the execs at Showtime/Pro Elite.

    In an effort to make their product stand out, I’d imagine that Pro-Elite would like to make their product different from the UFC, not conform to the same structure that’s been in use by them for years.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Jake, I haven’t heard one way or the other in regard to resistance or acceptance. I’m writing my thoughts for the public so it’s really irrelevant anyway. Not to mention, you’re missing the point. I mentioned how the UFC does something in regard to a specific reference, not as a general statement. The point is that the format EliteXC uses for ring introductions kills the momentum. They shouldn’t change it because the UFC does it differently, they should change it because there’s a better way to do it. The format that the UFC currently uses just so happens to be the way I think they should do it.

  • Gabber says:

    Well, I thought it was a decent show. I think the fact that EliteXC is a sort of fledgling fight organization showed. Not a huge library of fights, I would agree that the wind-up for each is a little jumpy. I would also prefer the UFC method, show the pre-tape, then show me the fighters, then the bell. I thought Jake Shields was dominant, as he always is. Poor Mike Pyle, Randy and Forrest couldn’t help you. Have fun toiling away somewhere else, besides, I don’t get the big hype around this should have been a title fight. Shields clearly dominated him.

    Bo Cantrell, wow, you suck. Did he just wait for the perfect opportunity to tap out his “Okay I showed up, now pay me my cash”. That was just pathetic, he got hit with a phantom elbow, he was totally with it when he landed, he probably didn’t even train, just wanted to go in, fall off quick and get paid when 2 weeks ago you weren’t making that cash. I’m a big Kimbo fan, but if they just keep lining up plugs for him to fight, he’ll be the victim of the “Who have you really fought?” second guessing.

    My man, Nick, dam. That was tough to watch. I would have to agree with Ben, I think his attitude got the best of him. He wasn’t even throwing combos to open up the shoot. He would just duck and big suprise, get stuffed. đŸ˜› I think he really thinks he can just walk through anyone in EliteXC, which is obviously not the case. I wouldn’t say KJ won it but Nick just lost it himself.

    As for my second Elite XC show, I liked it. It had a ton of fights crammed in a short period of time (by UFC standards, people accept 4 fights in 3 hours as the norm). I liked no commercials about upcoming Jet Li movies, I was down with the dancers, I’m all about eye candy and I thought the male dancer at the beging wasn’t bad either. Reminds me of those dudes in Europe who do the jumping and leaping stuff all over the urban landscape.

    Needless to say, I will be watching the next one. I just hope they can line up some matches that at least dip their toe in the water of the third round.

    Fight of the night was the dude with the massive gash.

    Oh, almost forgot. Bill Goldberg is a fucking joke. That guy is a total plug of a celebrity. We don’t need to be patronized, we can express our dislike for the fight ending early. Like dude, you are a total waste. I have no idea how this dude has stuck around so long. I would love to see Phil Baroni back as a commentator, cause he is a totaly wad too, he just doesn’t have the brains to realize it. Goldberg is just a dick.

    Phil Baroni still owns the best commentary going.

    Phil Baroni : “In my fight with Matt Lindland….”

    Joe Rogan : “Wow, does that dude haunt you in your dreams too?”

    Why not have Bas in their, he always was a decent commentator.

  • Evan says:


    IMO Bas is awesome but runs out of material fast. I think he needs Q-Cards or some other form of prepared statements to really shine. Left alone you get too many “I think this fight is great!”

  • Gabber says:

    Yeah for sure, well I think that’s the case with any ex-fighter, with some exceptions (Randy Couture). Now that Randy isn’t with the UFC, would he be able to contract out his abilities to EliteXC or another promotion as a commentator? Or did his contract include that as well?

    Frank Mir was originally another bad one, I haven’t heard him since he started doing WEC. HFC had Pat Militech do a show a while ago, he was wicked too.

  • Evan says:

    That’s an excellent question and I would like to see him do his commentating somewhere if not fighting. I think Randy is awesome when he projects his voice and makes himself clear.

    As for Mir, he did an outstanding job at the last WEC. I was really surprised at his flow and explanation of the fight. A little over the top at times (WEC has the best fighers!!!!!!!!) but that’s being far too picky I think.

    A little off topic but next time you see him hold that mic check out his knuckles as they looked like they had small under the skin. He’s going to have serious problems when he gets older it would seem. I assume its some form of arthritis?

  • HexRei says:

    Sam: I will, as soon as is working again…

  • HexRei says:

    Hey Sam, you’re totally right. Shoulda read your whole article, I don’t know why this one portion was excerpted but it wasn’t really representative of the entirety. You’re right, I’m wrong :)

  • Sam, amen on the whole “gross generalization” of booing. I think there are many smart fans that boo for the right reasons (boring fights, bad decisions) and fans have every right to boo. Its the fan participation is often what creates special moments in sporting events. The politness of Japanese fans is boring and their ohh and ahhs over ground fighting is so overrated.

  • el feo says:

    phil, bas or randy would be great on commentary. Either way, give Goldberg the hook.

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Nice write up.

    Just so you know people, Sam isn’t saying EliteXC should have some guy dressing in Roman gear and then have operatic music in the background. He’s simply saying there is a better way of building up a fight during the broadcast and that the UFC is an example of this. Throwing in a few comments from MMA legends like Bas Rutten into the mix as well could help as well.

    On a side note, it seems Dana White isn’t closing the door on Kimbo as he was a bit more respectful to Kimbo’s dedication in the UFC 78 teleconference

  • Frank says:

    Can someone tell me if Slice has ever fought someone of substance aside from much smaller or overweight guys in backyards, boatyards or padded basements? In the “professional sphere” he only fought a 50 year old and a guy who is widely suspected of taking a dive. Let’s get real and give this guy some real competition.

  • Dizzle says:

    Frank he has fought Sean Gannon (if i am correct) and actually lost. It was just a stand up fight and they didn’t like the idea of knees to the head which I think is what made him lose that fight.

    thats the only fight that I know of that he has lost that has been put on the internet.

    also Sean actually fought in UFC once or twice and ended up losing the bout/bouts.


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