Tonight’s EliteXC card features an intriguing mix of heavyweight matchmaking and an assortment of debuts on the main SHOWTIME portion of the card as well as the ProElite.com Internet portion (starts at 7:30 p.m. on ProElite.com) of the show.
Many people are focusing on the night’s main event between Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott, and understandably so, but a heavyweight clash scheduled between Antonio Silva and Ricco Rodriguez is another match that I think is very intriguing.
For Rodriguez, it’s another shot at the big time as he looks to capitalize on the mainstream attention he’s garnering for his involvement in VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Doctor Drew.” It seems like Rodriguez is starting to get some headlines, but probably for all the wrong reasons.
To be honest, if I was a promoter, I wouldn’t touch the guy after hearing him re-tell the story about how the moved the body of his girlfriend, thinking she was dead when she was really alive, following an accident in which he was driving while intoxicated (hey, he revealed all of this on national television).
Rodriguez claimed he moved her into the driver’s seat because he had prior convictions on his record and was looking to beat the rap. Yes, instead of seeking medical attention for her his biggest concern was himself. Thankfully, she survived the accident but ended up taking the rap and served time because of it. But hey, if EliteXC has no remorse about promoting Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, why should Ricco be a problem?
As far as the fight itself, tonight’s match will be Silva’s first official heavyweight bout. While he weighed in at 265 pounds against Jonathan Wiezorek at EliteXC: Renegade in November, Wiezorek weighed in over the heavyweight limit so the match was technically a super heavyweight bout.
A lot of people believe Silva is a top ten heavyweight and while I believe he has the ability, he needs to start beating top ten guys before he himself can earn a spot there. While Ricco isn’t top ten these days, he will pose the toughest test of Silva’s young career.
Debuting on tonight’s show will be James Thompson and Scott Smith while Brett Rogers and Yves Edwards will be appearing on SHOWTIME for the first-time.
On the Internet undercard, Eric Bradley and Rafael Feijao are two fighters that have the potential to be fighting on national television in the not too distant future while Mario Rinaldi and Dave Herman are worth watching as well.
In all, tonight’s card before what is expected to be a sellout card has the potential to be an entertaining show from beginning to end. Below is my full preview of the event with predicted outcomes.