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Random Rants: Thoughts on weekend MMA

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This was a busy weekend for the sport and this site. I have a lot to say and not much time to say it in so I wanted to get some of my thoughts out via some rants.

— One thing that really disgusts me is when knuckleheads run to their keyboard and make serious accusations with absolutely no proof. If you’re not happy with something, go ahead and express your opinion. However, accusing someone of taking a dive or accepting a payoff when you have absolutely no proof — or even logic — to back you up is completely over the line. But hey, this is the Internet, where there is no line. But Dan Miragliotta is an employee for the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, not EliteXC, the UFC, etc. What would be his motive to engage in nefarious activity? Getting paid? Is what someone would be willing to pay him worth the risk of getting caught?

But forget about that and let’s think about this: if you were EliteXC and you were going to fix the fight between Kimbo Slice and James Thompson, wouldn’t it behoove you to make sure Thompson took a dive in round one and made sure the fight stayed standing? Slice’s performance on Saturday was not one that will help the future of EliteXC. A big part of Kimbo’s allure is his mystique and a lot of that mystique was exposed. His ground game needs a lot of work and the fact that he couldn’t finish a guy early that is notorious for a weak chin isn’t going to help him increase his fanbase further. Kimbo didn’t lose Saturday night, but his performance hurt his stock in the eyes of a lot of people. And before I get labeled a Kimbo hater, I am someone who has supported his involvement in MMA for quite some time. I will continue to do so, because I am a fan, but I’ve got to call it like I see it.

But after reading a lot of comments here and other places along with e-mails I received, I wonder where our collective ability to debate has gone? People can’t make a point without making some sort of blanket accusation or personal attack. I’d really like to see more people make more-informed arguments and start articulating their thoughts better instead of just trying to take the quick and easy way out. Can no one argue a topic based on its merits anymore instead of constantly resorting to hitting below the belt. If you don’t have the time to express a point properly, maybe you shouldn’t be posting on the Internet?

On that note, I am sure this public gripe will be met with at least one personal attack.

— People need to sober up and cut out this “fix” talk. Dan Miragliotta is not on the take. He just had a bad night. The Joey Villasenor vs. Phil Baroni stoppage was early, as was the main event. But maybe he’s not entirely to blame. NJACB always has had a strong track record of acting in the best interests of a fighter. However, perhaps it was possible they were even more cautious than usual on Saturday because they knew the event was under a microscope. It’s a theory I had immediately following the event and it looks like it could have merit, as famed Philadelphia Daily News boxing writer Bernard Fernandez wrote the following:

“…even more restraint was exercised by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, whose referees apparently were instructed to stop bouts at the first sign of physical damage, lest people believe MMA is, you know, violent.”

I think this was evident when Scott Smith was not given his five minutes to recuperate following a foul. I can’t blame the doctors for not allowing the fight to resume immediately once Smith expressed that his vision was impaired. But again, he was owed five minutes to see if his vision could return. The lesson learned here is that fighters need to be more litigious when they speak with doctors, many of whom are making decisions to decrease their vulnerability to a lawsuit. A fighter needs to specifically say they want their five minutes.

Combat in the Cage promoter Ed Hsu counted 22 unanswered elbows delivered by Thompson to Kimbo at one point. Granted, they didn’t do a lot of damage, but 22 elbows are 22 elbows. Miragliotta erred on the side of caution when he stopped the fight in favor of Kimbo, but why didn’t he show the same caution when Kimbo was absorbing all of those elbows? To me, it’s not an issue of integrity, it’s an issue of consistency. Referees are human too, and sometimes they make mistakes.

— Can we please give some credit to Thompson? He said he was tired of just being a guy known as an “entertaining fighter” and that he wants to win fights. He didn’t win Saturday, but what we saw from him was his best performance in quite some time. Yes, he still has plenty of holes but Thompson showed some semblances this past weekend of being a mixed martial artist as opposed to just a brawler with a marketable look. Sure, Thompson missed a golden opportunity to secure mount at one point but he did trap Kimbo’s arm at one point, Matt Hughes-style, and briefly had a crucifix. He still has plenty of room for improvement but Thompson looked much improved and actually showed a pretty strong chin.

— To all those people who insist that the Brett Rogers and Kimbo Slice altercation following Saturday’s show was somehow staged, I beg to differ. Rogers’ contempt for Kimbo is something that was apparent the week leading up to the event. I spoke to him on Thursday and he wasn’t hiding the fact that he wasn’t happy about the fact that a guy he had knocked out in the first round this past February was fighting in the main event instead of him. Who can blame Rogers for feeling the way that he did? And being someone who is outspoken, how can I fault Rogers for speaking his mind?

But back to the topic at hand: was the whole thing nothing more than a page out of pro wrestling? No, it wasn’t. If Kimbo vs. Rogers is the next fight we’re going to see, why did they let Antonio Silva into the cage after Rogers won? And why would they stage that altercation with major executives from CBS in the room? Finally, why would EliteXC try to arrange something between the two fighters when Gary Shaw has no interest in making that match anytime soon? Mark my words: you’re going to see Rogers and Silva fight for an EliteXC heavyweight title in the Fall on CBS.

— I’ve been a loyal Philadelphia sports fan since the age of eight and to me, MMA is an extension of the sports teams we have in this town. That’s why I get as hyped as I do when I see a Philadelphia-fighter compete on a big stage as I do when the Phillies or Eagles are involved in a big game. And I was extremely proud Saturday night of the Philly-area fighters involved with Saturday’s event: Mike Groves, Zach Makovsky, Wilson Reis, Matt Makowski, and Jon Murphy. All five trained hard for their respective fights and put it all on the line. Thanks to these five, a lot of Philadelphia-area fighters will begin to see more opportunities.

It was also a proud moment getting to see three of the city’s biggest and best camps, the Fight Factory, Daddis Fight Camps, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United get some time in the spotlight. Trainers such as Stephen Haigh from the Fight Factory, Brad Daddis and Rigel Balsamico from Daddis, and Jared Weiner from BJJ United are major reasons why there are so many top fight prospects are starting to emerge in Philly.

The strange thing is, a writer by the name of Kerith Gabriel wrote an article in the Philadelphia Daily News with the headline: “Mixed martial arts blooms in Philly area.” The headline is dead-on, but that’s about one of the only things the article gets right. The piece focuses solely on Balance Studios, which is a great MMA gym and definitely worthy of being a focal point of the article. But how do you do an article about the Philadelphia MMA scene and not mention Reis, Murphy, Makovsky, Groves, and Makowski? After all, they are five area fighters competing on one of the most historic cards in the sport’s young history. And how do you talk about top gyms in the area without giving the Fight Factory, Daddis, or BJJ United any kind of mention? If someone can explain this to me, I’d really appreciate it.

But overall, Saturday was a great night for fighters from the Northeast — the most overlooked region in MMA when it comes to fighters on the national scene. James “Binky” Jones once again delivered in a big match and is now 3-0. After he tapped out Calvin Kattar with a rear naked choke, Jones once again reiterated his desire to fight at 150 lbs. There might not be a lot of top guys at that weight for him, but one that I do know of is Weiner. Jared is a world class grappler a win in his only pro MMA fight under his resume. He hasn’t gotten to compete much recently in MMA because he’s been busy with his school, but I know he’s looking for an MMA fight at 150 lbs. Jones and Weiner are friends, but I think it would be a great fight and one that could sell a lot of tickets on a card held in the Northeastern corridor of the U.S. A bout between Jones and Weiner is something that would be perfect for the IFL’s upcoming show at the Izod Center in Jersey this August.

— People can say all they want about the ratings, but the bottom line is that CBS is happy with the results, which means that we will see a second EliteXC show on network primetime television. The question is, are other networks happy with the ratings? If so, then the UFC will have improved leverage when it goes to the bargaining table to negotiate deals with networks that are looking to get into the MMA game. I’ve been told by several sources that NBC and FOX were waiting to see the ratings for Saturday before making a decision about how to move forward. You’d have to think that with the solid ratings Strikeforce has been doing in their late-night slot that NBC will give serious thought to putting the show on during a better timeslot in light of EliteXC’s ratings between 9-11 p.m. ET on Saturday. And if you’re FOX, you’ve got to be wondering how well the industry leader, the UFC, would do in the ratings with all of their star power if EliteXC can do as well as it did? If Kimbo vs. Thompson can do those kind of ratings, what might Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva II do?

— It was another strong showing Sunday night by the WEC. Miguel Torres is simply amazing. And Urijah Faber’s standup is starting to rival his ground game. We need to see Faber vs. Kid Yamamoto, and it needs to happen soon. If that can’t happen, why not a dream match between Faber and Torres? Also, thinking out of the box: if I was Zuffa, I wouldn’t be pitching the UFC to the networks. The UFC is already making hundreds of millions of dollars and is doing quite fine without network television. Why not try and go to the networks and show them the VERSUS telecasts and sell the networks on the WEC as the anti-EliteXC. EliteXC is clearly going the entertainment route while Zuffa could sit down with a network and try to sell them on the pure-sport approach of the WEC. So the networks would get a product that even their sports divisions could back and Zuffa wouldn’t have to worry as much about sacrificing creative control since it’s not their A-brand and they wouldn’t have to worry about losing PPV revenue since the WEC doesn’t air on PPV. So the WEC’s top fighters aren’t mainstream stars? Well, were Scott Smith, Robbie Lawler, Gina Carano, and Kaitlin Young mainstream stars? No, and they still pulled a solid rating.

60 COMMENTS
  • darkmetal says:

    Sam, if EliteXC wants to gain some recognition while not fostering conspiracy theories, then it needs to act responsibly in promoting, officiating, and judging these matches.

    Remember the uproar over the Michael Bisping vs Matt Hamill? Well that match was done much more professionally than just about anything on the CBS show.

    Can you imagine if Dana White popped into the ring to talk to the referee like Gary Shaw? Or if a KO was handed out in a main event with one opponent still standing and trading punches? Or if UFC doctors were seemingly deeming many of the challengers “unable to continue” for seemingly minor reasons?

    It is probably easy to explain away any of these factors separately, but when you put them all together, do you have any explanation why many people would not be screaming “Fix!”?

    Either EliteXC is the most corrupt organization ever or the most inept; Or is it a little of both?

  • BustYoFace says:

    Well said…

    Response Sam?

  • Brent says:

    Good job trying to shift the focus off the turd that was dropped in some living rooms Saturday night.

    Everyone should get a free account at ProElite and watch the undercard stream, the Reis, Makowski, and Binky fights make up for the televised event.

  • TomK says:

    We need to use common sense here — the only people yelling “corruption” and “fix” are people on the internet. I’ll continue to roll my eyes at such comments until we hear someone from a promotion or a fighter use those words. If I were a fighter on the bad side of a corrupt decision or referee-fixed fight, you could guarantee I’d open my mouth about it. If Brett Rogers thought for a second that the fight was fixed, he has shown he’s not the type to push the company line — I’m sure Shaw wasn’t pleased with Rogers’ “Kimbo was garbage” talking points, so I’m pretty sure Rogers would proclaim fix if there was one.

    It was just an inconsistent night for the referee and early stoppages from worried NJAC doctors. Gary Shaw is a huge tracksuit-wearing-sleaze-ball, but I sincerely doubt he’d be stupid enough to put his network deal in jeopardy by paying off judges and officials.

  • woooburn says:

    totally in agreement about putting the WEC on a network. the lower weight classes almost guarantee fast paced exciting action.

    but at the same time, after the elite xc show, i almost feel like maybe mma doesn’t belong on network tv. if the result is early stoppages, and calling fights when there’s blood visible (whether that was in fact the case or not… so as to not upset the network folks), i think that compromises the sports integrity. i know there’s money to be made, and untapped segments of the population to reach (those who can’t afford cable), but it just leaves a weird taste in my mouth.

    will be interesting to see how much of what went down saturday night was first-show-jitters, and over anxious officials, or just an odd night with weird fight results. i guess we’ll find out in august when they do it again.

  • Brandt says:

    Good article. I received a bunch of comments from knuckleheads elitists about anything I wrote about EliteXC. Thanks for standing up for everyone!

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Sam, if EliteXC wants to gain some recognition while not fostering conspiracy theories, then it needs to act responsibly in promoting, officiating, and judging these matches.”

    Unless you’re running a show in a non-commission state, the promotion has no control over officiating and judging. All the officials and judges work for the commission.

  • Socleanclean says:

    1. Baroni had no idea where the hell he was. Good stoppage.

    2. Thomson was LITERALLY cross-eyed and walking around with a NEW hole in his head. Good stoppage.

  • Nick says:

    That televised card was maybe the worst MMA I have ever seen, and it did more damage than good in my eyes. I feel dirty for even watching it. I will not watch another telecast by elitexc. They make me appreciate Zuffa and Dana White so much more everytime I see eliteXC’s abortion of a promotion.
    That being said, I am from your neck of the woods as well, and know many of the fighters in the area. This may be the most underated area in the country for talent. Some excellent fighters come out of the tristate area.

  • darkmetal says:

    Good point, Sam, but that then begs the question of why the judging and officiating seemed to be so different than in the UFC, WEC, ect?

    As I have mentioned before, I can’t remember a situation where a fight was stopped while the fighter was still standing and willing to trade without Dr stoppage. Perhaps this has happened, but it must certainly be rare.

    Perhaps the problem was one referee and one doctor in almost all matches. Maybe EXC needs to have 3 different refs/doctors and alternate them to eradicate the smell of something foul.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Good point, Sam, but that then begs the question of why the judging and officiating seemed to be so different than in the UFC, WEC, ect?”

    The WEC primarily runs out of Vegas, which is the Nevada commission, not the Jersey commission. Commissions operate state-by-state, often using different officials and referees. There is not a national commission.

    “As I have mentioned before, I can’t remember a situation where a fight was stopped while the fighter was still standing and willing to trade without Dr stoppage. Perhaps this has happened, but it must certainly be rare.”

    Miragliotta has a reputation for stopping fights early. And are you telling me that this was the first show to ever have a controversial stoppage?

    “Perhaps the problem was one referee and one doctor in almost all matches. Maybe EXC needs to have 3 different refs/doctors and alternate them to eradicate the smell of something foul.”

    Unless a promotion has a show in a non-commission state, they have next to no control over the refs and doctors. A promotion can’t make a decision to alternate.

  • BustYoFace says:

    All I have to say is, this event was not like watching MMA. Yes, Ill agree that some events (even in the UFC) have some suspect stoppages (karo) or some controversial judging (hammil v bisbing). However not all at one event that just happens to be with a companies life support (kimbo) and the first ever prime time event (CBS). All these things (as stated above) individually, sure, maybe not so bad, but when you look at the event and everything that transpired… hell even in the post fight conference. Everything thing is suspect.. IMO.

  • Trsigley says:

    I don’t think there was any fight fixing going on, but my big hangup is the production value of the show. To me it came off more WWE than MMA.

  • SteveXtreme says:

    My only fear for the whole card is this. Because it was such an important event for MMA, and because it looks like they actually did have pretty good ratings, how will the casual fan or the person tuning in for the first time react to only seeing 2 of the 5 main card matches end with a legitimate ending. “Man I’m not watching this again. They can’t even finish a fight.” (1st time viewer)
    Just a thought since they did have 3 or 4 million people watching. And maybe I’m a little more forgiving of some of the stoppages than the next guy, but the NJAC may have really hurt the potential ratings of the next show.

  • Mark Aulet says:

    All I have to say is for a network television debut of MMA I was left with a feeling my favorite sport had been cheapen and dumbed down a bit. I had friends over who hadn’t seen mma before to watch this and they were all digusted with the early stoppages (Not Elite Xc’s Fault) the poor production and the lack of skilled fighters.

    When you have people new to the sport mentioning Phil Baroni’s Record 10-9 at the time and asking if that is normal and watching him get beat like he stole something isn’t a great first impression.

    EliteXC needs to stop with the glitz and glamour and get to business and show real talented people headlining (Lawler vs. Smith should have been in my mind) and give the fans what they want a good group of fights for free.

    Also the 30 mins between fights has to stop. I could barely keep my interest and I’d like to think of myself as an avid MMA fan.

    I did like one thing about the whole fiasco…
    The explaination Frank Shamrock gave in the beginning really explained to the newer fans the termonology and showed them some of the usual winning techniques. So in that aspect they did a great job.

  • matt says:

    So the dark matches (2) were great. These weren’t televised on the web and they were back and forth action. Honestly I’d consider these to be the best fights of the night.

    The interenet card was meh, some great fights like the Binky fight and some mediocre fights like serra’s.

    Before the televised card started they asked everyone to move down to make the arena seem fuller. Before the show they were giving out vouchers for free seats and still couldn’t fill the arena.

    There was a bunch of drunk idiots booing everything. During the internet card when fights hit the ground they’d immediately boo. This was annoying the shit outta me until security escorted them out.

    I don’t know how the production looked on tv, but from inside the arena it was shit. Microphones not working, cheesy fireworks and whores in bootyshorts.

    The rodgers/murphy fight was awesome.

    There were 2 Baroni fans in my row and I started yelling out “Best EVA” and got a laugh from them.

    The Young/Carano fight was bullshit with the stoppage. Cuts under the eye don’t put a fighter in trouble.

    Lawler/Smith was awesome but the boos were retarded. Yeah they weren’t swinging the entire round and there was some circling, but the athletic commission ruined what could have been a fight of the year candidate.

    Kimbo/Thomson. I am disappointed with everything about this fight. Thomson was robbed, the arena felt that way. Chants of bullshit echoed through the arena at the stoppage.

    Highlights were talking to Jamal Paterson about the IFL rap and talking to Jake Sheilds about upcoming fights, he wants to fight at Dream since Fickett is hurt.

    Big Black is an asshole and told me he only takes pictures with hot chicks. I called him a prick.

    Talked to Dante Rivera (TUF 7) and he said he’s fighting at the finale.

    Talked to Eddie Alverez and he said he doesn’t know his opponent for the next round of Dream.

    A fight broke out infront of me and I told the cops I’ll put a video on Youtube. They laughed.

    Oh and I forgot, EXC hands out “Kick Ass Kimbo” signs. I asked for a “Kick Ass James” sign. They got angry.

    I was also interviewed by showtime for my perspective. I asked who they wanted me to be, crazy drunk guy or intelligent MMA fan, they asked for crazy drunk guy. I was sober.

    Oh and I don’t get why people were drinking $7 Bud Lights when for $8 you could get a Stella or Hoegaarden.

  • Sam… Well put!
    You ever notice that the people doing the complaining never post under their real names?

    I enjoyed every minute of MMA this weekend. I got to drink as much as I wanted without spending more then the cost of a 30 pack (2 beers at a live event)

    As for the refs on the take….
    Big Dan is a good ref and a pretty cool dude too. Kevin… well lets say he is not my favorite ref but I give him respect for doing what he does.

    For all you Ref haters…. NJ only has 2 refs to my knowledge, Maybe you should fill out a application.

  • cyph says:

    Perception is reality. You can’t prove it’s a fix, but you can’t prove that it’s not a fix. The fact of the matter is that, fixes have happened before in professional sport. I’m not saying there was a fix, but it’s extremely easy for a fan to perceive it to be because of the blunder of EliteXC and the NJAC.

    That’s the entire problem. The perception of a fix was evident, and it will push MMA back a few years, after so many years of MMA trying to distance itself from the taint of boxing and the scripting of professional wrestling.

    Argue as much as you want, Sam, but the reality was that EliteXC gave MMA a black eye that will be difficult to recover from the point of the hardcore fans. The hardcore MMA fans are the life support of MMA, and if you alienate them, there just aren’t enough casual fans conversion to make it work. EliteXC may market itself to the casual fans all they want, but don’t turn their backs to the fans that have supported MMA all these years. Casual fans may help push a sport toward the mainstream, but without the hardcore fans, there would be no sport at all.

  • HexRei says:

    @#18: It’s like you missed half of Sam’s post. You keep saying “EliteXC did it”, none of those stoppages (Dr OR Referee) were carried out by EliteXC or Shaw. The doctors, refs, and judges were all provided by the NJACB and by design, Shaw has no control over them specifically to prevent a promoter being able to influence their decisions.

    I’ll agree that this wasn’t good for MMA or the public’s perception of it but you keep blaming EliteXC as if Shaw himself was making these calls.

  • cyph says:

    It looks like you missed half of my post:

    I’m not saying there was a fix, but it’s extremely easy for a fan to perceive it to be because of the blunder of EliteXC and the NJAC.

    Reading comprehension goes both ways.

  • jgrose23 says:

    The whole night seemed very second rate. I don’t even want to touch the whole “fix is in” scenario. The fighters (outside of Rodgers) seemed to be much less skilled than I had anticipated. The only fighter that I saw that showed any sort of ground game was, surprisingly, James Thompson.
    The dancing whore/stripper routine was very uncalled for. The fireworks, Busta Rhymes and Phil Baroni’s tired act made it feel very WWE-esque.
    I am not one to complain about an evening of free fights, but these fights were just not good MMA fights.
    Comparing the EliteXC show and WEC show was like night and day. I wish a lot of fans could have seen Torres/Maeda or Faber/Pulver instead of Kimbo and friends.
    Phil Baroni needs to just go away!!!

  • HexRei says:

    @#20:
    Yeah you did mention the NJACB once in your first paragraph, but by the end of your post you are blaming EliteXC alone, even though realistically speaking it was completely the NJACB’s fault.

    I would hesitate to place even some of the blame for the bad stoppages on EliteXC because they had no control over the refs and doctors who caused said stoppages.

  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    I agree with this article. People who say it was fixed are either stupid or just misunderstanding what was really happening…

    By the way the refs AND doctors acted, there was a surely some kind of push to not let things get “too brutal”.

  • Mike says:

    But Sam please reminds us again do you work for proelite?

  • Tertio says:

    Sam,

    The Kimbo-Thompson fight is not the first fight to end with a controversial stoppage. It is however the first time it is so blattantly obvious to me that a ref is trying to alter the outcome of a fight.

    Here is what i remember from the fight :

    In rd 1 the ref stood both fighters moments after Thompson secured side control.

    In rd 2 moments after the fight went to the ground you can hear the ref tell Thompson to start working or he ll stand him up (As thompson is trapping Kimbos right arm under his legs while in side control)

    In rd 2 the refs lets Thompson throw countless elbows and strile to a TOTALLY defenceless Slice for about a minute (He couldnt even try to cover up his face since his arms were trapped by Thompson.)

    In round 3 the ref stops the fight while both fighters were trading punches…we all know how it ended.

    So to me Dan is either the biggest fucking retard on the planet and shouldnt be allowed to ref another fight in his life or he was bought by the Shaw clan.

    Its one thing to hand pick opponents for your favored fighter. What we saw saturday is something else.

  • Matt B says:

    It did appear fixed to me in some ways but not that Thompson or anyone else was paid off. More so on the fact that if the fighter was not Kimbo, the fight would have been stopped in the second round when he was pinned. The ref seemed more concerned with keeping Kimbo in it and ending it early after how he looked going into the 3rd. Did anyone catch what Gina said in the middle of round two when she was pushed up against the cage? I couldn’t make it out.

  • William W. says:

    “But forget about that and let’s think about this: if you were EliteXC and you were going to fix the fight between Kimbo Slice and James Thompson, wouldn’t it behoove you to make sure Thompson took a dive in round one and made sure the fight stayed standing?”

    Thank you Sam! People see Kimbo win in 19 seconds and they yell FIX! Kimbo wins in a match that saw him tested and look poorly on the ground and they yell FIX! It is ridiculous.

  • Tertio says:

    And Sam,

    You are hurting your credibility trying to defend EliteXC.

  • cyph says:

    HexRei,

    Should I spell out my criticisms to you?

    We got a fighter who’s 4.5 over the weight limit.

    We got a street fighter marketed as the main event.

    We got a guy who has lost 6 of his last 8 fighting in the main event while the guy he lost to is not.

    We got a title fight relegated to second fiddle status.

    Then top it off with ridiculous stand ups, biased refereeing, and early stoppages.

    Is this not WWE style entertainment? Should I blame the NJACB for this as well?

  • Two Toes says:

    “Unless you’re running a show in a non-commission state, the promotion has no control over officiating and judging. All the officials and judges work for the commission.”

    Jared Shaw was shouting for Miragliotta to stand up the fighters during the Kimbo fight in the second round and he actually listened to him. That was easily one of the worse stand ups ever. How do you justify that??

  • HexRei says:

    Cyph, yeah it would probably have been good to mention those things if that was what you were criticizing. Reading comprehension doesn’t help if you don’t write what you mean 😉
    In the post I replied to initially, you mentioned “the fix” more than once but none of those other things (which I actually agree with you on).

  • Danny says:

    i’m not one 4 conspiracy theories but the XC card was bullshit all the way through. I’ll get to the main event in a sec but if there was a fix put in place, i dont think kimbo was aware.

    1st: in some way i feel that the fighters were somehow instructed to keep the fights on the feet with the exception of the women. now i know lawler is a decent striker he didnt make any kind of real effort to get it to the ground. now i know some will sat what about sherk and his plan againt bj but lets face it. smith is no bj and lawler trains with good wrestlers in his camp.

    2nd: here’s where i sniff wrong doing. i think thompson was robbed 4 not standing in front of kimbo 4 him to get knocked out. he exposed kimbo and his very weak ground game. if thompson was any good himself he couldve mounted kimbo on more than one occasion. kimbo was so fatigued he coudnt talk after the fight. like i said, i think they stopped it becuz he exposed kimbo. i think they knew that if thompson would grounded kimbo one more time, he woulda been to drained to even mount any kind of defense.

  • cyph says:

    HexRei, my rant had nothing to do with blaming anyone for the fix. It was about how EliteXC screwed over the hardcore fans by doing everything in their power to make the show look like it’s fixed. Apparently, my point went way over your head.

  • Tertio says:

    Why mount Kimbo when you got both his arms trapped and are raining down elbows ?

  • HexRei says:

    @#33: Uhm, “everything in their power to make it look like its fixed”? hahahaha. maybe that one went over my head because its a ridiculously stupid thing to claim? how did they make it “look” fixed? it either is or it isn’t.

    I’m sorry you forgot to mention most of your points in your “rant”, and like i said, now that you actually said what you mean, i agree with some of the things you said. but your retconning of your original argument is pretty silly.

  • Danny says:

    tertio,

    i’m saying that he shouldve but he couldve.

  • jaydog says:

    I’m not sure what Sam’s role is with ProElite or CBS Sportsline, but even if he owned loads of stock in both companies, that doesn’t mean he stops being a hardcore fight fan with his own point of view, ideals, etc. Have a little respect.

    The MMA product takes many forms and we should be glad for the nuances and ongoing evolution. Besides, a network card is not going to be geared toward educated fight fans. It’s a different kind of event and they’re just getting a feel for producing the SNF brand. Even with the stoppage, people who were dying to see Kimbo kick-ass were totally jazzed by the unpredictable battle as well as the other slug-fests on the main card. If you hated the thing from start to finish, at least you can count on it not getting any worse.

  • cyph says:

    HexRei,
    Do you have anything intelligent to add are you EliteXC’s attack dog? Attacking other people’s opinion does not equal intelligent opinions of your own. Reading comprehension is also key.

  • Procannonfodder says:

    Maybe if Track Suit Gary didn’t hold his premier event in a second-rate MMA state like New Jersey, we wouldn’t have been victimized by the NJSAC. Come on, who ever heard of fights being stopped for nonbleeding under-eye cuts(Young) and no visible damage eye poke(Smith). Even if you blame Smith for telling the Dr. that he couldn’t see, why was the Doc called in in the 1st place? Pulver was poked in the eye and the CSAC didn’t see any need to step in. Finally my only problem with the standing TKO(Thompson) was that the fighters appeared to be held to two different officiating standards. I doubt if this debacle could have even been possible in Vegas.

  • JOe K. says:

    First off, the conversation is going back to the EliteXC event and needs to goto talking about getting the WEC primetime network TV. At the very least they should have new events at least once a month.

    #25 Tertio
    “So to me Dan is either the biggest fucking retard on the planet and shouldnt be allowed to ref another fight in his life or he was bought by the Shaw clan.”

    To be far Mirgliota is a pretty bad ref all around.

  • Mick says:

    5 oz…I am not sure what fights you were watching on Saturday. But they sound better than the ones that the rest of us were watching. At the end of every fight, Shaw told the winning fighter what to say and not to say…this was staged. As a avid MMA fighter and suppporter..I was extreamly disappointed in the show….BTW…yes we can hold a debate on a topic, and most of us have an open enough mind to see both sides…yet Saturday Main Event was worse than anything that WWE can ever put on…so there was only 1 side….

  • HexRei says:

    @#38:cyph, do you need to have a good cry? go for it man, just let it all out.

  • bjjdenver says:

    Fixed schmixed!

    EXC would destroy themselves if they were ever caught fixing fights, and possibly mma in general. And it’s not just EXC, the same thing happens all over the net, when a fight in UFC is controversial. Really people find yourself a new horse to beat to death.

    I will say, however, that I fully believe that the refs were instructed to err on the side of caution and refer to the doctor every time. While I don’t think they were afraid of a little blood, I’m sure they didn’t want to broadcast a defenseless fighter getting a few extra shots to the melon. of course, this is a big reason that I don’t think MMA, or boxing for that matter, belong on primetime network TV.

    As for this weekend, EXC was a ratings success and I would go so far as to say it was entertaining, even though it wasn’t the style of show I prefer (WEC sure was!). And when was the last time an mma event had people talking this much?? At one point I even found myself verbally rooting for Kimbo. i guess a little adversity goes a long ways.

    The only stoppage I have a problem with was Lawler/Smith, that was kind of BS, though I only play doctor! And did anyone else notice that Dish had him listed as Scott Steel in their program summary? Sounds like a porn star name, lol!

    WEC was awesome and a couple of my casual fan friends found it incredible. The only thing I don’t like about WEC/UFC cable cards, is the commercials between rounds. i would much rather listen in on the corner talk.

    Like I’ve said before, this is an unbelievable time for watching MMA!

  • Echolocating says:

    Dana could not have asked for a better situation for this EliteXC debut. It was a bit of a stinker, but still had a lot of viewers. He just needs to waltz in and tell Fox what the terms are and watch them squirm. 😉

    As far as the “conspiracy theory” goes… you do realize, Sam, that the majority of the knuckleheads screaming “fix” are kids and really young adults, right? Seriously, don’t waste your breath anymore on the issue. I agree with your take on the matter that everyone was just a little too cautious about the officiating… and with no thanks to CBS, I’m sure.

    However, I completely disagree with you on the Scott Smith situation, Sam. How cognitive are you of a situation after three rounds of fighting hard? Seriously, you think Scott should have demanded his 5 minutes and that he was partly to blame? Whatever. It’s the doctor’s job to give the fighter 5 minutes. The doctor screwed up, not Scott Smith. Scott said he couldn’t see and the doctor should have given him 5 minutes and then examined him again.

  • bjjdenver says:

    #43, your point about Dana being happy is right on. He should be able to “write his own check” regarding a network or ESPN deal. Superior product, more recognizable brand, higher profile fighters.

    I’m sure Dana is wearing his EXC shirt to bed tonight, lol.

  • Tertio says:

    Wanted to say that i thought abotu all of this a bit and i didnt change my stance. However i wish to appologise for saying that Sam is losing credibility by defending EliteXC. Hes just being more prudent than i am about making accusations.

    I do think it should be investigated. If it looks, smells and taste like shit there is at least the slightess possibility that it is indeed, shit. Dont you think ?

  • Chabb says:

    bottomline last night was a travesty… the Shaw family are all loud mouth blow hards.. i mean on inside mma Jared claimed elite xc has the best featherweight in the world….. hes 3-0 …. i rest my case

  • Danny says:

    IT WAS A TRAVESHAMOCKERY!!!

  • JollyDV says:

    Now for the positives on EliteXC’s Saturday card:

    -It was free, I did not feel like I wasted my money.

    -More people are talking about MMA and after finding out that this was a second-rate show they will tune into other promotions to see a first-rate show. Increasing the sports fan base is always a positive.

    -The high ratings will hopefully encourage other networks to air MMA fights. This would be a win/win situation. The hardcore fan gets to see more fights without spending more dollars. The casual fan will tune in for a free fight.

    -The MMA bug will hit more young men and women, increasing the amount of people training the disciplines which in turn leads to success for the gyms and skilled fighters for the future of the sport.

    -Frank Shamrock’s tutorial on terminology which included film to allow visual definition. (I am sure this was some producer’s brain child and Frank was just the face for it, but I think it was a great asset).

    -The last positive I can come up with offhand is that even though EliteXC, the NJAC, and everyone involved behind the scenes erred horribly, they know what not to do next time. Consider it a trial run. The Wright Brothers didn’t fly their first go round either.

  • Procannonfodder says:

    UFC on Fox might be closer than you think, Look at this newspot Foxnews did on the CBS show. Not very favorable IMO…
    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2008/6/1/543676/video-on-fox-news-about-el

  • jeff the drunk says:

    controversial, badly officiated, doctors too conservative ? YES
    fixed ? NOT LIKELY; plenty of other conspiracies out there to beat to death like 911, JFK, Bisping/Hamill decision(sorry bad example). but seriously, looking at the roster that EXC has to work with and the bouts on this card what did people expect to see? they got what they paid for or they saw free MMA on network TV. i don’t feel i wasted $28 on my ticket, because the card was pretty much what i expected, nothing spectacular but entertaining enough for me. would i rather have seen UFC or WEC break the MMA cherry of major network primetime TV? absoutely, but at least look on the positive side in that the ratings might just pave the way for a proven MMA brand to land a network deal that will put on QUALITY shows that satisfy the hardcores and attract new fans as well.

  • Cath says:

    I totally agree that the WEC should do some primetime shows and let everyone see how it’s supposed to be done.

    I admire the dedication of the conspiracy theorists out there. Even common sense and facts won’t dissuade them. The one thing consistent with everyone yelling “fix” is that they have no comprehension of how sanctioning works. Am I the only one who notices how often announcers and even promoters themselves criticize the rules, the refs, the judges, etc? And I’ve heard it in practically every boxing event I’ve seen, as well. And if you think someone was paid to take a dive, don’t you think they would have put on a better show than THAT?

    Did anyone else find it annoying that a full hour into the event and we’d seen about three minutes of actual fighting? Too much pagentry, too much explaining MMA, too much defending MMA, and far too little of the actual sport. You want to win over the mainstream, let them watch the fucking fights and make up their own minds.

  • demonianray says:

    Totally agree with Sam’s assessment that Zuffa should look a deal for the WEC onstead of the UFC

  • Kogepan says:

    The overreaction is getting out of hand. Its not like the UFC never had fights stopped early.

    1. Karo vs Alves
    2. GSP vs Serra

    I don’t see people making up wild conspiracies when the GSP gets a KO after 3-4 knees to the body.

  • Big D says:

    Here’s ur personal attack how in the hell do u think kimbo won that fight. Dam please watch it again and read a lot more blogs and visit other mma websites to see that there are plenty of excellent points being made as well as the fight itself that proves kimbo lost and it was an early stoppage. u said the kimbo fight and baroni vs villasenor fight were both stopped early. did u see baroni on the ground clinching the refs leg james thompson was still standing and kimbo right after fell to the ground yes ur an idiot i’m so happy ur a writer and not a ref.

  • mo says:

    Sam, nice article again. I for one am VERY happy with your philly-bias and informing the readers of this site about the fighters in the Philly region. I was wondering the same thing conerning the article you referenced in the Daily News, and i read another article which was simply ridiculous (http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/sports/19345974.html). It was in the Daily News as well, and referenced how MMA is relying on sex and violence to sell. I have been reading these papers for years and do not know these authors either. I know i contacted the Inquirer over a year ago and asked them why they don’t cover any MMA in their paper, and to my surprise they replied and said something along the lines that when it gets more popular and is sanctioned in PA they will cover. I for one think you should wiggle your way in their and try to write a weekly column for them.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Did Kimbo win or lose? Were there premature stoppages? Did Elite and/or the network dictate the outcomes or influence the refs? I guess it’s fun to debate this stuff, but keep some perspective. The fights compared poorly to UFC, and the contrast with the WEC fights the next night was even more dramatic. This is like an argument or a conspiracy theory over a kids’ soccer game.

  • bjjdenver says:

    WEC on network…hmmm.

    You know I have called for the UFC to add a WEC title fight to one of its ppv shows for some time now, as a way of spreading the word about the WEC.

    I like the idea of WEC on a network, but how about doing something a little different…

    Instead of a WEC or UFC show, how about combining it for a WEC/UFC primetime show, featuring fighters from both orgs?

    WEC doesn’t do as many shows, and this would give them added exposure linked to the UFC brand.

    UFC does a ton of shows, and this would keep them from losing the availability of some of their guys.

    It would also inspire chatter about possible match ups of WEC/UFC guys and possibly lead to an interesting ppv each year, featuring those anticipated matches.

    Get Dana on the horn!

  • MoreThanUFC says:

    I havent read this anywhere yet, but did anyone else notice that this card ( TV ) had NO BJJ players at all? EliteFIXC designed the card this way so that the casual fan would see KOs, and not get bored with what they dont understand. Couple that with the overcautious NJSAC, and you get what you get: quick stoppages, blood, and controversy.

  • diamond says:

    Great article Sam. Thanks for your thoughts! People should grow a little and take it easy! Eventhough we were all unhappy with the Lawler/Smith stoppage (and so were the EXC people) – when i watched it on TV i was able to noticed something i didn’t noticed live: Lawler and Smith were championing each other and acted honorably showing the fans that MMA is about honor and respect… I like that.

    hi jaydog!

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