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EliteXC’s future plans at light heavyweight include title and possibly Tito Ortiz

91916_hcxzniiesq_vlarge.jpgAs EliteXC builds up its various weight classes, it’s no stretch to say the promotion’s most underdeveloped division at this stage is its light heavyweight class. However, there are plans to rectify that situation and many of those plans surround blue chip prospect Rafael Feijao.

Feijao was discovered by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira when the current UFC interim heavyweight champion was looking for a training partner during a business trip in Brazil, recently. Originally a heavyweight who fought for the IFL, the former veterinarian just recently made the move to 205 pounds. In his EliteXC debut this past February during the promotion’s “Street Certified” event, Feijao knocked out John Doyle with a knee to the body at 2:17 of round one. While Doyle was a virtual unknown to most of the country, he just happens to be one of the top light heavyweight prospects on the Eastern seaboard.

Feijao’s next test will come in the form of 37-year old Wayne Cole, a former Division II All-American at Central Oklahoma. Cole, who like Feijao competed as a heavyweight in the IFL before arriving in EliteXC, made quite an impression when he submitted Mike Kyle with an armbar at 0:45 of round one this past March during the Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le undercard.

Should Feijao get past Cole, it will put him one step closer to the EliteXC light heavyweight title, a title that could be instituted by the end of the year or by early-2009, according to EliteXC Director of Fighter Operations Jeremy Lappen. Considering that Lappen believes that Feijao has a chance to be one of the best in the world at 205, one can only assume that he’ll be a top contender for the title so long as he keeps winning fights.

But who will Feijao have to get past before he can claim the title? When asked about the current landscape of the division, Lappen mentioned that the promotion thinks highly of Jared Hamman, a former college football player who began his MMA career with a perfect 9-0 record. Also mentioned in the light heavyweight picture was the man who handed Hamman his first career loss during an April ShoXC event, B.J. Penn-trainee Poai Suganuma.

EliteXC also has Aaron Rosa in its 205 pound ranks, but his future in uncertain coming off the heels of consecutive losses, one to Hamman and the most recent one to Jaime Fletcher, who competes primarily at middleweight. However, there is one other off-roster name to also consider. During a Tuesday conference call to promote Saturday’s SHOWTIME card that will feature K.J. Noons defending his EliteXC lightweight title vs. Yves Edwards, reporters grilled Lappen about the status of Tito Ortiz.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion is currently a restricted free agent and has been drawing interest from numerous promotions. Lappen confirmed that EliteXC not only has an interest in Ortiz, but has engaged in preliminrary discussions with him. However, Lappen took a cautious approach in acknowledging that they are hardly the only suitor for Ortiz’s services.

While not mentioned in the discussion, but still a name to keep an eye on none-the-less, is UFC and PRIDE veteran Travis Wiuff. Wiuff is a career journeyman but is currently on a nine fight win streak as he bounces between heavyweight and light heavyweight. He was the winner of YAMMA Pit Fighting’s first-ever eight-man, single night tournament in April and is coming off a first round knockout victory over Kazuyuki Fujita this past weekend at Sengoku III.

23 COMMENTS
  • j says:

    Another prospect is Shane DelRosario. He is dropping to Light Heavy but may end up in the UFC.

  • jeff the drunk says:

    based on his recent comments & friendship with the donald, i believe tito will end up with affliction. also, has anybody heard the rumor that thursday’s big ufc announcement will be floyd mayweather jr. will fight anderson silva ? no?
    good, i hate stupid internet rumors. lol

  • Mook says:

    Dude, Mayweather fights at 147 lbs, Anderson fights at 185 and is considering moving up to 205.

    I think you combined 2 different rumors into one giant ball of WTF.

  • bjjdenver says:

    “I think you combined 2 different rumors into one giant ball of WTF.”–made me laugh, thanks!

    I think this is something EXC needs to get done asap. Having defined champs is needed to appeal to the casual fans and help give them some direction. Even if they don’t have the depth, or even legit champs at a weight, it can fool the new fans.

  • jeff the drunk says:

    #3 exactly & lmao. trying to point out this is how these rumors get started. like mayweather is signing a 30 million dollar deal with the ufc or another good one from a few months ago that ray lewis was sigining a multifight ufc deal. but most importantly, can i use “one giant ball of WTF” ? that ‘s an instant classic.

  • Two Toes says:

    “Considering that Lappen believes that Feijao has a chance to be one of the best in the world at 205”

    Lappen also said that the WFA was going to do 750k worth of buys on ppv. Pretty much sums up his ability to see into the future.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Two Toes, have you ever seen Rafael Feijao fight? For someone to say he has the potential to be top ten at 205 lbs. in the future is not a stretch.

  • People Who Bash Randy are Hypocrits says:

    http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f61/elitexc-champs-future-champs-contenders-list-795224/

    HW: Antonio Silva (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Brett Rogers
    2) Ricco Rodriguez
    3) Dave “Pee Wee” Herman
    4) Kimbo Slice
    5) Ken Shamrock
    6) Ron “H2O” Waterman
    7) Neil Grove
    8) Robert “Buzz” Berry
    9) James “The Colossus” Thompson
    10) John Murphy

    LHW: Rafael Feijao (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Po’ai Suganuma
    2) Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate
    3) Wayne Cole
    4) Shane Del Rosario
    5) Jared Hamman
    6) Jaime Fletcher
    7) Aaron Rosa
    8) Analu Brash
    9) John Doyle

    MW: Robbie Lawler (Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith
    2) Murilo “Ninja” Rua
    3) Hector Lombard
    4) Joey “Smokin’ Joe” Villasenor
    5) Frank Shamrock
    6) Kala Hose
    7) Phil “NY Badass” Baroni
    8) Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana
    9) Paul Bradley
    10) Kyle Noke
    11) Seth Kleinbeck

    WW: Jake Shields (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Drew Fickett
    2) Paul Daley
    3) Eddie Alvarez
    4) Fabricio Camoes
    5) Mark Weir
    6) Ross “The Boss” Ebanez
    7) Renato Verissimo
    8) Joe Camacho
    9) Jae Suk Lim

    LW: KJ Noons (Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Eddie Alvarez
    2) Yves Edwards
    3) Nick Diaz
    4) Mushin Corbbrey
    5) Edson Berto
    6) Mike Aina
    7) Victor “Joe Boxer” Valuenzela
    8) Charles “Crazy Horse” Bennett
    9) Conor Heun
    10) Thomas “Wildman” Denny
    11) Malaipet

    FW: Wilson Reis (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Masakazu Imanari
    2) Bao Quach
    3) Jean Silva
    4) Mark “The Shark” Oshiro
    5) Doug Evans
    6) Zach Makovsky
    7) Robbie Olivier
    8) Bobby McMasters
    9) Andres Soares
    10) Justin Robbins

    Womens: Gina Carano (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Shayna Baszler
    2) Cris Cyborg
    3) Kaitlin Young
    4) Debi Purcell
    5) Carina Damm
    6) Tonya Evinger
    7) Julie Kedzie
    8) Melanie Lacroix

  • People Who Bash Randy are Hypocrits says:

    Rafael Feijao, trained by Nog and Anderson Silva, is the future of LHW.

  • Joseph says:

    LHW: Rafael Feijao (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Po’ai Suganuma
    2) Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate
    3) Wayne Cole
    4) Shane Del Rosario
    5) Jared Hamman
    6) Jaime Fletcher
    7) Aaron Rosa
    8) Analu Brash
    9) John Doyle

  • […] an article discussing the EliteXC LHW, and if Tito will be signed. Five Ounces of Pain | EliteXC’s future plans at light heavyweight include title and possibly T… __________________ **HDNet Guide** M-1, IFL, Strikeforce, DREAM! […]

  • Matt says:

    Is there anybody out there (Sam, perhaps?) who has seen a roster for the fighters under contract to EXC? I’ve searched for one but have come up short. Their website fighters’ page has been expanded but it is still far from complete.

  • Joseph says:

    Matt, right here:
    These are the CURRENT and FUTURE CHAMPS (IMO), for those that are wondering:

    HW: Antonio Silva (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Brett Rogers
    2) Ricco Rodriguez
    3) Dave “Pee Wee” Herman
    4) Kimbo Slice
    5) Ken Shamrock
    6) Ron “H2O” Waterman
    7) Neil Grove
    8) Robert “Buzz” Berry
    9) James “The Colossus” Thompson
    10) John Murphy

    LHW: Rafael Feijao (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Po’ai Suganuma
    2) Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate
    3) Wayne Cole
    4) Shane Del Rosario
    5) Jared Hamman
    6) Jaime Fletcher
    7) Aaron Rosa
    8) Analu Brash
    9) John Doyle

    MW: Robbie Lawler (Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith
    2) Murilo “Ninja” Rua
    3) Hector Lombard
    4) Joey “Smokin’ Joe” Villasenor
    5) Frank Shamrock
    6) Kala Hose
    7) Phil “NY Badass” Baroni
    8) Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana
    9) Paul Bradley
    10) Kyle Noke
    11) Seth Kleinbeck

    WW: Jake Shields (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Drew Fickett
    2) Paul Daley
    3) Eddie Alvarez
    4) Fabricio Camoes
    5) Mark Weir
    6) Ross “The Boss” Ebanez
    7) Renato Verissimo
    8) Joe Camacho
    9) Jae Suk Lim

    LW: KJ Noons (Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Eddie Alvarez
    2) Yves Edwards
    3) Nick Diaz
    4) Mushin Corbbrey
    5) Edson Berto
    6) Mike Aina
    7) Victor “Joe Boxer” Valuenzela
    8) Charles “Crazy Horse” Bennett
    9) Conor Heun
    10) Thomas “Wildman” Denny
    11) Malaipet

    FW: Wilson Reis (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Masakazu Imanari
    2) Bao Quach
    3) Jean Silva
    4) Mark “The Shark” Oshiro
    5) Doug Evans
    6) Zach Makovsky
    7) Robbie Olivier
    8) Bobby McMasters
    9) Andres Soares
    10) Justin Robbins

    Womens: Gina Carano (Future Champ)

    Contenders:
    1) Shayna Baszler
    2) Cris Cyborg
    3) Kaitlin Young
    4) Debi Purcell
    5) Carina Damm
    6) Tonya Evinger
    7) Julie Kedzie
    8) Melanie Lacroix

  • Matt says:

    Joseph:

    That’s the type of lists I was looking for. Thanks very much. BTW, how did you come up with your rankings?

  • j says:

    Good list, everyone loves a list and ranking. I think you are pretty close to right on. If EliteXC was smart they would take this group of up and comers and mix in a few known guys from the UFC and Dream and they would have a legit roster.

    They should also bring in the champs and top contenders from their various other holdings like King of the Cage, Cage Rage, etc.

    They are on the right track but they have a long way to go.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Any EliteXC welterweight ranking that doesn’t have Matt Makowski on it is a faulty list.

  • Matt says:

    Sam,

    I agree that Makowski is a great prospect, but, his absence aside, don’t you think the other rankings are pretty good? Sure, there are some things we could all debate (Ken Shamrock ranked over Buzz Berry?) but it’s not a bad list for a promotion that hasn’t been that forthcoming with their rankings.

  • Joseph says:

    Sam,

    Hahaha…I did this by hand and off the top of my head.
    Give me a little break here.

    These are the CURRENT and FUTURE CHAMPS (IMO), for those that are wondering:

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”#ff8c00″][B]HW:[/B][/COLOR] Antonio Silva (Future Champ)[/SIZE]

    [B]Contenders:[/B]
    1) Brett Rogers
    2) Ricco Rodriguez
    3) Dave “Pee Wee” Herman
    4) Kimbo Slice
    5) Rob Broughton
    5) Neil Grove
    6) Robert “Buzz” Berry
    7) Ken Shamrock
    8) Ron “H2O” Waterman
    9) James “The Colossus” Thompson
    10) John Murphy

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”#ff8c00″][B]LHW:[/B][/COLOR] Rafael Feijao (Future Champ)[/SIZE]

    [B]Contenders:[/B]
    1) Po’ai Suganuma
    2) Cyrille “Snake” Diabate
    3) Wayne Cole
    4) Jared Hamman
    5) Shane Del Rosario
    6) Jaime Fletcher
    7) Aaron Rosa
    8) John Doyle
    9) Analu Brash

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”#ff8c00″][B]MW:[/B][/COLOR] Robbie Lawler (Champ)[/SIZE]

    [B]Contenders:[/B]
    1) Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith
    2) Murilo “Ninja” Rua
    3) Hector Lombard
    4) Joey “Smokin’ Joe” Villasenor
    5) Frank Shamrock
    6) Kala Hose
    7) Phil “NY Badass” Baroni
    8) Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana
    9) Paul Bradley
    10) Kyle Noke
    11) Seth Kleinbeck

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”#ff8c00″][B]WW:[/B][/COLOR] Jake Shields (Future Champ)[/SIZE]

    [B]Contenders:[/B]
    1) Drew Fickett
    2) Paul Daley
    3) Eddie Alvarez
    4) Fabricio Camoes
    5) Mark Weir
    6) Renato Verissimo
    7) Ross “The Boss” Ebanez
    8) Matt Makowski
    9) Joe Camacho
    10) Jae Suk Lim

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”DarkOrange”][B]LW:[/B][/COLOR] KJ Noons (Champ)[/SIZE]

    [B]Contenders:[/B]
    1) Eddie Alvarez
    2) Yves Edwards
    3) Nick Diaz
    4) Mushin Corbbrey
    5) Edson Berto
    6) Mike Aina
    7) Victor “Joe Boxer” Valuenzela
    8) Charles “Crazy Horse” Bennett
    9) Conor Heun
    10) Thomas “Wildman” Denny
    11) Malaipet

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”#ff8c00″][B]FW:[/B][/COLOR] Wilson Reis (Future Champ)[/SIZE]

    [B]Contenders:[/B]
    1) Masakazu Imanari
    2) Bao Quach
    3) Jean Silva
    4) Mark “The Shark” Oshiro
    5) Doug Evans
    6) Zach Makovsky
    7) Robbie Olivier
    8) Bobby McMasters
    9) Andres Soares
    10) Justin Robbins

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”#ff8c00″][B]Womens:[/B][/COLOR] Gina Carano (Future Champ)[/SIZE]

    [B]Contenders:[/B]
    1) Shayna Baszler
    2) Cris Cyborg
    3) Kaitlin Young
    4) Debi Purcell
    5) Carina Damm
    6) Tonya Evinger
    7) Julie Kedzie
    8) Melanie Lacroix

  • Joseph says:

    ^^^

    Sam and Matt,

    I revised the lists a bit and added Matt Makowski.
    Let me know if you have any other opinions about my rankings or if I am missing anyone else.

    Thanks.

  • Matt says:

    Joseph:
    I would move Buzz Berry ahead of Ken Shamrock due to his recent win at Cage Rage. I might move Eddie Alvarez ahead of Paul Daley because of his recent victories compared to Daley’s “retirement.” I think the 205’s could be shaken up if Cole beats Feijao Sat. night. Otherwise, I think you did a great job, particularly given the fact that it’s so hard sometimes to remember who is signed to EXC and who is signed to Strikeforce. The rankings would really get interesting if they could be combined, thereby adding in talents like Cung Le and Gilbert Melendez.

  • Joseph says:

    I did add Berry above Shamrock.
    Look at the new revised list above.

    I have Eddie below Paul because Eddie is only fighting LW right now in DREAM, and I am not sure he is fighting WW anymore. Under LW, I have Alvarez as #1 contender. Plus, I am not so sure Alvarez can beat Paul Daley, if Paul is really dedicated and wont retire.

  • Matt says:

    You’re right, i forgot that eddie was fighting LW only in DREAM. I would love to see that fight of Daley v. Alvarez, though at WW some day.

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