by: Jack Bratcher
ELITE XC on CBS – MAY 31, 2008
Wow, what can I say about this card? I have alot of different feelings about this card. I watched the preliminary fights and the main card. I’m not going to go over every bout in detail. Instead, I’m going to go by the “highlights” and what stuck out to me. I have to talk about Nick Serra’s performance in the preliminary bouts. Matt Makowski was Nick’s opponent. I’m going to assume that Matt kicked Nick’s legs so hard that it took all of the strength out of them because he began walking around looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and very flat-footed. Then out of nowhere, Nick tries to pull gaurd but his opponent is a few feet away from him so Nick ends up jumping straight up in the air and falls on his back hard. Then Nick pulls himself up and a few seconds later tries to throw a kick and he falls down flat. His opponent points and laughs at him and looks at the ref. The ref keeps telling him to get up. Nick just sits there. He wont or can’t get up and finally the ref say “if you don’t get up I’m stopping the fight” and that’s what happened. I was flabergasted and still don’t even know what to make of what I saw in that fight.
There were some really decent fights in the prelims but Nick’s performance or lack thereof is what stuck out the most to me.
Then on the main card we had Phil Baroni, “The New York Bad Ass.” He strutted into the cage like a superstar. But he was stopped decisively by Joey Villasenor. Phil looked good for about ten seconds then it was all Villasenor and the ref stopped it by TKO in round 1.
Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young. First of all, I was extremely disappointed that Gina didn’t make the catch weight that was made just for her. It spoke to me of a lack of commitment to her training and in the cage although she put on a great fight you could tell she was getting winded too early. These two girls put on a great show with technical striking and good grappling. Kaitlin received a black eye and maybe some tiny cut(s) and at the end of the second round the referee stopped the fight and would not let Kaitlin return to the ring. The question has to be asked, “Was this fight stopped because it was a fight on Network TV, it was two women, and Kaitlin had a bit of a messed up face?” I thought it was a ridiculous stoppage and just a really crappy ending to a great fight. I didn’t understand the stoppage at all. There was no blood coming into her eyes, no cuts above her eyes, and as far as I saw no blood at all. But she had a black eye and was busted up a bit but definitely not deserving of a stoppage. (To be fair, I just heard Gus Johnson say on the radio that Kaitlin Young may have a broken ocular bone)o
Next, we had Robbie Lawler, ranked as #4 middleweight in the world and Elite XC middleweight champ vs. Scott Smith. This was an awesome awesome fight. This fight went back and forth with Lawler throwing some bombs. Smith was landing some good kicks. At one point Lawler landed a big kick to the mid-section followed by some hard strikes and then a flying knee. This was destined to be probably the fight of the year and definitely the fight of the night. It was that good. Smith put up a great fight. In the second round Lawler accidently poked Smith in the eye, they stopped it to let Smith recover. The doctor came in to see how Smith’s eye was and Smith said, “I can’t see now but I’ll be fine after the five minutes”. (The rules state he has five minutes to recover) But the doctor took this that Smith couldn’t see and called the fight. Fight declared a No Contest so neither fighter gets the win. This was just a terrible terrible stoppage and an awful letdown and really ruined one of the greatest fights of the year. Thanks guys.
I was thinking to myself…..do they have a doctor in there who has never worked and MMA fight in their life? What could be the explanation for this crap? I think the doctor was some little lady; whoever it was I have to question their judgment on more than one of these fights.
And finally, the main event, the “biggest fight in mma history” or so we were sold. Kimbo Slice vs. James “The Colossus” Thompson. The first thing I noticed about this fight was when I saw Thompson’s face appear on my TV screen. I was horrified. If my daughter had been in the room I would have covered her eyes. I thought to myself, “if this guy beats Kimbo, is that the face they want to represent Elite XC?” This guy has a very strange looking large growth coming out of his head in the spot most people have ears. Particularly on the left side of his head where the ear belongs. Mauro Ranallo, one of tonight’s commentator’s referred to it as an “alien growth”. At one point in the fight, Kimbo hit this growth on James’ head and it exploded like a pinata but instead of candy, blood came out. When Kimbo hit Thompson that thing would flop and wiggle and jiggle like it had a life of it’s own. It was terrible and vulgar and kids everywhere should be kept from ever seeing something that horrible. That man needs to have it removed for the sake and well-being as everyone.
Kimbo got really tested in this fight. I just wanted Kimbo to have to go at least one round to see how it handled it. And he REALLY got tested. James Thompson came out and took Kimbo to the ground. Thompson gets on top but Kimbo had a great reversal. They both exchanged and it went back and forth in round one. In round two Kimbo had a great sprawl but finally ended up on his back and near the end of round two Thompson once again mounted Kimbo, pinned him against the cage, and delivered elbows one after the other for almost a minute. Alot of fights would have been stopped right there. They gave him a real break there and did not stop it. Kimbo looked like a beaten man after round two. But as round three starts Kimbo went to his bread and butter and landed some great strikes on James Thompson. To be exact, Kimbo landed four or five huge bombs that rocked Thompson badly; his ear (growth) popped, blood squirted everywhere, his eyes rolled back and he stumbled and the ref steps in and stops it. Kimbo falls to the mat arms outstretched in thankfulness and exhaustion. I thought it was stopped to early although it could have easily been stopped in round two when Kimbo was mounted and pinned against the cage. Probably a couple of more shots and Thompson would have ended up right on the mat staring into space but instead of letting it play out, the ref stopped it. There’s always conspiracy theories when stoppages like this happen. It’s not the worst stoppage ever but still pretty bad. The crowd booed at the stoppage and booed Kimbo after the fight, something I never thought I would see and that’s the proof they thought it was stopped too early. Gus Johnson, one of the commentators, called the stoppage controversial.
This night was the first time Mixed Martial Arts has ever been on Prime Time Network Television. It didn’t come off without a hitch. There were plenty of hitches and plenty of glitches. Was I entertained? Yes. Is it good for MMA? I guess so. Is it better than the UFC? Not even remotely close. Will I watch again? Definitely.