There is a wealth of talent from a broken organization that risked and lost it all on a YouTube street brawler from Miami. While sifting through the ashes of ProElite and EliteXC it’s impossible to ignore the abundance of talent that will soon be heading elsewhere.
It was the first thought in most people’s minds and everyone in the mixed martial arts community is talking about it. Where are these guys going to go? How are they going to do elsewhere? Will another organization spring up in EliteXC’s wake?
We’ll know the answers to these questions in the coming days, weeks and months but until then there is going to be a whole lot of speculation with the hardcores and move-making by the big dogs in mixed martial arts. I’d imagine there is going to be quite a few exhausted executives from UFC, Strikeforce, and Affliction once the dust settles from what is sure to be a behind the scenes buying frenzy reminiscent of draft day in any major sports organization.
One of the first guys to go in the draft is sure to be EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields and it’s easy to see why. With an outstanding record of 22-4-1, Shields hasn’t lost a fight in his last eleven outings. Even more impressive than his current win streak is the competition he has faced during this time.
Jake Shields recent victims read like a who’s who list of the top 170 pounders that aren’t with the UFC . Names like Paul Daley, Nick Thompson, Renato Verissimo, Yushin Okami, Mike Pyle and Carlos Condit have recently fallen victim to this submission expert over the last couple of years.
The only real competition left for Jake Shields comes in the form of the UFC’s stacked 170 pound division and it wouldn’t make any sense for a fighter of Shields’ caliber to wind up anywhere else. The move would really let the world know exactly where Shields stands at 170 pounds and give him more of the exposure that he has rightfully earned.
Although most of his biggest wins have come overseas, Eddie Alvarez will surely be one of the most sought after fighters to emerge from EliteXC. With a remarkable professional MMA record of 15-1, Alvarez brings a kamikaze attitude into the ring that any promoter in their right mind would love to showcase under their banner.
Eddie’s previous three fights for DREAM against the likes of Andre “Dida” Amade, Joachim Hansen and Tatsuya Kawajiri could all be nominated for fight of the year honors and that is a feat in itself. One great fight is one thing, back to back awesome fights is another but three consecutive all out brawls should force every major organization to place bids on what is sure to be one of the hottest tickets in the EliteXC draft.
Robbie Lawler has found new life since his departure from the UFC way back in 2004. After two consecutive losses to Nick Diaz and the late Evan Tanner, Lawler left the UFC and has reeled off ten victories in his last 11 bouts. Fighting in organizations ranging from King of the Cage to Pride FC before settling down as EliteXC’s middleweight champion, Lawler is as seasoned and experienced as they come. Win, lose or draw, Robbie Lawler has always been an exciting, A-level fighter and he would make a fantastic addition to any major organization looking to pad a relatively unstacked middleweight division.
Nick Diaz may be controversial but controversy sells tickets and he has the talent to back up the smack talk. One thing the fans have come to know by now is if Nick Diaz is in the fight, well, it’s going to be a good fight. The countless wars Diaz has been in with top fighters completely solidifies his place as one of the best in the game.
He has wins over big names such as Chris Lytle (Nick’s second fight), the previously mentioned Robbie Lawler, Drew Fickett and most notably, Takanari Gomi. Stoned or not, Diaz choked Gomi out with his foot and the entire MMA community was forced to take notice. Nick kind of has a way of doing that, forcing people to take notice. Just another reason that he would make a great addition to any roster.
It’s hard to mention Nick Diaz without bringing up his arch enemy and recently stripped former EliteXC lightweight champion, KJ Noons. I know, I know, KJ wasn’t really an EliteXC fighter at the end of it all but Noons is an extremely talented fighter that has recently emerged from the EliteXC mess that will need a home.
His first round bludgeoning of Nick Diaz and subsequent :48 second demolition of top lightweight Yves Edwards is impossible to ignore and with every single one of his wins being finished on his own terms, Noons is another guy that should be scouted heavily in the coming days.
There are three guys in ElteXC’s former heavyweight division that definitely deserve mentioning when talking about men that could make serious impacts wherever they end up. First off, EliteXC Heavyweight title holder, 6’4″ 265 pound Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Currently riding out a one year suspension due to a dirty drug test, Silva has the size and skill set to give any top heavyweight fits. Silva trains with one of the best camps in the business in American Top Team and sports an impressive record of 11-1. The only chink in Silva’s armor may be the fact that he has yet to face a top fighter and it will be interesting to see how he does once the dust has had a chance to settle.
Next up, 6’5″ 265 pound Brett “Grim” Rogers. The bottom line is this is a big, powerful, scary man that will be a bonafied pain in the ass for any heavyweight to face at any point in their careers. Sporting a record of 8-0, Rogers has finished every man he has face in the first round with seven of those eight wins coming by way of knockout.
What seems like a theme with EliteXC’s emerging heavyweights, the only downside to Brett Rogers appeal could be his lack of quality opposition. All of that will most likely change very soon for Rogers and he will have his opportunity to show what he can do against some of the best guys out there.
Last heavyweight on my short list is 6’5″ 240 pound powerhouse Dave “Pee wee” Herman. Herman sports a 100% finish ratio sporting a record of 12-0 with three of those wins coming by submission and the remaining nine victories ending by knockout. His athletic ability and raw talent has blown ringside observers away on more than one occasion and just like the two previously mentioned heavyweights, it’s going to be fun to watch his career unfold.
The list of talented fighters without homes just goes on and on. You have light heavyweight Rafael Feijao who trains with both Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera that has been carving a path of destruction early on in his career.
How can we forget Seth Petruzelli? It will be interesting to see if his overnight fame will carry over to wherever he winds up. What about Ninja and the guy that just beat him Benji Radach? That was one one of the best fights this year and the fans will be eager to see the both of them return to action soon. What about wicked muay thai specialist Malaipet? Hawaiian slugger Kala Kolohe Hose? Cyrille Diabate, Scott Smith…..Kimbo Slice??? The list goes on and on.
Only time will tell what the future holds for the abundace of talent formerly controlled by Pro Elite and EliteXC. Until then we can only wonder and speculate about the final destination and possible future matchups from this talent pool coming out of the EliteXC draft. To all of the major organizations, let the bidding commence.