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Meet the Star Wars Episode VII Cast (So Far)

June, 2008

Epic Fail: Nick Serra

Nick Serra monkey
Nick Serra MMA
(Images courtesy of Sherdog.)

I was holding off on posting about this because I thought a video would turn up by now, but it looks like the video-sharing sites aren’t on fire with undercard matches from EliteXC: Primetime, so here goes.

Posted above is the Sherdog Fight Finder record for Nick “The Mad Monkey” Serra, who completely shamed his family’s name on Saturday night. Sure, you see “DQ (Wouldn’t Get Up From Butt Scoot)” and you think, wow, that’s pretty embarrassing. Dude. Dude. You have no idea.

Matt Serra’s less-successful brother faced off against Matt Makowski, who came into the fight with a 2-0 record. Nick entered the ring wearing a monkey mask, coming off like a broke-ass Jason Miller. (Makowski, for his part, made his ring-walk in spiked shoulder pads, Road Warriors-style.)

True to his nickname, Serra jumped on Makowski’s back after a brief opening exchange, but was slammed to the mat after transitioning to an armbar attempt. Despite throwing a solid upkick from the ground and getting to his feet, Makowski caught him with a couple of nasty uppercuts to close out the round.

Unfortunately, Serra hadn’t planned for round two. By two minutes into the second frame, he was truly, madly, deeply gassed, and his arms wobbled around at his sides. And then it happened. In a desperate attempt to get the fight to the ground, Serra weakly launched a Shinya Aoki-style flying guard-pull, missed Makowski completely, and landed directly on his back. As the crowd “ooh!’d in bemused shock, Serra sheepishly got to his feet. Makowski came in to engage, and Serra intentionally fell backwards onto the mat. Makowski threw his hands up and gave the ref a classic “WTF?” look. The ref ordered Serra to get up. The Mad Monkey refused, and the fight was called for Makowski.

And you know what? That wasn’t even the worst fight on the undercard.

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No, Kimbo Didn’t Tap

Kimbo Slice James Thompson EliteXC MMA

Sure, it looked like he did from the TV angle, but the above gif supports the “thumbs up” argument. Take that, Brett Rogers! Still, what the hell was James Thompson doing just standing there? Thanks to reader “Vegas” for the find.

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Quotes of the Weekend: Young, Shaw, Couture + Ortiz

Kaitlin Young Gina Carano EliteXC MMA
(Kaitlin Young was swept under the rug after her fight with Gina Carano.)

“[T]he doctor actually cleared me to fight the third round but the commission said no. I wanted to continue, my corner wanted to continue. The cut likely would have opened in the third but it was under the eye. If I had to guess, I would say that they didn’t want the visual of a woman with a bloody face on CBS. They also chose not to do a post fight interview with me or to include me in the post fight news conference and after party. I think the reason for that was my beat up appearance after the fight because I was not seriously injured and was completely coherent. I am very disappointed about that but cant help but wonder how people would have responded to that, as stupid as it is.” — Kaitlin Young, on her loss to Gina Carano and resulting media snub.

“Brett is gonna have to learn that it’s about the money…I don’t think [a fight between Brett Rogers and Kimbo Slice] is a fight that I would do. I might do Brett Rogers against [Antonio] Silva…but that’s what makes me a promoter. I appreciate all you guys, but you don’t run me. I’m just saying, I don’t read blogs, I don’t read anything…I run a professional sports franchise. My job is to put asses in seats, build stars, build superstars, not let someone guide me who fights who.” — Gary Shaw, getting a little hot under the collar during an interview with MMARated.

“I’m confident I’ll fight again. I’m also OK with the idea that it may not happen. I may get a bad (court) ruling and I can’t really see myself at this point going back and fighting two more times for the UFC if that’s what the state says I have to do. So there’s the potential I could be done fighting and I’m OK with that too.” — Randy Couture, on his disputed contract status with the UFC.

“Ortiz says he’s ’65 percent’ sure that he’ll begin his own MMA organization. ‘When I was in the UFC, they talked so much about how I wanted to get out of it and how I wanted to stop fighting,’ Ortiz said. ‘It was a bunch of baloney. I still see 3-4 more years of competition left (in me) and I want to build. I want to make a (rival) company neck and neck with the UFC. I think it’s going to be about taking care of the fighters and that’s what I’m going to do.’” — Tito Ortiz in an interview with the Boston Herald.

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Varying Definitions of Success for Elite XC: Primetime

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Elite XC sent out a press release early this morning trumpeting their ratings success on Saturday night’s CBS offering. They boasted “triple digit percentage increases” when compared to the network’s season average for that time slot, as well as strong ratings about the “key young adult” and male demographics.

The inaugural CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS mixed martial arts event, live from Newark N.J., led the Network to demographic victory and significant time period growth among all key young adult and young men demographics from 9:00-11:00 PM, according to preliminary Nielsen live plus same day ratings for Saturday, May 31.

The 9:00-11:00PM portion of CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS (2.7/05, 4.30m) was first in adults 25-54 (1.9/06), adults 18-49 (1.9/06), adults 18-34 (1.9/07), men 25-54 (2.6/08), men 18-49 (2.5/08) and men 18-34 (2.6/10).

Those ratings only cover 9-11 pm, the release pointed out, which excludes what they expect to be the highest rated portion featuring the Kimbo Slice-James Thompson bout. Those numbers should be available on Tuesday. And if you happen to live in the 5% of the nation where the show was pre-empted by the “Children’s Miracle Network Telethon”…yeah, tough luck.

While Elite XC and CBS seem happy with those numbers, not everyone was pleased with the outcome. One dissenter in particular found his way on to ESPN to debate the topic, though he might be just slightly biased…

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Elite XC Has The Lights, WEC Has The Fights

kimbo-slice-primetime.jpg
(Combat Lifestyle captures the excitement before the bell.)

As a study in contrasts, you couldn’t have scripted it any better. On Saturday night Elite XC delivered the dancing girls, the smoke machines, the big-time hype to go along with their network TV debut. Then on Sunday night the WEC delivered the fights. It’s a statement on the yin and yang of the MMA world, and it’s almost too perfect.

What the WEC delivered was an epic battle between two fighters who most sports fans wouldn’t recognize if they passed them on the street. Elite XC gave us a sloppy, mismanaged affair on a show ironically titled “Primetime”, featuring two fighters who were anything but.

It’s just a shame that the one show this weekend which best represented what MMA is all about was stuck in the cable hinterlands of the Versus network, while the all-show, no-go Elite XC main event ended up introducing millions of new viewers on CBS to everything that MMA has been trying to prove that it isn’t.

It’s not that the Elite XC show was horrible. Certainly, it was disappointing. The odd conclusion to the Kimbo Slice-James Thompson bout had some hastily crying ‘fix’ without any proof to support it, while others merely felt cheated out of a real finish. But what really hurt Elite XC was that what we saw on Saturday night felt so far from what we – the hardcore, pay-per-view buying fans – have come to expect.

Like many of you, I tried to keep my expectations for the CBS debut realistic. I felt about it the way you feel about introducing your new girlfriend to your parents: nobody has to do anything extraordinary, just as long as nobody embarrasses me. But when Kimbo Slice and James Thompson threw tired haymakers at one another and rolled around like two novice grapplers on the mat before the inauspicious ending to the sloppy display in the third round, embarrassed is exactly how I felt.

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Videos: EliteXC “Saturday Night Fights,” More Press Conference Highlights

(Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson)

(Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young)

(Joey Villasenor vs. Phil Baroni)

Smith/Lawler is here and Rogers/Murphy is here. James Thompson, Phil Baroni, and Gina Carano react to their matches after the jump.

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Faber Outslugs Pulver in Five-Round Classic at WEC 34; Torres Also Retains Belt

Jens Pulver Urijah Faber WEC MMA

Those left with a bad taste in their mouth from the multiple fiascos of Saturday’s EliteXC show got a palate-cleansing burst of brilliant MMA last night, as WEC 34 in Sacramento featured arguably the two greatest bouts in the organization’s history.

In the featherweight championship match, Urijah Faber solidified his status as one of the best fighters in the world, wearing Jens Pulver down with explosive striking combos and showcasing his scary conditioning during the first 25-minute match of his career. Faber came out hard in his usual style, landing a couple of big punches and knees in the clinch. Though Faber slipped to the mat while attempting a kick, Pulver couldn’t capitalize on the ground and was kicked off. The fight was halted briefly when Pulver was poked in the eye, but Lil’ Evil refused to take recovery time. Pulver took Faber’s back briefly against the cage, and ate a spinning backfist for his efforts.

The second round began with another brief stoppage as Faber accidentally kicked Pulver in the groin following a punch combo. Faber dominated the next couple minutes, taking Pulver down, throwing some big elbows, then landing a vicious punch combination when Faber scrambled to his feet. Pulver looked rocked, but fired back with his own punches, including a sharp uppercut that shook Faber. Faber answered with a takedown attempt, but Pulver sprawled and nearly secured a front choke. Faber escaped and punished Pulver with punches until the bell sounded. Pulver seemed gassed at this point, and clearly frustrated that he was being outboxed.

The third round was probably the most exciting of the match, starting with a sharp head kick from Pulver. After Pulver sprawled on a takedown, Faber was able to take Pulver’s back and slam him to the ground, but Pulver bounced up and began a thrilling striking exchange ending with a devastating body kick that put Faber in serious trouble. Faber shot for a takedown but landed with Pulver on top of him and dropping elbows. Faber reversed the position and landed a couple elbows of his own before the fighters were stood up; Pulver was very slow in getting to his feet.

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