It’s another Saturday night of MMA, Potato Nation. We may not have Fedor or Anderson Silva this time around, but we have got Robbie Lawler and a can-do spirit, so we’re going to make the best of it. Like my grandfather used to say, when life gives you Nick Diaz and Thomas Denny, make lemonade. My grandfather may have been completely insane, but he was wise in his own special way.
Anyway, it’s free so we’re going to stop complaining and start writing. We’ll be liveblogging all the Elite XC on CBS action as it unfolds, so jump on board and let’s do this thing. Remember to hit refresh every so often to keep from getting left behind.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, we aren’t covering the Showtime portion of the card because, to be brutally honest with you, the place we’re watching the fights doesn’t get Showtime. So there it is. If you give a damn about those results anyway, here’s how they’re looking:
Drew Montgomery defeats Brandon Tarns via TKO (cut stoppage) at 4:22 of round 3.
Carl Seumanutafa defeats Mike Cook via KO (slam) at 1:22 of round 1.
Wilson Reis defeats Brian Caraway via unanimous decision.
Rafael Feijao defeats Travis Galbraith via TKO at 3:01 of round 1.
Antonio Silva defeats Justin Eilers via TKO at 0:19 of round 2.
Apparently the Shayna Baszler-Christiane “Cyborg” Santos bout just ended with a second round TKO by “Cyborg”. This vexes me since I was under the impression that it would be on the live CBS card, which doesn’t begin here for another half-hour. Now I’m just confused. Confused and sad.
Okay, so it’s on an hour later here for some reason. Turns out that living in the Mountain Time Zone has some drawbacks. Being an hour behind on the “live” CBS broadcast is one of them. Damn.
8:00 pm: …and we’re (not) live! CBS gets things going with a recap of Lawler-Smith I, which they say “could have been the fight of the year” if it hadn’t been stopped. I guess we’re just saying things without regard for whether they’re true. Why not? It’s only network TV.
8:04: Talking about Robbie Lawler, Mauro Ranallo uses the phrase “silent but violent”. Bet he’s proud of himself for thinking of that one. I’m simultaneously filled with disdain for Mauro and yet glad he’s around so I can enjoy hating him. Kind of like the way I feel about “The View”.
Shayna Baszler vs. Christiane “Cyborg” Santos
We get things rolling with our first Gina Carano plug of the night. That didn’t take long. Her ‘awww shucks’ smile riles up the Stockton crowd. “Cyborg” looks jacked as we transition into the Burger King “Rules of Combat”.
Cyborg comes right out gets the clinch on Baszler, but rather than succumb to the sheer aggression of the Brazilian Baszler gets her to the mat and looks for a kneebar. Cyborg is out, standing over Baszler and looking to land some big shots. Baszler gets her back to the mat and avoids taking too much damage. Cyborg tries some hammer fists from the guard as the three-minute round comes to an end. Strangely, knowing the outcome doesn’t inhibit by enjoyment of the fight.
Round two starts with Cyborg coming right after Baszler and hurts her with some hard right hands. Cyborg tosses her around like a child in the clinch, really using her strength advantage. Baszler looks a little overwhelmed and very tired. Cyborg drops her with a series of straight shots and Baszler goes down. It’s not over, though Cyborg thinks it is. She jumps atop the cage and initially won’t come back down to continue the fight. This is looking like a bit of a fiasco early on. Way to make MMA look amateurish. Cyborg finally comes back and finishes Baszler off in brutal fashion with a great left-right combo that puts Baszler down for good. And, of course, there’s Gina again.
8:24: Now we’re talking to Gina, wondering what might happen if she had “time to train”. Maybe she’d even make weight! I’m just playing. She’d still come in heavy.
Nick Thompson vs. Jake Shields
But first Frank Shamrock takes us through some MMA 101, throwing a dummy around. Oh, he’s just so smug about it, too. Talking about the cut on Shields’ face, Shamrock said he advised him to put Preparation H on it. “Gotta trust the legend,” says Shamrock. That’s himself he’s referring to as a legend. Classy.
Takedown right away from Shields, then easily into the mount. That’s not a good sign for “The Goat”. He scrambles trying to escape and Shields locks in a guillotine from the top position. Thompson taps. “The fight lasted as long as Brett Favre’s retirement!” shouts Ranallo. Now that’s how you force a current events reference into your broadcast. An angry twitch has started behind my right eye.
Gus Johnson congratulates Shields as the new Elite XC welterweight champ with all the enthusiasm of a man on his way to the dentist.
8:53: Kimbo shows up, naturally, wearing one of those Samuel L. Jackson hats and sunglasses indoors. Clearly, he is a celebrity now. “My life is no longer a secret,” says Kimbo. I don’t really know what that means.
Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny
They are loving Nick Diaz in Stockton, which is the whole point, I guess. But still. Diaz will never again enjoy this kind of broad popularity. We get as far as the pre-fight staredown before the sound is cut due to profanity. Nice.
Diaz looks a little slow to start on the feet, but eventually looks for a kimura on the mat. Denny escapes, but can’t do much with the position advantage. Diaz is looking for a single-leg before abandoning it for the clinch. Diaz is landing some punches on the feet, but they’re all arm punches and his defense is almost non-existent. A right hand on the ear stuns Denny briefly, then a couple of nice left hooks. Diaz is picking up the pace and Denny looks outclassed, though he’s hanging in there. Nevermind, know he’s down and Diaz is rocking him with some right hands as he gets back to his feet. They’re just brawling to end the round, and it is awesome.
Diaz rocks Denny again to start the round and then showboats a little to pump up the crowd. Diaz pouring it on and Denny is down. The camera angle makes it difficult to tell if it’s been stopped. No, it’s still going, with Diaz landing a few unnecessary shots. Looks like we’re no longer stopping fights too soon on CBS. The announcing team plays up Diaz as if he did something other than beat a guy who was a 6-1 underdog.
Diaz turns Gus Johnson’s interview attempt into a rambling shout out, answering zero questions before Johnson wrestles the mic away from him.
After seeing the “highlights” from the Silva-Eilers bout, I have to say it doesn’t seem like I missed a lot there. CBS follows it up with a great deal of backstory on Lawler and Smith.
Hey, there’s Anderson Silva. They’re not shying away from talking about the UFC, either. I have to question how smart that is, at once admitting that Silva is the best middleweight in the world and also having your own middleweight title fight that does not include him. Aren’t you essentially admitting there that your champion is not the best in the world at that weight class?
Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith
Ranallo starts us off with another pop culture reference, this time about Batman. Good leg kicks and combos from Smith early on. Lawler doesn’t look as aggressive as usual here in the early going. Head kick from Smith and Lawler pretends to be dazed. Just having some fun in there. They clinch against the cage and then separate to exchange kicks. The pace is still fairly slow. A few hard punches and a body kick from Lawler and Smith is not liking it one bit. He may have been hurt there, but Lawler doesn’t go after him right away. Smith comes back in the last thirty seconds and Lawler is backpedaling. He may have stole the round with that flurry. Smith seems to have the sense of urgency that Lawler lacks right now.
Smith lands some good elbows and Lawler is cut again, almost in the exact same spot. He comes back and puts Smith’s back against the cage and tees off with some big right hands. Lawler clinches and hurts Smith with some knees. Smith is down, Lawler attempts a couple of awkward kicks to his body before Herb Dean calls it. A bloody Lawler dances in the cage, still the Elite XC champ.
A good night of fights, all things considered. Even if I had to wait an hour longer than the rest of the country to see. Goddamn fascist Mountain Time. I’m out.