Maybe you’ve forgotten all about this, but Elite XC’s second live event on CBS is this Saturday, headlined by the Scott Smith-Robbie Lawler rematch. While that’s a bout worth getting excited about, the rest of the card really makes you wonder whether we won’t see a tremendous drop-off in ratings and whether CBS won’t rethink this crazy MMA experiment as a result.
It’s not just that the card lacks the mainstream star-power of the first one, though that is indeed the case. It’s also that there are precious few meaningful, competitive matches. Just take a look at the line-up and the betting odds and you’ll see what I mean:
Scott Smith (+180) vs. Robbie Lawler (-220)
Thomas Denny (+450) vs. Nick Diaz (-600)
Nick Thompson (+320) vs. Jake Shields (-400)
Christiane Cyborg (+125) vs. Shayna Baszler (-155)
Justin Eilers (+400) vs. Antonio Silva (-550)
Travis Galbraith (+275) vs. Rafael Feijao (-345)
Brian Caraway (+140) vs. Wilson Reis (-170)
If betting odds are any indication how competitive a bout will be (and they usually are) we only see a couple of matches here that promise to be anything but one-sided. One of the more lopsided bouts on the card is the Justin Eilers-Antonio Silva fight, which will be for the newly-created Elite XC heavyweight title. I have a hard time imagining MMA fans getting too worked up over that, and all the mainstream crowd knows is that neither of these guys is Kimbo.
My question is, how did Elite XC go from throwing everything they had into their first CBS event, to putting forth such a meager effort for the second?
Not only that, they’re relying on Nick Diaz-Thomas Denny to be their main live draw in Stockton, Ca., even though it’s not a bout anyone would have told you they particularly wanted to see. I understand their plans to put KJ Noons in against Diaz fell through, but this seems more like an afterthought. It’s a fight just for the sake of having a fight.
Maybe it’s because this comes on the heels of the Affliction-UFC (not to mention Dream) weekend and we’re all spoiled, but this hardly seems like a recipe for success if you’re Elite XC. It should be interesting to see how their ratings fare, as well as if they don’t end up kicking themselves for not doing more to promote Lawler and Smith the first time around, especially now that they have to sell it as a main event.