In advance of the May 31st debut of EliteXC’s Saturday Night Fights, CBS has enlisted referee Herb Dean as well as star fighters Nick Diaz and Jake Shields to make a video focusing on what you won’t be seeing during the broadcast. Watch as Diaz demonstrates a textbook soccer kick and piledriver, while Shields contributes a downward elbow and some fence-grabbing. As the announcer says, “Now you’re ready for ‘CBS Saturday Night Fights’.” If you say so, buddy! More must-see videos after the jump.
The California State Athletic Commission determined Wednesday that Nick Diaz will not be cleared to fight Jae Suk Lim at Saturday’s Strikeforce/EliteXC event. Though CSAC executive officer Armando Garcia claims that Diaz’s medical information wasn’t submitted in time for the fight, Gary Shaw refutes this: “He never mentioned anything about late medicals,” said Shaw. “And if there were late medicals it wasn’t because of Nick Diaz and it wasn’t because of EliteXC.”
Diaz underwent the medical tests required to renew his California fight license on March 10th, and noted his prescription for medical marijuana at the time; this controversial element may be at the heart of the dispute. Said Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie:
“Nick is a naturalist by heart. He thinks Ritalin is an amphetamine. He thinks that’s really bad for you. People with ADD are kind of hyper, so he has trouble sleeping. He got the medical marijuana card and he takes his pot to go to sleep and be more focused. It’s completely legal in California. Voters voted it in. The commission is actually supposed to obey that, so this will probably open up a legal case…If they’re not even going to allow him to test clean, that doesn’t make sense. That’s overstepping their boundaries.”
Steroids actually help my E.D., but I wouldn’t expect the CSAC to bend their rules just because I have a note from my doctor. According to EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw, Diaz will return to action on June 14 in Hawaii. As for Saturday, Lim will now fight Drew Fickett, who was also left opponent-less after Jake Shields injured his back. The lineup, as it stands now:
Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le (for Strikeforce middleweight title)
Gilbert Melendez vs. Gabe Lemley (for Strikeforce lightweight title)
Drew Fickett vs. Jae Suk Lim
Mike Kyle vs. Wayne Cole
Joey Villasenor vs. Ryan Jensen
Luke Stewart vs. Tiki Ghosn
Jesse Jones vs. Jesse Gillespie
Darren Uyenoyama vs. Anthony Figueroa
Change has been the norm for Melendez of late. Before all this, he had been scheduled to fight other opponents — Josh Thompson and Jorge Masvidal — but they withdrew due to various injuries. The changes and rumors have been crazy for this guy, so stay tuned for updates in a few hours when Melendez will probably next be slated to headline a WWE event versus Hong-Man Choi — cornered by Rickson Gracie.
Speaking of Gracie, Cesar Gracie’s Graciefighter site is reporting that Nick Diaz will make his return on March 29th against Jae Suk Lim (aka, “The Korean Ice Pick”), the SpiritMC middleweight title holder. This is despite Lim saying after his last fight that he would next fight under ICON Sport. You’ll recall that Nick recently had plastic surgery to fix some of the scar tissue that was built up around his eyes. His volcanic eyeballs were the cause of his last loss — a doctor stoppage against KJ Noons. Well, scar tissue and getting punched in the face a lot were the cause.
“The Korean Ice Pick” is 9-3 and although not a huge name to MMA fans, he’s got the tools to bring it to Diaz. You might remember him from EliteXC: Renegade when he beat Daniel Pinedo via rear naked choke. Lim marks a change in plans for Diaz as well — Nick was originally to fight Muhsin Corbbrey on April 26th, but that fell through and Diaz was signed for the EliteXC/Strikeforce March event.
The show now includes Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le, Jake Shields vs. Drew Fickett, Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez. This is a fightcard we’re liking.
(The man on the ground is now EliteXC’s lightweight champion. The man in the air is now under a bridge selling oranges, possibly.)
Gary Shaw must have a boner for flying knee knockouts.
When EliteXC signed K.J. Noons, he was a pro boxer who was riding three-straight knockout victories in MMA matches for Icon Sport. His first fight for Elite in February ’07 resulted in a knockout loss to Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, and he was relegated to a ShoXC card for his next match in July. Fortunately, he scored a dramatic flying-knee KO of Edson Berto in that fight, and despite having just seven pro MMA fights under his belt at that point he was given an immediate title shot in the 160-pound division against UFC vet Nick Diaz. Incredibly, that fight didn’t go so well for Diaz.
Now, it looks like Noons’s first title defense will be against Yves Edwards. And how did Edwards earn his shot? Coincidentally, with a hopping-knee knockout of Edson Berto, which must have tickled Gary Shaw something fearsome. To be honest, I kind of wish other fight organizations operated like EliteXC, where title shots don’t depend on a string of victories over top competition or marketability, but rather on who just pulled off the last ridiculous KO.
“First of all, I don’t dodge anybody. Whoever is the best, I want to fight them. As champion, you can decline who you want to fight. You only have one option as to who you’re going to fight, and that’s the best. Whoever the best is, that’s who I have to fight. In regard to a rematch with Nick, that would be a great pay day for me. Unfortunately, he’s not the best.”
Noons went on to express his desire for a rematch with Krazy Horse Bennett, which we’d love to see. And now, just for fun, here’s Yves Edwards’ acrobatic head-kick KO of Josh Thomson at UFC 49. I know we’ve discussed Steve Mazzagatti’s horrible reffing in the past, but this, I swear to you, is his worst performance of all time. Watch how he wanders into the frame like somebody’s lost grandfather after Edwards puts Thomson’s lights out, and slow-walks over to the fighters as Yves lands uninterrupted shots on Thomson’s face. It’s literally as if Mazzagatti forgot where he was and what he was supposed to be doing. Amazingly awful.
Here’s some scoops for those nursing a post-President’s Day hangover.
— We’ve covered what we think would be dumb-ass fights for Kimbo Slice’s next war and what we think would be decent match-ups. Now the compass needle in the MMA universe seems to be pointing to Paul Buentello. The ex-UFC heavy – known as “The Headhunter” – has re-upped his challenge to Kimbo, as dictated to MMA Weekly.
“People want to see it. I think everybody wants to see it. Me and Kimbo should lace up the gloves. Everybody wants to see it and I think it’s time. He’s fighting all the guys I’ve already knocked out and I’ve already exposed. He needs to get off that buffet line I put out there and come over to my Paul Buentello taco shop and see if we can get to work.”
Buentello’s metaphors need some work, but it could be a fight worth parking your ass on the futon to see.
— Pro Elite is reporting that Muhsin Corbbrey has signed to fight Nick Diaz in an EliteXC match on April 26th in Honolulu. No confirmation on Diaz’s signing the agreement. Corbbrey is 6-2 and trains with Din Thomas and John Blanken. If this happens, it will be Exploding Eye Nick’s first battle since his TKO loss to K.J. Noons last November. That fight was also notable for Nick giving the crowd the finger after he was declared the loser.
Yesterday, we brought you the live scoop of EliteXC’s conference call. The main topic was Kimbo’s upcoming February slaughter of Tank Abbott, but Gary Shaw also announced they would be following their March 29th event with a show on April 26th in Hawaii. The March event features Frank Shamrock against Cung Le, and the April throw-down will likely see the return of Nick Diaz – exploding eye sockets and all.
“He’s had surgery on his eye to repair all that scar tissue, and I think that Nick needed a rest,” said Shaw “He’s doing the right thing for Nick right now, and we’ve encouraged him to rest as well.
10. Dan Severn (80-15-7)
Yes, he’s a UFC Hall-of-Famer who still racks up wins in smaller organizations. He’s also 53 goddamned years old. That has to be retirement age for a mixed martial artist. At this point in his life, he should be sipping Metamucil coladas and yelling at kids to get off of his lawn, not rolling on the mat with guys half his age. But we’ll vote to let “The Beast” stick around for at least one more match to see if he can maintain bladder control when socked in the gut.
9. Elvis Sinosic (8-11-2)
His retarded nickname is bad enough; his consistent mediocrity is absolutely inexcusable. Let’s start with the fact that he just got knocked out at Cage Rage by Paul Cahoon — a fighter playing .500 ball himself — in a mere 21 seconds. Well played, King, well played. While he may still have some fights left in him, we’d rather not risk having to yawn through another of his sleepwalk matches. Go back to Australia and rock ‘n rumble with the ‘roos, Elvis. They’ll probably take longer than 21 seconds to knock your middling ass out.
8. Nick Diaz (15-7, 1 NC)
Nick gets a spot on the list not for his positive marijuana test or terminated UFC contracts, but for his volcanic eye sockets. By now, the guy isn’t able to make it through one round without his eyelids shredding, the result of a rare condition also known as “shitty defense that causes your fragile face to get punched in.” We felt his pain when the doctor stopped his fight against K.J. Noons at EliteXC: Renegade, but unless he’s allowed to step into the ring wearing safety goggles, Little Nicky’s gotta go.
Sam Caplan has a solid interview with new EliteXC lightweight champ KJ Noons on his ProElite.com blog, where Noons discusses his training, a possible rematch with Nick Diaz, and his pro boxing ambitions. But the most telling quote comes right at the beginning:
Sam Caplan: After you beat Nick Diaz, how did you celebrate?
K.J. Noons: I showered up and we went out to a Fudrucker’s [sic] that my buddy owns in Corpus Christi. I had about 40 friends and family down there that drove from Houston and he re-opened up his restaraunt and (there was) an open bar. Open bar and food. It was kind of like a private party. It was fun.
Okay, for all of you who have never been to a Fuddruckers before, when KJ says there was an “open bar,” he’s referring to Fuddruckers’ famous Toppings Bar, where you can turn your hamburger into a “Burger Masterpiece” by dressing it with as much lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, peppers, cheese, seasonings and sauces as you want — and in any combination. It’s what ensures that no two Fuddruckers burgers will ever be quite the same. And you don’t have to be an MMA champion to use it!
Also, when he says that it was “kind of like a private party,” he means that the last customers had gone home four hours ago, and except for the homeless drifter that sleeps outside of the women’s restroom, they basically had the place to themselves.
I’m not exactly sure what he meant by “It was fun.”
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is an intimidating son-of-a-bitch. Still, there’s no excuse for what happened Saturday night at EliteXC: Renegade. Kimbo’s “opponent,” Bo Cantrell — a late replacement for the injured Mike Bourke — came into the fight completely psyched out, and after a couple of glancing shots from Kimbo, he dropped to the mat and started tapping for mercy. You have to watch the video to see just how pussified it was: