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Tag: Robbie Lawler

Wait, Jared Shaw Still Has a Job?


(Guess who’s getting promoted to the position of Kimbo’s Official Gold Chain Holder. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin.)

When news dropped that Gary Shaw had resigned from Pro Elite just shortly after everyone within the company, including his son Jared, assured the media that things were just fine and nobody was going anywhere, we naturally assumed that Jared was on his way out too. It’s like when you’re the son of a third world dictator and you get some cushy do-nothing job. When your dad is overthrown by a power-hungry general in a bloody coup, it usually means you’re on the next flight out with a briefcase full of cash or you get killed in your sleep.

But according to new Pro Elite Chairman Charles Champion, whose name is awesome and maybe fake, Jared is going to be sticking around in some capacity:

Jared has been with the company from the beginning. Gary has often said that it was really Jared that brought Gary into it. Jared has continued to work on making matches and continue to promote ProElite and ProElite athletes. He’s continuing to work with the fight team. I haven’t talked to Jared about what he’s going to be doing ten years from now but I have talked to Jared about what he’s going to be doing for the next while with us. He’s enthusiastic and others are enthusiastic about his approach and what he’s doing now, so we think that is all going to work out well.

Seriously? So the lesson here is, nepotism works? Man, this is why I hate learning lessons.

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Epic Fail: EliteXC’s Live Gate

Robbie Lawler EliteXC MMA
(Robbie Lawler does his best Joe Stevenson impression at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin via Fightlinker.)

The California State Athletic Commission has released figures on the attendance and gate revenue for Saturday’s “Unfinished Business” show, and good Lord are they awful. Of the 8,541 seats available for the event, only 2,871 — or 33.6% — were purchased by fans. Of the remainder, 3,701 were given away as comps, and 2,023 went totally unused. The 2,871 paid tickets brought in $268,715 in revenue, which is less than the dollar value of the tickets that were given away ($340,960).

So, not only was “Unfinished Business” a ratings disappointment, but its live attendance (6,752 Stocktonites in total) was destroyed by other major MMA events held in California recently. For example…

Affliction: Banned — 14,832 total attendance, 11,242* paid (Anaheim, 7/19/08)
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson — 7,288 total, 6,750 paid (San Jose, 6/27/08)
WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver — 12,001 total, paid figure unavailable (Sacramento, 6/1/08)
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le — 15,192 total, 14,710 paid (San Jose, 3/29/08)
UFC 76 (their most recent event in California) — 13,770 total, 11,817 paid (Anaheim, 9/22/07)
* figure is debatable.

Back in May, EliteXC’s “Primetime” card — held at Newark’s Prudential Center and starring Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano — drew a respectable 8,033 spectators. EliteXC plans on holding their next CBS show in October at the 20,000-seat BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. Of course Kimbo is going to be a big draw in his home state, but unless EliteXC likes hearing the echo of thousands of empty seats, they might want to think about scaling back a little.

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Elite XC on CBS: The Liveblog Spectacular

Nick Thompson and Jake Shields Elite XC
(Nick Thompson spices up the weigh-in, courtesy of Combat Lifestyle)

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.

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No Shaw’s and Very Little Excitement for Elite XC

So Robbie Lawler is clearly not into doing this interview with MMA Rated’s Ariel Helwani. That’s nothing new for the Elite XC middleweight champ. Media shy isn’t quite the term for how Lawler deals with the press. More like media contemptuous. But to hear Ariel tell it, Lawler isn’t the only one who seems unenthusiastic about this event:

We just came back from the EliteXC press conference at the Stockton Arena and the only word that comes to mind is “surprised.”

Surprised that there was virtually no media there. Seriously, maybe a handful…tops.

Surprised that the Shaws (Gary and Jared) were no where to be found. Surprised that no one is willing to give a straight answer as to where they are hiding. Trust me, I asked around. Surprised that there appears to be zero excitement online, around town or even in the local media for this event.

What’s going on here? Elite XC broke a major barrier with their first show on CBS, but now they’re on the verge of their second and already people are treating it like their grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary party. Not that we’re saying this is necessarily wrong on the part of the media or the fans or even the fighters. We can definitely relate to those feelings. It’s just odd.

Is it bad timing, coming on the heels of the biggest MMA weekend of the year thus far? Is it the line-up? The promotion itself? The lack of a big media build-up? Lack of MMA lightning rods like Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano? What’s the deal?

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Elite XC on CBS: Unreasonably Specific Predictions


(Insert lame “picture in a picture” joke here.)

I’ll admit it, I’m having a hard time getting excited for this Elite XC event tomorrow night. Part of it is the hangover from the huge MMA weekend we just had with Affliction, UFC, and Dream all crammed into a couple of days. After that sensory overload, I feel like a teenager who took way too much acid: there are no highs and no lows for me right now, plus I’m frightened by bright colors and strong breezes.

Another part of it is the fight card. It’s not a bad card, just kind of uninspired. Nothing leaps out at you as a match you absolutely have to see. As an attempt at making things more interesting, here are some unreasonably specific predictions for Saturday night’s show. I look forward to hearing how hopelessly wrong I am in the comments section.

Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

I’d like to say that I predicted stoppage by accidental eye-poke for the first meeting, but it isn’t so. TKO by Lawler seems to be the smart choice, even though Lawler seemed unable or unwilling to really go after Smith and finish him when he had him hurt the last time. That won’t be the case this time. Lawler will stun Smith with an uppercut, then finish him off with a left hand that will drop him without putting him all the way out. The ref will move in to stop it just a little bit too soon (this is on CBS, after all) and Smith will make that I-just-can’t-catch-a-break face. The CBS commentators will then attempt to claim that it was the fight of the year.

When Will It Happen: 3:14 of round two.

What to Watch For: After the victory, the stone-faced Lawler will look only about as happy as a man who just found a good parking space at the mall.

Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny

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Oh Yeah, Elite XC on CBS is Coming Up

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)

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UFC 86 Video Hype


Check out the intro to SpikeTV’s “Countdown to UFC 86″ special, which features Juanito Ibarra vowing to retire if Rampage loses. Finally, this fight matters!


Here’s a segment on Patrick Cote from the “Countdown” show, which details his hard luck in the Octagon before putting together consecutive wins against Scott Smith, Kendall Grove and Drew McFedries.


And finally, a slam-packed Rampage Jackson highlight clip, courtesy of the UFC.

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Elite XC Announces Antonio Silva Versus Someone Else For Heavyweight Title


(Let the search for an opponent begin.)

Elite XC officially announced its July 26 event in a press release sent out to the media today, noting that the card will feature three title fights: Robbie Lawler-Scott Smith for the middleweight title, Jake Shields-Nick Thompson for the vacant welterweight title, and Antonio Silva-TBA for the newly created Elite XC heavyweight title. Because nothing says ‘this belt isn’t very important‘ like announcing a title fight with only one participant a month out from the fight.

The Silva bout, along with two others, will air live on Showtime. The other two title fights will air live on CBS alongside two other bouts.

Said Pro Elite Executive Chairman Doug DeLuca, “One venue, two networks and seven exciting world class fights adds up to an entertaining and memorable mixed martial arts event in prime time.”

That one venue is the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif., home to such sports teams as the Stockton Thunder and the Stockton Lightning.

As you may have guessed, the Nick Diaz-Thomas Denny bout is one that Elite XC is relying on to drive ticket sales, and it is expected to be one of the four bouts featured live on CBS. We had originally hoped that Diaz would face Elite XC 160-pound champ KJ Noons on the card, but after Noons’ father’s negative remarks about the Diaz brothers and the city of Stockton, it’s may be best for that not to happen.

There’s also word that CBS is using its increased financial stake in the company to try and influence matchmaking. CBS apparently felt there weren’t enough stars on this card and MMA Payout claims it has sources attesting to “significant internal pressure” to put a big name like Gina Carano on this event in order to generate more fan interest.

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Shields, Silva Likely for July EliteXC/CBS Card; Fickett Out for Good?

Robbie Lawler Scott Smith EliteXC MMA
(Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith will have another chance to go at it next month.)

Dave Meltzer at Yahoo! Sports is reporting some early details on the next EliteXC/CBS “Saturday Night Fights” broadcast, which is slated for July 26th. Word is:

The company’s plan is to stage an event that would start at either 7:30 or 8 p.m. (ET) on Showtime — with either a 60- or 90-minute show that would feature three or four fights — leading into the 9-11 p.m. CBS show. The venue has not been finalized, although the Savvis Center in St. Louis is under consideration.

A middleweight title re-match between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith is already expected to headline the broadcast, while other likely bouts include Jake Shields vs. TBA (for EliteXC’s vacant welterweight title), Antonio Silva vs. TBA (possibly for EliteXC’s vacant heavyweight title), and matches featuring Shayna Baszler and Wilson Reis.

Particularly astute CagePotato readers might think “Jake Shields vs. TBA? Hasn’t he been trying to fight Drew Fickett for like a year?” And you’d be right. Except Fickett might be getting bounced from EliteXC for being an absolute moron.

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CagePotato ‘Power Rankings’ Updated

Thiago Alves UFC
(Comin’ for that #1 spot…)

2008 is shaping up to be the busiest and most exciting year in MMA’s history — which is a great thing, unless you’re trying to keep your top ten lists current, in which case it’s a total pain in the ass. Though there aren’t many profound changes in the latest update to our Power Rankings page, recent events have caused some fighters to drop due to losses (i.e., Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk, Hayato Sakurai, Masakazu Imanari) some to jump up after big wins (Wanderlei Silva, Thiago Alves, Power Rankings newcomer Gegard Mousasi), and some to secure their already impressive positions (Lyoto Machida, Urijah Faber, Robbie Lawler). Give it a look, and click on each weight class for additional notes and to leave comments. And stay tuned, as Sunday’s DREAM.4 card could produce some changes in the middleweight list, and July 21st’s Affliction event could lead to a massive re-shuffling of the heavyweight deck.

(BG)

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