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Tag: Robbie Lawler

Jared Shaw Wants Some Love

Elite XC’s Jared Shaw takes a little shot at yours truly in this MMA Rated interview, calling me Ben “UFC” Fowlkes, which I suppose is an implication that I’m pro-UFC and anti-Elite XC, although I like to think that my record as an equal opportunity critic speaks for itself. If an organization does dumb things, it’s my job to point it out. If one organization does more dumb things than others, they’re going to receive more criticism. That’s just how it works. If it makes me a hater, I can live with that. But since when do we all have to like everything?

$kala says he just wants some love for his fighters, not himself. Fair enough, Jared. You do have some good fighters in your organization. Guys like Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Wilson Reis, Nick Diaz, and “Ninja” Rua, just to name a few. These are all fighters that I enjoy watching. But your fighters aren’t what you’ve been criticized for, and I think you know it.

Let’s take the event you’ve got this Saturday, for example. On the undercard you’ve got a few interesting scraps between guys like Paul Daley and Jake Shields, Benji Radach and “Ninja” Rua, and a sweet little co-promotional joint between Affliction fighters Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson (nice work scoring that, by the way, whether you had anything to do with it or not).

But your main event features a 3-0 fighter in Kimbo Slice, who has yet to face an opponent coming off a win, taking on a forty-four-year-old legend of the sport who hasn’t won a fight or even made it out of the first round in over four years. And that’s your main event.

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Robbie Lawler vs. Joe Villasenor Will Be For The Title

(Champion Robbie Lawler with the most amorphous MMA CEO in town)

Word out of EliteXC (and reported on by MMA Weekly) is that the November 8th showdown between Robbie Lawler and Joey Villasenor will be for the 185 pound title. This is fantastic news for EliteXC and MMA fans alike. Lawler hasn’t faced any true tests since winning the title from an over matched Murilo Rua and so it’ll be good to see him go against some top flight talent in Joey Villasenor. A more recognized name than Scott Smith, Villasenor should provide the EliteXC execs with the paycheck they’ve been looking for.

The now-Greg Jackson taught Villasenor is undefeated since losing a battle to Rua in 2007, and has looked very impressive over increasingly difficult competition. “Smokin’ Joe” suffered a flying knee loss to Lawler back in 2006 PRIDE competition, but both men would attest that they are much different fighters. At any rate, the fight represents a fascinating match from all perspectives.

Both men love to strike and it’s no surprise that most expect this to avoid a decision end. Additionally, the 185 pound title represents EliteXC’s most legitimate division and it’s encouraging to see that the promoters are competent enough to book solid fights when it matters.

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The Top 10 Greatest MMA Bloodbaths

10. Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
(UFC 74, 8/25/07)


At 44 years of age, Randy Couture was the one who was supposed to look busted up after his heavyweight championship match with 29-year-old Brazilian wrecking ball Gabriel Gonzaga. But in one of the greatest triumphs of his career, Couture broke down the bigger, younger fighter with his wrestling and dirty boxing. About three minutes into the first round, blood began to pour out of Gonzaga’s shattered nose, giving Randy’s back a nice, red coat. The steady flow interrupts the challenger’s breathing and vision, leading to a brutal ground-and-pound finish in the third.

9. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith
(EliteXC: Unfinished Business, 7/26/08)


In the second round of their EliteXC middleweight championship do-over, Scott Smith nailed Robbie Lawler with a series of standing elbows that opened up an ugly gash on the top of Lawler’s head. With blood pouring out of the wound, Lawler turned up the intensity, doing his best to finish Smith before a doctor could stop the fight. About 90 seconds later, he succeeded — but not before a spray of “plasma” fell into commentator Mauro Ranallo’s lap. The video doesn’t really do it justice; you should also check out this photo from the fight, and this photo of the aftermath.

8. Chase Beebe vs. Eddie Wineland
(WEC 26, 3/24/07)

Chase Beebe Eddie Wineland WEC MMA
It may have been the most grisly demolition of a cauliflower ear in MMA history. Midway through a five-round bantamweight title match, challenger Chase Beebe dropped an elbow from the top that burst Eddie Wineland’s overripe right ear, causing it to spray blood several feet across the mat. Wineland, who had already suffered multiple cuts near his eyes from Beebe’s precision striking, soldiered on to the fifth-round bell with what appeared to be a gaping hole in the side of his head. Beebe took home the belt and Wineland hasn’t fought in the WEC since.

After the jump: Things really start to get disgusting.

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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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