anne hathaway sexy photos
The Best of Anne Hathaway [49 Photos]

Tag: Saturday Night Fights

“Unfinished Business”: The Aftermath

Nick Diaz EliteXC MMA Stockton
(“I’d like to say fuck you to all my fans, fuck you to everyone at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu who helped me train for this fight, a huge fuck you to my brother, fuck you to my sponsors Chase Chevrolet and Stagr…” Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

If CBS’s latest “Saturday Night Fights” card proved anything, it was that the EliteXC brand isn’t strong enough yet to pull in viewers without its marquee fighters. “Unfinished Business” drew 2.62 million sets of eyeballs according to f4wonline.com, and while that’s not a ratings disaster, it does represent almost a 50% drop from the “Primetime” show in May, which was headlined by Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. Getting the ratings back on track will be priority #1 for EliteXC’s next show; during Saturday’s broadcast, it was announced that “Saturday Night Fights III” (actual title TBA) will go down October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Carano have been booked to fight.

Now the question is, who will they be fighting? We previously mentioned that Kelly Kobald was being discussed as the next opponent for “Crush/Conviction,” but Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos had a star-making performance this weekend with her double-homicide of Shayna Baszler, and a Carano/Cyborg matchup would probably be the biggest fight in women’s MMA right now. As for Kimbo, who freakin’ knows. Brett Rogers is still the most obvious choice for Ferg’s next opponent, but EliteXC has been cagey about confirming it, leading some to wonder if Rogers is being saved for Antonio Silva’s first heavyweight title defense. Regarding a Slice/Rogers match, EliteXC’s Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen said “I’m not sure if that’s the fight fans want to see right now,” telling Sherdog that EliteXC is now looking at four or five potential candidates for Slice’s next opponent. He wouldn’t name names.

Read More DIGG THIS

CBS Promises More Action, Less Disrobing of Phil Baroni

Phil Baroni EliteXC
(Sorry, guys.)

As great as the ratings were for CBS/EliteXC’s first “Saturday Night Fights” broadcast in May, it was one the most criticized MMA events in the sport’s history. Both hardcore MMA fans and first-time viewers had bones to pick with everything from the choice of main event fighters, to the unsatisfying stoppages, to the slow pacing (which helped carry the bloated affair nearly an hour past its scheduled runtime), to the regrettable music-video vibe provided by the dancing girls and pyrotechnics. Without the mainstream draws of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano on the card, CBS knows that they have to cater to the discerning MMA fan with “Unfinished Business,” which kicks off this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT. As CBS senior executive vice president Kelly Kahl tells Yahoo! Sports’s Kevin Iole:

“To be perfectly honest, I think there was more of a wrestling element to that [first] show and I didn’t like it. I’d much rather present them as great athletes and warriors, which they are, but it got a bit clownish and that didn’t do us any favors.”

For tomorrow night’s event, Iole reports that all those cheesy elements (“such as when Phil Baroni ambled slowly to the cage and had women disrobe him”) will be 86′d. Also, cutting out downtime will be a top priority. Whereas “Primetime” featured just two minutes and 12 seconds of fighting in the first 71 minutes of the show, Kahl said that “Unfinished Business” is going to be “commercial, fight, commercial, fight.”

Still, even with the planned changes, CBS and EliteXC are aware that matching the ratings of their blockbuster debut — which peaked at 6.51 million viewers during the Kimbo Slice/James Thompson fight — is far from likely. Said ProElite executive chairman Doug DeLuca:

“We certainly are managing all of our expectations. It is summer. And we did have a number of good PR items going for us on the first event. It was the first event on primetime network television. That alone drummed up a huge amount of press for the event and a lot of people were interested in seeing (it). But, look, I’m confident in our fight card. I’m confident in mixed martial arts and I’m confident at what we can do at EliteXC in terms of producing events…We understand the numbers might not be as big as the first time, but (still) we’re all expecting to do some good numbers.”

Sure, we’re all still recovering from the MMA onslaught of last weekend, but the second chapter of the great MMA-on-network-television experiment should be a must-see for fans. Will you be watching?

(Props: MMA Junkie)

Read More DIGG THIS

Baszler vs. Cyborg Rounds Out “Saturday Night Fights II”

Shayna Baszler MMA
(Shayna Baszler: ready for battle.)

EliteXC sent out a press release yesterday announcing the full televised card for their second “Saturday Night Fights” event, which will be held in Stockton, CA, on July 26th. The most notable addition is a 140-pound bout between Shayna Baszler and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, which will open the CBS broadcast. Baszler (9-4, all wins by submission) last fought at a ShoXC event in April, where she finished Keiko “Tama Chan” Tamai via first-round neck crank; she also holds notable wins over Julie Kedzie, Roxanne Modafferi, and Jennifer Tate. Santos, the wife of Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, is 4-0, though her last three wins came against opponents with pro records of 0-0.

The other notable bit of information in the press release is that the match between Antonio “Big Foot” Silva and Justin Eilers will indeed be for EliteXC’s heavyweight title, and it will headline the live three-fight Showtime broadcast that will immediately precede the CBS card. The Showtime card will also feature a featherweight bout between Brian Caraway — who defeated Alvin Cacdac just 12 days ago at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson — against up-and-coming submission specialist Wilson Reis. The full televised lineup is below:

Saturday Night Fights on CBS, 9-11 p.m. ET/PT
Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith (for EliteXC middleweight title)
Jake Shields vs. Nick Thompson (for EliteXC welterweight title)
Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny (lightweights)
Shayna Baszler vs. Cristiane Santos (140 lbs.)

Showtime undercard broadcast, 8-9 p.m. ET/PT
Antonio Silva vs. Justin Eilers (for EliteXC heavyweight title)
Wilson Reis vs. Brian Caraway (140 lbs.)
Rafael Feijao vs. TBD (light-heavyweights)

Read More DIGG THIS

CBS Bullish on “Saturday Night Fights” Return

EliteXC Kimbo Carano Lawler MMA

Though Gary Shaw previously stated that EliteXC was tentatively looking at early Fall for their next “Saturday Night Fights” card on CBS, the impressive ratings that the May 31st show pulled in has the network wanting to bring it back in the summer. As Dave Meltzer reports:

Shaw said the date of the next CBS card is expected to be finalized this week in a joint decision with CBS. Due to the success of the first show, CBS wants to have a return date in late July to capitalize on the momentum. Shaw feels Lawler and Smith wouldn’t be ready for a July date, nor would Slice.

As disappointing as the Kimbo Slice/James Thompson fight was, Kimbo is still EliteXC’s biggest draw, and CBS may be shooting themselves in the foot a bit by scheduling the next SNF broadcast before he’s ready to return. To ensure strong ratings for their second CBS event in his absence, EliteXC would probably need to bring back Gina Carano, and stack the rest of the card with recognizable names. Unfortunately, Nick Diaz, KJ Noons, Yves Edwards, and Murilo Rua are already booked for this Saturday’s EliteXC show in Hawaii, which will be televised on Showtime. Outside of setting up a Brett Rogers/Antonio Silva bout for EiteXC’s vacant heavyweight title, there aren’t many compelling matchups that Shaw & Co. could schedule for six weeks later. Waiting until early Fall definitely seems like the best option — but good ratings tend to make people do crazy things…

(Fist bump: BloodyElbow)

Read More DIGG THIS

10 Questions With Kaitlin Young

Kaitlin Young MMA
(“I’m not a little girl by any means.”)

The hordes of screaming Gina “Crush” Carano fans who tune into the premiere of CBS’s “Saturday Night Fights” this weekend to see EliteXC’s poster girl kick some ass might be in for a seriously rude awakening. Carano’s opponent for the co-featured bout is Kaitlin Young, a 21-year-old Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product who famously knocked out three women in a one-night HOOKnSHOOT tournament last November; the combined fight time was just one minute and 45 seconds. We gave Kaitlin a call last night to ask her about rolling with dudes, the advantages she’ll have in her fight against Carano, and her shitty ’91 Honda Accord.

***

CAGEPOTATO: We recently posted the video of your “Caveman Training” at Athletic Performance Incorporated. Be honest — they took they engine out of that pickup truck you were pulling, right?
KAITLIN YOUNG: No, everything was as-is, just as it came from the factory. Honestly, it’s not as hard as it looks. The wheelbarrow is the real killer.

When did you know you wanted to be a competitive fighter?
It’s really all I ever wanted to do. I did Olympic-style Tae Kwon Do starting when I was 14, and I’ve enjoyed the fighting arts ever since then.

Are there enough women at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy to spar and roll with, or do you usually have to train with the guys?
There are a couple of other girls, but it’s mostly guys that I’m training with at this point. Greg Nelson and Tom Schmitz help me a lot. My boyfriend Ryan Murray is a big heavyweight pro Thai boxer, so he helps me with striking and pads, and some of the wrestlers from the University of Minnesota have been working with me too.

What else do you do when you’re not training for a fight?
This semester I was a full-time student at the University of Minnesota, studying kinesiology — exercise science, which kinda fits in — and I also do a bit of strength and conditioning coaching on the side at API.

You took your first pro loss in February, against Sara Schneider at a BodogFight event. What do you think went wrong?
She did a good job executing her game plan, so I don’t want to take anything away from her, but I think I made the mistake of following a good grappler to the ground when I’m a striker. I was winning pretty decisively on the feet, and I tried to pound her out and got caught in an armbar.

How do you think you’ll apply that lesson to Gina Carano? She comes from a Muay Thai background, but she’s at least serviceable on the ground.

Read More DIGG THIS

Porn Sponsorship Nixed for ‘Saturday Night Fights’

Kimbo Slice and porn chicks
(Sorry Kimbo, that goes for fluffers too.)

Though the fighters involved in EliteXC’s “Saturday Night Fights” event stand to make record amounts of money from sponsorship deals, the way the fighters represent those sponsors is being strictly regulated by CBS. As FiveOuncesofPain reports:

[W]hile fighters can wear hats during their cage-walk entrance, they must wear an EliteXC hat while in the cage during their post-fight interview. The respective corner of a fighter also cannot drape a banner on the inside of the cage. Banners can only be displayed on the outside of the cage and can only advertise the fight camp that the fighter is representing.

Of course, CBS must give their blessing before a sponsor’s name is allowed anywhere in a fighter’s appearance, and not all sponsorships have made the cut. The most prominent 86′ing is that of Reality Kings, the porn web site company that Kimbo Slice used to bodyguard for, and which has had a visible place on Slice’s clothing and signage during his professional fights. As Gary Shaw said during a conference call on Thursday, “We understand what’s socially responsible, and CBS has a very high standard for standards and practices. And every logo we put on or whatever we do goes through CBS in their standards and practices.”

Disassociating MMA from porn is unquestionably a wise decision for this historic broadcast, and we can only hope that Mauro Ranallo has to submit all of his kooky metaphors for approval before the event as well. A girl-on-girl cagefight on national TV is edgy enough. Baby steps, people…

Read More DIGG THIS

Gina ‘Crush’ Carano: Back in the Cage

GC

Good news, Potato Nation: MMA/American Gladiators star Gina Carano will be taking a break from making us cry. EliteXC announced today that Carano has been booked for their May 31st CBS debut, and will face Kaitlin Young, a 4-1 fighter hailing from the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. Most notably, Young won an eight-woman HooknShoot tournament last November, knocking out three opponents in the same night, all within the first minute of the first round. [Ed. note: Holy fucking shit! Mo chuisle!] So basically, Gina’s gonna want to protect her face.

Also officially announced today is a bout between undefeated brawler Brett Rogers — who most recently knocked out James Thompson at “Street Certified”— and fellow heavyweight John Murphy. Meaning that the tentative main card, at this point, looks like this:

Kimbo vs. TBA (heavyweights)
Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith (for middleweight championship belt)
Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young (weight limit TBA?)
Phil Baroni vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua (middleweights)
Brett Rogers vs. John Murphy (heavyweights)

Ooh, feel our goosebumps! The booking of Carano was clutch, as it adds a second mainstream-ish star to the network broadcast. We don’t know how much green Gary Shaw had to promise in order to lure the semi-estranged Carano back into the fold, but if it helps put EliteXC over with a skeptical CBS audience, it’ll be worth it. The only question is, has Crush been getting in enough MMA training between pugel-stick jousts and zip-line rides?

Speaking of which…

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA