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“Unfinished Business”: The Aftermath

(“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, 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.

While a grudge-settling bout between Kimbo and the Grim seems like a no brainer to us, EliteXC’s future broadcasting strategy does make the equation a little more complicated. As BloodyElbow’s Michael Rome points out, EliteXC is planning a pay-per-view event for early next year to recoup some of the money they’re currently hemorrhaging, and some of their big-money fights need to be saved:

These competing needs are creating serious dilemmas for EliteXC going forward. In order to pull the numbers they need to stay on CBS, they need to book fights with big names that catch the public’s imagination. At the same time, they can’t just give it all away for free every couple months, or there is no reason to buy the PPV shows…Free television is always the most important tool for building up PPV shows, but if the channel owns the promotion, and gains nothing from strong buyrates, it’s hard to see them foregoing the big fights.

For these reasons, EliteXC’s October show on CBS is very much a do-or-die situation. Only the UFC has a roster deep enough to regularly hold solid cards on free TV and pay-per-view. For EliteXC, the CBS/PPV arrangement will quickly spread them too thin. Just like The Ultimate Fighter, “Saturday Night Fights” has to succeed as a Trojan Horse to hook fans into buying pay-per-views. If people don’t watch when the product is free, what would convince them to pay for it?

Cagepotato Comments

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torch- August 22, 2008 at 4:02 am
plus tara and cyborg are tranny sisters. they should be tested for steroids. seriously.
torch- August 22, 2008 at 4:00 am
kkg talks a lot of crap.
ClownBaby- July 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm
message from stockton: "Quit Hatin Homies" i don't think anyone really thought denny would pull off the upset, but he did make for a good fight.
peacexxo- July 27, 2008 at 9:53 pm
The Diaz fight was quality stuff. All of his recent fights have started with a LOOOONNGGG feeling out process and ended with him picking the guy apart one way or another. More importantly, I was embarassed for EXC the way they were jocking UFC all night long, just like the last show. At least pretend to have a little dignity.
fregg- July 27, 2008 at 8:25 pm
Is no one jumping on the fact that the Silva-Irvin fight last week, on cable, averaged a million more viewers? Seems like that is kind of a big deal
Launchpad McTap- July 27, 2008 at 7:49 pm
Honestly I don't think a lot of people would be satisfied with whatever product EliteXC put out there. They get so wrapped up in the promotions and the productions that they don't just "watch the fucking fight." Everyone hates Kimbo, and it's not even the mans fault. He's not a dickhead, he's not rude. he's not Phil Baroni. The same with Corano. You're not putting money into the corporation so why get so emotional about it and wish for failure. Sure Gary Shaw's a jumpsuit wearing jackass and I don't want to see him succeed, but its not just about him. The more ass whippins I see the better.

craig- July 27, 2008 at 6:29 pm
people just want to try n hate on nick... he put on a great fight and socked that girl up! he never got hurt and was in control 90% of the time...

wait wait your donkies are right, he fought a bad fight...o.O
ADW- July 27, 2008 at 6:24 pm
Cyborg would murder Gina Carano. Plain and Simple. Cyborg is a beast. That is the fight I really want to see, only because Carano needs to be put in her place. Cyborg is the only woman that scares the shit out of me.
wtf- July 27, 2008 at 5:48 pm
whys everyone complaining about diaz' performance on sat??? i personally thought it was awesome and had some bad a$$ exchanges...yeah denny isnt the best in the world but that dude came to fight and was swinging pretty hard early...the way i see it is, dont hate on anyones performance unless you know how it is to actually train, wait for the bs build up, then actually step in the ring and infront of everyone in your hometown...props to diaz for making the weekend exciting. and shields, and lawler
lick my balls- July 27, 2008 at 4:45 pm
Hey anonymous! New to MMA?
cpanger- July 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm
I hope i speak for most serious MMA fans, and that i'd love to see Brett Rogers beat the dooty out of Kimbo.
Anonymous- July 27, 2008 at 3:06 pm
where the fuck are you guys getting off. The recent Elitexc was entertaining and a great card.
tallsforeverybody- July 27, 2008 at 2:46 pm
Nick Diaz is a shell of himself...maybe it was just the match up, but I used to enjoy watching this guy fight.
Me- July 27, 2008 at 2:28 pm
Okay, so did anyone notice Shields throwing his quarters on the winner of the GSP/JF fight? Belt unification? Are you serious? I don't even want to touch the "who the hell are you" side of this. I will, however, ask why he said it.

Did anyone notice the near pandering to the UFC the whole night? The long shot of A. Silva calling him the best PfP in the world, which is almost copyright of the UFC. The many positive comments about the UFC throughout the night by even the commentators.

Was Shields told to say this? Is this EXC's way of saying " we are for sale!"?
Are they also scared of Affliction?

Is this also why the Shaw's were put in the closet? I don't think Gary would have ever allowed this to go down.

I guess we wait and see...
Dr.- July 27, 2008 at 2:23 pm
I didn't watch the "show" on Saturday night, as many others didn't. Maybe you shouldn't piss off potential eyeballs, EliteXC. I did want to see the Lawler/Smith fight but passed. And I sure as hell wouldn't order a PPV of your's. You gave Shithead Shaw a backseat but his stench is hard to get out. I'm all for MMA thriving but not on your terms, assholes.
ClownBaby- July 27, 2008 at 2:18 pm
Patrick is wise.....
Patrick- July 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm
Slice vs Rogers is a horrible fight for EliteXC.

Rogers might win.
HB Beachbum- July 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm
I wanna see that fight.. I wanna see BR kick the shite outa KS... that's right, I said it... the shite..
Thrilbrook- July 27, 2008 at 1:23 pm
EliteXC is done. Nine more months tops.
socleanclean- July 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm
Damn. That's pretty rough, Jeff. You would really use the word disgrace? Did you watch the last show? I thought it was pretty decent.
L Grant- July 27, 2008 at 12:42 pm
I didn't mind the Lawler v Smith fight, it was decent, but I think we all knew who was going to win that fight.
The Nick Diaz fight seemed like a build up to a match with KJ Noons, hopefully we get to see that one soon.
I think Elite XC should be splitting up the star power and hyping the title fights a bit more. Why show your HW title fight on what amounts to the undercard?

Either way, I hope EliteXC folds pretty soon. The UFC and Affliction could make good use of some of the EliteXC fighters.
Jeff- July 27, 2008 at 12:32 pm
EliteXC is a disgrace to MMA.