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Ke?poFist
2/03/2007 1:42pm,
I never heard of them, but I caught wind due to an upcoming Renzo Gracie vs Frank Shamrock bout. They got me excited, especially since they are on showtime, so all I need to do is drop by a friends house with premium cable :)

I also noticed on the undercard they have female MMA fighters. Are they finally going to get the place they deserve in the spotlight? And for that matter are they finally going to show that female fighters aren't testosterone pill popping freaks?

Card: http://www.elitexc.com/?page=events
Main Event: http://www.sho.com/site/elitexc/home.do?source=shocom_home

Rotties:
http://www.elitexc.com/assets/images/fighters/headshots/gina_carano.jpg
VS
http://www.elitexc.com/assets/images/fighters/headshots/julie_kedzie.jpg

SpringHeeledJack
2/03/2007 2:26pm,
I think they have some kind of weird rule about standing it back up pretty quickly. The owner said something like he knows people don't want to see guys just laying on top of each other, and they want knockouts. Don't quote me on that but I think it is in the ballpark. If it is true, I don't know how much I will like it. I'll reserve judgment until after I've seen it for myself.

SpringHeeledJack
2/03/2007 2:44pm,
I found this. It doesn't seem as bad as I previously thought, but I'm not totally convinced:


"6. EliteXC is not biased against ground fighting. The company did a poor job of properly explaining their plans for a 15-second clock. Some people's understanding of the rule was that a 15-second clock would start ticking as soon as a fight goes to the ground. Not so. The clock will only commence if a referee feels a fighter isn't being active enough on the ground. The referee will issue a warning and will then have the option of activating the clock. The fighter will then have 15 seconds to begin to advance the fight while on the mat or be stood up.

When you stop and think about it, EliteXC's rules are more favorable towards action on the ground compared to other promotions. In other promotions, a fighter can be stood up with little or no warning whereas a fighter in EliteXC will have a formal warning and 15 seconds to convince the referee that the fight should stay on the mat."

Ke?poFist
2/03/2007 2:53pm,
http://www.fightbeat.com/article_detail.php?AT=264

In the cold war between boxing and MMA, Gary Shaw has become the first major boxing promoter to cross the picket line into the latter. He will be making his debut as a MMA promoter on February 10 at the Desoto Civic center in South Haven, Mississippi, live on Showtime. In this FightBeat exclusive the president of Elite Extreme Combat (AKA, EliteXC) shares his vision of the future of MMA, and much more.

FB: How are preparations going for your first MMA event?

GS: Itís hectic, but Iím confident. Our entire staff is dedicated to the event. Iím just really excited to be involved.

FB: You got a three year deal with Showtime. How do you intend to be competitive with the UFC or Pride?

GS: Good question. Umm...I donít believe itís about being competitive. We have a great product, and great fighters. No organization has the best fighters in the world. The talent pool around the world is untapped. When a Pride fighter holds up a belt, heís only the Pride Champion. When the UFC champion holds his hands in the air, he is only the UFC Champion. These organizations are more like the WWE. I am not implying their fights are tainted, but in the way they crown their champions. I want to open up our company to everyone, and have promoters work together. So Pride fighters can come fight in EliteXC, and Pride Champions can fight UFC champions, and we can put it all on Showtime. Thatís whatís going to build this sport, so these fighters can actually say I am the world champion.

FB: How do you intend to do that when the Pride and UFC fighters are all under contract?

GS: Well, when we sign our fighters to a contract we allow them to go and fight other places. That gives them the opportunity to earn, and get their name spread. I am confident that in time the fighters in other organizations will demand this themselves, because 1) they want to fight on Showtime and 2) they want a belt that says I am a world champion. Otherwise they are only champions of their respective clubs. The only way to build the sport is to unify and allow these champions to fight each other. We can do a MMA Super Bowl pay per view on Showtime.

FB: Are you excited to get involved in MMA in its early stages of blooming, so that you can have a hand of shaping and molding its future?

GS: Yeah, I am. I know there is some haters out there that blog, saying Gary Shaw is coming in because itís hot. Well, of course thatís true. If everyone wanted sushi I would not build a pizza parlor. This sport has a tremendous demographic. There is a tremendous interest from women. Boxing has always had trouble getting women to cross over, but if you look at MMA, you see girlfriends, you see wives, and you see groups of women at these events almost like in a night-club. Those things are really exciting to me as a promoter. They say the major demographic is males 18-36. In my opinion, that demographic is much larger.


FB: I agree MMA has a diverse demographic. I think that has a lot to do with the reality show on Spike TV (ďThe Ultimate FighterĒ). Through TUF, viewers got to know these fighters. It was viewerís personal interest in the fighters that sold the fights for the UFC. Is this a direction EliteXC is looking to go?

GS: Yes, we are looking for basic cable partners, and plan on doing a reality show ourselves. What we want to do is to be more fan-friendly. We want to do some interactive things. We have a website that will be launching January 26, which will be second to none. Weíre going to have fighter chats on there; we are going to broadcast the undercard live on the site before we go live on Showtime. We will be very involved with the crowd. We will treat the press like they have never been treated before; our credentials will be first rate. All of you are very important to us, because you relay our message.

FB: Are the rules going to be the same as the UFC?

GS: Yes

FB: Will the fights be in a ring or Cage?

GS: It will be in a round cage.

FB: Renzo Gracie and Frank Shamrock are in the main event. Renzo just fought in the IFLís main event on a December 29, winning a close decision over Carlos Newton. Is he going to be a 100% coming into this fight?

GS: Yes, I spoke to him and he is a 100%.

FB: Frank Shamrock has been inconsistent with his activity since leaving the UFC in 1999. Is this a one-time deal for him, or will he be more active?

GS: He will be involved in more than one fight. At this stage in his career Frank is only interested in special fights. Gracie is one of those fights.

FB: Bill Goldberg and Mario Lopez are doing the commentating. Any chance of getting Goldberg into the cage? Win, lose, or draw that does big numbers.

GS: In a year or so I might be able to get Goldberg into the cage. I think youíre going to see more and more boxers and pro wrestlers crossing over to MMA.

FB: Any Plans to do a combo card with both boxing and MMA featured?

GS: I have thought about that. Right now Iím fighting my reputation. First of all, promoting is promoting whether Iím doing boxing, MMA, or a rock concert. You got to give the fans a great event, you got to make it fan-friendly, the pricing has to be right so the average person can go. Some of these other organizationís prices are not for the common man. The prices for our event will be between $25 and $250 for the best seat in the house. But to answer your question, yes, I will probably do a MMA and boxing bout on the same card.

FB: I noticed you added K.J Noons to your rooster. K.J is 3-0 with three knock-outs. He is up against Charles ďKrazy HorseĒ Bennet on the February 10 card. What can we expect in this fight?

GS: I think this might be fight of the night. Charles is in fact crazy. The guy likes to do back flips off the cage. K.J is a very talented kid who trains hard everyday. He is the first fighter that I have signed to a boxing contract and with EliteXC. Iím going to make him the first guy to be both a boxing champion and a MMA champion.

FB: Gina Carano is on the card. Does she fight as well as she looks?

GS: Iíll tell you a story about that. I took her to lunch right after I signed her. I was telling her how I wanted to promote her and make her a big star, because to men she is great looking, and to women they are proud to see someone that looks like her and go in there and really be able to fight. So Iím going through this twenty minute spiel, and sheís just looking at me and listening. Then when Iím all done she leans over close to me, I thought she was going to kiss me, but unfortunately it didnít work out that way. She put her finger in my face and says, ďThatís all nice but let me tell you something, I can fight!Ē I thought that was really great.

FB: You also signed Edson Berto, the brother of welterweight prospect Andre Berto. Is he as talented as his brother?

GS: Hereís another good story. I was going through my DVDís that fighters and fightersí managers had sent into EliteXC to get on the card. So Iím going through these discs and see this young black kid that looks familiar. I kept looking at him and then Iím like, ďOh, my God, thatís Andre Berto!Ē He was commentating for one of his brotherís fights. So I watched the fight and Iím like, This kid can really fight. Immediately after, I call Andre, who I have a very good relationship with. I call him and am like, ďBro, get your brother on the phone. I want him to fight for me. And after he signs, weíre coming to kick your ass.Ē So we laughed about that and two days later I signed him.

FB: Your fighter Chad Dawson is fighting Thomas Adamek for the WBC light heavyweight title on February 3. (Note: At the time of this writing, there is a chance of the fight not happening, due to unforeseen financial complications.) This is eerily similar to when your former fighter Jeff Lacy took on Joe Calzaghe. Is Chad ready for the step up in competition?

GS: You just gave me the shivers. I sure hope youíre wrong. My job as a promoter is to guide the career of my fighters, to move them up in class, and get them the most money. We try not to move anybody before their time, and I have past on opportunities. With Jeff Lacy I lined him up with all the right opponents. I thought he was ready! I miscalculated. Chad Dawson has a great jab, a great right hand. He is trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr. I have all the respect in the world for Adamek. This will be Chadís biggest fight, no question, but I do believe he is ready.

FB: Vic Darchynian is one of my favorite fighters. After every one of his fights he calls out all the other champions, most notably Jorge Arce. Now I hear he is going to fight Victor Burgos next. When will we see Vic against some real competition?

GS: Well, I canít force other fighters in the ring. Jorge Arce is ducking us. I have an open date on Showtime. I have an open date on HBO. And I also have an open date in my backyard. We will fight Arce any day of the week! It is not Gary Shaw who is trying to get his fighters easy fights. Vic wants to fight everybody. The difference between him and Arce is Arce says it, but doesnít mean it. Arum is a chicken. De la hoya is not the chicken, it is Arum!

FB: Is this the same thing that is happening with Magarito and Williams. They say Magarito is the most feared welterweight in the world, but how can this be if he wonít fulfill his mandatory?

GS: He is only the most feared in Bobís office. He is not the most feared welterweight, because he is ducking Williams. Thatís the problem with boxing, and I hope MMA doesnít get into that. All these guys talking **** and then ducking. To Paul Williams credit, he will fight.


Magarito and Arum, they only talk the game. Then, when it comes time to take the tough fights, they duck them. Just like they are ducking Darchynian. There are some people out there that will make the tough fights. I just made Vasquez v. Marquez. That is the best 118 pounder versus the best 122 pounder. Thatís what it should be all about. Arce is ducking, Magarito is ducking. That is bad for the sport!

FB: Thanks for taking the time, Gary. Best of luck on your upcoming shows.

Ke?poFist
2/03/2007 2:55pm,
FB: Are the rules going to be the same as the UFC?

GS: Yes

Sounds like they may actually be doing it better than the UFC.

SpringHeeledJack
2/03/2007 3:14pm,
A lot of it sounds good, and I'm not trying to knock them before they even get off the ground, but I just can't see a lot of this stuff actually coming to fruition unless a major change is made in the way MMA orgs. are structured right now. The stuff about the super fights sounds great but it is the polar opposite of how the other org.s do business. I just can't see it happening. Who knows though, they might force the change by actually being able to challenge the UFC by making their (elitexc) own fighters seem superior.

The standup rule is kind of what scares me. I just see it working against grapplers if they're not given time to work for position. If there's a hard and fast rule on the time-limit you have on the ground, i just think it could be counter-productive as to what MMA is supposed to be, thus turning it into a shitty boxing match (the way my fights are, I might add). Really though, now that I think about it, it doesn't seem a whole lot different than the way every other org. does it, except for the defined time limit. I guess I just negated this whole, long-winded second paragraph. Sorry for making you read this.

I don't know, what do you think about the time limit on the ground?

Ke?poFist
2/03/2007 4:33pm,
But thats the thing. They have the same rule on the ground as the other orgs, only they do it better because they TELL the fighter they're about to be stood up rather than surprising someone who is waiting for a moment to change position, and then loses the ground altogether.

SpringHeeledJack
2/03/2007 5:22pm,
I guess, but you do hear the refs in the other orgs doing the same thing, saying stuff like "you gotta get towork_____. I'm gonna stand you up." Like I said, I'm not trying to bash it. I just want to see how they implement it. The defined time limit is what I'm not sure of. Everything else sounds good. I guess I'm just afraid of change.

Ke?poFist
2/03/2007 5:24pm,
Need I remind you? http://www.elitexc.com/assets/images/fighters/headshots/gina_carano.jpg

SpringHeeledJack
2/03/2007 5:30pm,
She is a helluva lot easier on the eyes than Tim Sylvia or Vanderlei Silva.

Ke?poFist
2/03/2007 5:32pm,
Have at that.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bl-dTIjO8Q

god damn I'm drooling. Nothing like a cute chick who can kick my ass up and down the mat

Schattenfaust
2/03/2007 5:42pm,
Can't say for sure how it'll go, but with that kind of card I think it has potential.

SpringHeeledJack
2/03/2007 5:45pm,
She is amazing. I try not to get into all that **** about female fighters being sexy and the lame jokes about triangles and mounts, but she makes it so hard. Her great technique makes her even more attractive. wow

Andrew L.
2/04/2007 7:24am,
If the gloves are at all similar to the ufc gloves there will no doubt be occasional cutting. Do you really want to see women covered in blood? I dunno for some reason I dont see myself tolerating that very well. I sound like a sexist idiot I guess , but someone has to share my thoughts.

HonkyTonkMan
2/04/2007 7:38am,
The front man from the EliteXC came by my BJJ school. It is a rather complicated system they are trying to set up for the Showtime series.

Adriano Nasal, is my BJJ instructor, and JD Shackleford is a hell of a nice guy. Some of the promo stuff is going to be filemd there, from what I understand. Nasal just moved to Memphis, and Jd Shackleford is from North Mississippi.

I have three tickets to the fight, so I will let you know what the experience is from a live stand point.


Im taking my 8 yr old boy (for his 9th birthday), and my 8 months pregnant wife ( she LOVES MMA)

Schattenfaust
2/04/2007 5:48pm,
If the gloves are at all similar to the ufc gloves there will no doubt be occasional cutting. Do you really want to see women covered in blood? I dunno for some reason I dont see myself tolerating that very well. I sound like a sexist idiot I guess , but someone has to share my thoughts. There's the same risk in any MMA event, or any combat sport for that matter. It's unlikely people like Laila Ali, Erin Toughill or Freeda Foreman have never been cut in their fighting careers.