Phil Baroni vs. Joe Villasenor was up next. I’d seen Baroni [who calls himself the “New York Bad Ass”] fight before, so I felt that we had to be in for a better bout. Baroni came out dancing and wearing what looked like a glitter-robe that Ric Flair might have thrown away. Then they posted Baroni’s 10-9 record. I respect anyone who enters the cage, but don’t ya think that if you call yourself the New York BA, then you should have a better record? Well, before you start to consider that, don’t. Villasenor KO’d Baroni in the first round. We have our answer.
Kaitlin Young vs. Gina Carano was a highly anticipated fight and not just because the combatants are female. These ladies are skilled warriors and proved it. Both threw disciplined kicks, punches, and took the fight to the mat. There was a real ebb and flow to the fight as each attempted what would work best. Ultimately Carano won when Young was unable to answer for round three. Easily the best fight of the night to that point.
Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith was for Lawler’s EliteXC Middleweight title. Although the fight started out slow with both fighters feeling each other out, Lawler took an early lead by winning the first round with major kicks and punches. Smith surprisingly came back in the second round since it had looked as if Lawler had figured him out. The third round was going to be very interesting. Both men came out throwing bombs… Smith seemed to be gaining momentum when he was inadvertently poked in the eye. The fight was halted so the doctor could check out the damage. Because Smith said he couldn’t see, the fight was declared a no-contest. Everyone was upset with the decision. Smith said that if he’d been given the full five minutes allowed for recovery, he’d have continued. That wasn’t to be. Both men were told that because of their performances that they’d still get a winner’s bonus. It’s sad that what could have been the best fight of the night became a “no contest.”
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson vs. James Thompson was the main event of the night. Surprisingly, what most figured would be a quick knockout by Slice turned out to be anything but. Thompson easily took Kimbo down and attempted to pound away. Kimbo muscled up and the way the fight was to go was evident. Kimbo would throw bombs and try to use his his strength to muscle out of bad situations and Thompson would takedown Kimbo and attempt to submit him. In the second round, it appeared as if Kimbo was tapping but the commentator said that he was just showing that he was okay. After nearly a minute of being pummeled by Thompson in the second round, Kimbo was saved by the bell. The third round started with Kimbo coming out throwing haymakers. He tagged Thompson and the ref quickly [some say too quickly] stepped in to stop the contest. Kimbo collapsed in the middle of the ring, his undefeated record intact.
So, what did we learn from the first mainstream telecast of MMA? The folks behind EliteXC believe that the WWE has the right plan to bring in fans. EliteXC dancers performed on the walkway between rounds. The fighters strolled out to the octagon down a walkway with music a la WWE. Kimbo Slice isn’t anywhere near where he needs to be if he is to fight any top ten fighters. Kimbo did show some skills and a lot of heart, and it’s unfortunate that he’s in the position he’s in… if you can call making what should be hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions unfortunate.
I’m looking to much better fights tonight on the Faber / Pulver card.