EliteXC's Saturday Night Fights: Pros and cons
So, what did you think of Saturday Night Fights on CBS? While it’s much more fun to deal with the ramifications from the event, a quick pros/cons list is in order. If you were a mixed martial arts first-timer, what did you think about the sport? Would you watch it again? What did you like/dislike?
To catch you up, Kimbo Slice won in a lame technical knockout in a fight that shouldn’t have been stopped. CBS announcer Gus Johnson used the word “horrible” about 36 times when talking about the decision to stop the fight afterward and he was right on. The curmudgeonly Kevin Iole from Yahoo Sports thinks the event made a mockery of MMA – and here are the post-fight notes from CBSSports.com.
PRO- Gus Johnson was awesome. I would love to see a real MMA organization on CBS with Johnson calling the action. A definite step up from other outlets. He was probably the highlight of the night for me.
CON- The length of the show. It ran 45 minutes late and that was with half of their fights being stopped before both fighters even entered the cage. Awful. That’s why the sports division of CBS should’ve put on the event and not the entertainment division. Sloppy.
CON- Kimbo/Thompson. I was at a wedding and caught the fights later but had about a dozen people call/text me after the Kimbo fight to fill me in on Slice’s big “TKO.” After talking with Gus Johnson last week and hearing him say he thought some viewers might think the fights were fake like wrestling, I groaned when I heard how Slice won. It might’ve been better for the sport overall just to have someone from Slice’s posse distract the ref while Kimbo hit Thompson over the head with a freaking folding chair. At least he would’ve earned a true knockout.
PRO- The Gina Carano-Kaitlin Young fight. What did you think? I’ve never been a big proponent of women’s MMA but if they can produce fights like that, maybe it could be moderately successful. Carano was impressive and it was definitely the fight of the night, given how Robbie Lawler-Scott Smith finished.
CON- The Ringmaster, Gary Shaw. The guy is a clown. Terrible for the sport. Coming up Wednesday I will devise the perfect exit strategy for Shaw, however, and how he can get out of all this mess without EliteXC going bankrupt and with everyone involved walking away a winner.
CON- Post-fight news conference. The near fight between the posses of Kimbo Slice and Brett Rogers was a joke (check out the CBS notes column above for more detail). This isn’t boxing, we don’t need fights and “staredowns” in the post-fight news conference. Simply awful. I thought the Tito Ortiz presser was over-the-top but this is about 100x worse than that.
PRO- Lawler and Smith put on a good show before the eye incident. What an unlucky way for that to end.
OVERALL- The hardcore MMA fans see it as a disastrous night but I don’t get the same feeling. A lot of things they had problems with the casual fan probably missed. It ran long and the last fight had a lame ending, but it could’ve been far, far worse if Thompson (who was clearly winning at the time) ended up with a win over Slice. I don’t think it helped nearly as much as it could’ve with decisive finishes in the last two bouts but it wasn’t a total loss.
The biggest thing I came away from this whole thing with was a greater appreciation for Gus Johnson and contempt for Gary Shaw. With a few more events, he could really do some damage to the sport (should he ignore the plan I map out for him Wednesday). Makes me appreciate the UFC’s Dana White much more.
What did you think?