Though the face of EliteXC, Kimbo Slice, emerged victorious last night, it was controversy that reigned supreme in front on 8,033 fans at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey for EliteXC “Primetime”, the sport’s first-ever network television card.
In the main event, former internet street fighter turned mixed martial artist Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson was tested by journeyman James “The Colossus” Thompson but secured his third professional victory via a controversial early third-round technical knockout. Slice battered his opponent with several powerful combinations in their opening frames but Thompson was ahead on the majority of the judges’ scorecards heading into the final round after taking Slice down multiple times and pounding on the popular, albeit controversial, heavyweight.
After narrowly surviving the opening rounds, in which he was thoroughly tested on the ground, Slice bloodied his opponents ear before connecting with a series of blows that referee Dan Miragliotta deemed enough to halt the bout in favor of Ferguson. Thompson, who was never dropped to the canvas during the series of blows, showed his frustrations with the decision by pushing Miragliotta away while Slice, winded, recovered while laying on the mat. Replays of the controversial stoppage showed Slice landing a series of unanswered blows that sent Thomson staggering when the fight was called, though many wonder why Slice wasn’t given the opportunity to finish off his foe.
The co-main event EliteXC middleweight championship bout between current champion Robbie Lawler and challenger Scott Smith ended in a no contest after Lawler accidentally eye gouged Smith during an exchange. Because it was a championship fight and had not gone three complete rounds an judge’s decision could not be rendered and the fight was declared a no contest. The first-ever network MMA championship bout appeared to be history in the making. Lawler won round one of the back-and-forth bout with agressive striking that nearly finished off his opponent. After recovering between rounds, the pair fought a memorable stand-up second round that appeared to be mere moments away from being stopped in both fighter’s favor on multiple occasions. The bloodied pair were patched up between rounds and went toe-to-toe to start the third but Lawler accidentally poked Smith in the eye midway through the round and the fight was halted.
A doctor examined Smith’s injury and declared him unable to continue, ruling the championship bout a no contest. Smith protested the ruling, stating he wanted the full five minutes typically granted to recover from accidental injuries but it was not be had and the first-ever network MMA title fight was over in very controversial fashion.
Both fighters expressed their disappointment in the ruling and praised the other’s performance during the post-fight interview while EliteXC President Gary Shaw announced that the pair would immediately rematch, likely at EliteXC’s next CBS show later this year, and that both would be receiving their win bonus.
In the night’s only female MMA fight, the face of women’s MMA, Gina Carano, emerged victorious over Kaitlin Young despite failing to make weight one day earlier and having little time to prepare for the main card bout. The pair fought a closely-contested opening round before the still-undefeated Carano battered Young for the better part of the second before attempting to finish her off via rear naked choke just before the bell. Though Carono couldn’t finish her opponent with the submission the doctor quickly called the fight due to a likely broken nose and swollen eye suffered by Young.
In other main card action “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni was quickly defeated via first-round TKO by Joey Villasenor while Brett Rogers opened up the televised main card with an early first round TKO of Jon Murphy.
At the post fight press conference, Rogers heavily criticized Slice’s performance in the main event which resulted in an altercation between the pair that nearly turned physical. Though the situation was eventually resolved a Slice-Rogers matchup could be part of EliteXC’s next network television broadcast later this year.
Though the debut event opened with the fireworks many had hoped for, it will be the controversial finishes to many of the main card fights that will live on as the legacy of the sport’s first ever network television event.
ELITEXC “PRIMETIME” OFFICIAL RESULTS
- Kimbo Slice def. James Thompson via TKO – Round 3, 0:38
- Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith – No Contest
EliteXC Middleweight Championship
- Gina Carano def. Kaitlin Young via TKO – Round 2, 5:00
- Joey Villasenor def. Phil Baroni via TKO – Round 1, 1:11
- Brett Rogers def. Jon Murphy via TKO – Round 1, 1:01
- Chris Liguori def. Jim Bova via TKO – Round 2, 4:31
- Carlton Haselrig def. Carlos Moreno via TKO – Round 1, 5:00
- Matt Makowski def. Nick Serra via TKO – Round 2, 3:57
- Wilson Reis def. Justin Robbins via submission – Round 1, 4:06
- James Jones def. Calvin Kattar via submission – Round 1, 4:49
- Zach Makovsky def. Andre Soares via unanimous decision