Random Strikes

Took a while, but I am officially caught up on MMA news and blogs. There are a number of items I'd like to comment on, so I decided I'd hit each of them with some short jabs after I take a few random strikes at the EliteXC issue.


The "death" of EliteXC is really disappointing. Now, I'm a huge UFC fan. I watch all UFC's offerings, have purchased PPVs and VODs, and even have a UFC sticker on the back of my SUV. But I think competition is a good thing. I don't want to see UFC in total control of the A-level fight world.

Even more disappointing is the fact that Pro Elite had previously acquired King of the Cage, Icon Sport, Rumble on the Rock, and Cage Rage over the last two years. Now, since CBS chose not to buy EliteXC, EXC had to file for bankruptcy.

Honestly, my biggest question is why everyone seems to be blaming the demise on the supposed Slice/Petruzelli scandal.I'm thinking, "OK. What is the scandal?"

Alexis Antonacci, Press Secretary for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, responded to a request by FiveOuncesOfPain.com with a statement from the Florida commission that the investigation did not find any wrongdoing on the part of ProElite and EliteXC on the night of the promotion’s “Heat” event on Oct. 4.

I think that's the right decision and can't believe it was even investigated in the first place. I mean, how is the Petruzelli incident (assuming it happened as originally rumored) any different than the UFC routinely paying fighters a $40k bonus for achieving fight of the night, sub of the night or KO of the night? It's all semantics.

So, what is to become of the fighters? JT Steele, Senior Manager of Fight Operations for EXC, says he does not know the fate of the fighter contracts, but believes they will likely end up as assets in bankruptcy court. Meanwhile,Showtime officials said, “In view of Showtime’s leadership role in sports programming, including boxing and MMA, we intend to explore other opportunities.”

Obviously it would be too early to tell if they intend to use another promotion or start up their own.

So the upside is that someone else may step in—Showtime, Affliction, M-1, who knows—meaning that it would be a powerful asset in the hands of the right manager. I'd like to see that happen.


Apparently, last Saturday’s episode of “Strikeforce on NBC” generated over 1.1 million viewers, a new high for the first-ever 52 week mixed martial arts (MMA) series in network television history, according to Nielsen Ratings.

How have I NOT even heard of this? Where are these people spending their ad dollars?

Anderson Silva

First off, the news of Silva's "eminent" retirement is both insane and brilliant. I'm thinking Seinfeld...leave on a high note.

Of course, as a very family-oriented guy, Silva's desires to retire so that he can "spend more time with his family" is nothing but admirable. And I love his take on what he'll do after retirement:

“You will not see myself pinching a fly anymore…I’m going to be fat, with a big belly by the side of the Octagon, eating popcorn behind the scenes, making my imitations and screaming for the fighters: ‘Go there! Kick his face! Put him down!’ It’s going to be really funny!”

But for now it seems fairly safe to assume that Silva will fight smart and make Cote look like a white belt.

Tito Ortiz

Can't remember which site I saw this on, but the story was on Jenna "Adult Star" Jameson and Tito "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz and their coming twins. The caption beneath the photo read, “We’re thinking about home-schooling them.” Really?! Not even sure how to respond on that one. I can only assume it is a joke by the writer.

Kurt Angle

“I’ve always wanted to do it. I’m the only Olympic gold medalist that will enter the Octagon and it feels right for me. I can almost guarantee you’re going to see me in the Octagon. Obviously I’m going to have to take a few months away from pro wrestling to get ready for that.”

Please say it ain't so.

Gina Carano

Recently spotted on late night TV, Carano explained why she has chosen such a painful profession: “I’d rather have a job where I travel and fight people and train than be married with children who hate me and a horrible husband.” Yikes. They say humor always has a hint of reality underneath, so who is she talking about? Her own family? A good friend? Either way, it's a pretty sad commentary on the state of families today. Makes Anderson Silva's decision even more admirable. And hopefully Gina will come in contact with enough positive examples that she eventually starts to think differently about her future after fighting.

In other news, MMA Live suggested that Carano was already a free agent (despite the statement above by JT Steele) and that Affliction has shown a lot of interest in acquiring her. It was also suggested that the WEC should consider developing a women's division (which would be awesome!).

Houston Alexander

OK, Alexander blazes onto the scene and suddenly he's the next champion. Then when he is exposed as an upstart (which seemed obvious to me even in the first fight), he's suddenly a laughing stock, deserving of quotes such as this: "Somehow, even in these bleak economic times, this man still has a job." The inconsistency of thought is mind-boggling.

Fedor vs Arlovski

Fedor Emelianenko will defend his WAMMA heavyweight title against Andrei Arlovski during the promotion’s “Day of Reckoning” event on Jan. 24. I have tons of respect for Fedor, but am a long-time fan of Arlovski and hope that, win-lose-or draw, Arlovski proves himself to be one of the greatest HWs in the biz.

As for Fedor possibly working out a deal with the UFC, I think Fedor's agent-dude said it best:
"Why would Fedor need to prove anything to anybody? He’s already defeated 4 ex-UFC champions and twice UFC Interim champion in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. According to White there are guys better than Tim Sylvia. Well, who are they? Looking at the world rankings one can conclude it is Fedor himself, Couture whose situation I discussed above, then it’s Nogueira, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski. To face off with Josh or Andrei there is no need for Fedor to come to UFC. He’ll fight them at Affliction."
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About Eric Wilbanks

Brand strategist. Wordsmith. Change architect. Training specialist. DiSC Certified. Family guy (hot wife and 4 cool kids). Love my Bible, guitars, baseball, and MMA.


  1. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Gina probably has some daddy issues she needs to work out with a shrink and not gloves. Her dad is the guy who was holding the towel and checking her out while she was nakked right? I found that more creepy than when Shaw did. Maybe daddy was the touchy feely type which would go a long way to explain her views. You can tell I took a Psych 101, cant you?

    Mark Davies says the same thing about the hysteria over Standupgate:

    Fedor has only two legit fighters left to fight, Barnett and AA.
    That's it. People keep saying he has ducked the best but he has fought the best HW's of his time.
    Old Man Couture may have been a great marketing machine but he was a mediocre fighter for a stretch there (4-5) and I doubt he could beat Big Nog now who is Fedor's bitch, never mind Fedor.

    Why the hate for Kurt Angle?
    I know he is into play fighting but the guy is a true wrestling champion who deserves respect for his real wrestling career unlike Couture whose career failures to even make the olympic team are somehow glorified. Couture was never the best fighter in his country while Angle was the BEST in the world twice (worlds and olympics), while Lesnar was good in school against teenagers.
    Angle has credentials. Dont know how he even looks beacuse I dont follow play fighting but on paper he looks like the real deal compared to paper champions that are glorified losers.

    Have you ever seen the deal Fedor would have to sign to join the UFC? If I was Vadim Silverstein, Id never sign my client to those and UFC wants nothing to do with copromotions or not being able to lock a fighter in or allowing a champion to leave,etc.
    Its ok, would you want to see Fedor fight in the putrid HW division?
    I have no need to see Fedor/Nog 3, no interest in the old bald guy, or some WWE clown with a phallus on his chest and the rest is just sad. Vera, Carwin, etc...
    Although if Spider fought at 205, I could see him at 215 and Fedor at 225pds... of course, that will never happen.

    That's why I still prefer boxing to MMA because MMA is fixed in the locked world of wrestling promotions. I know that the best two middleweights fighers in the world will eventually meet one day in boxing. In MMA, that doesnt happen.
    Instead we are offered reality queens Leben/Bisping as MAIN EVENTS, Spider vs another UFC TV creation and old dude vs penis chest.
    I loved the fact that Nick Diaz and others could fight in Elite AND in DREAM because it was good for fans who want to see the best fight. In MMA, we dont get the best so instead the UFC creates and market mediocre fighters and hopes having them on TV for a few months will make them into household names (usually not for their fighting skills) that we can relate to. As a dutch friend asked me "Is Kenny Florian any good and has he ever fought someone who wasnt on TUF?"

    cheers mate.