Internet king Kimbo outlasts Thompson
NEWARK, N.J. – Complete results of Elite XC’s Saturday Night Fights from the Prudential Center:
Heavyweights: Kimbo Slice (3-0) def. James Thompson (16-9)
How: TKO, 0:48 round three
Key moment: Kimbo made his first punch of the third round count, a wild haymaker that opened a horrible cut on Thompson’s left ear.
Analysis: Kimbo came out victorious but sure showed he has a long way to go before he can be considered a real heavyweight threat. Kimbo struggled through much of the first round, getting put onto the mat several times, but demonstrated some skill in getting back to his feet. Kimbo wobbled Thompson with a couple uppercuts in the second, but later found himself on the wrong end of a series of elbows on the ground. In the third, Kimbo connected on a home run of a punch that cut Thompson open. He then followed up with a punishing exchange. The crowd was not happy the fight was stopped, but Thompson was wobbling and was clearly a punch or two away from being put out.
Middleweights: Champion Robbie Lawler (15-4, 1 no-contest) vs. challenger Scott Smith (15-4, 1 NC)
How: No contest, 3:26 round three
Key moment:Smith caught an accidental finger in the eye, as Lawler was looking to maintain his distance. The fight was stopped after a rest period.
Analysis: The match was a methodical standup battle, which delivered at times and at moments tested the crowd’s patience. Lawler took the first round, connecting with solid body kicks after a slow start. Opinion was split on press row over the winner of round two, as Lawler dictated the pace and controlled the cage, but Smith did more damage, including several solid standing elbows near the end. The action heated up midway through the third when the fight was halted. Smith insisted he could continue, but the doctor advised stopping the match. The crowd was not happy with the outcome.
145 pounds: Gina Carano (6-0) def. Kaitlin Young (4-2)
How: TKO (doctor stoppage), 5:00 round two
Key moment:After losing a close first round, Carano kept the fight standing and slowly wore Young down.
Analysis: Elite XC has invested much of its marketing on the undefeated Carano, and she delivered when it counted, as Carano and Young put on the fight of the night thus far. Round one was close, but Young, who trains at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy with the likes of Brock Lesnar and Sean Sherk, initiated most of the action and looked stronger at the end after scoring a late takedown. In the second, though, Extreme Couture’s Carano relied on her Muay Thai, mixing up her strikes and flooring her opponent with a push kick. Young barely fended off a rear naked choke at the end of the round. Young’s right eye was swollen shut after the round, leading the doctor to call the fight.
Middleweights: Joey Villasenor (26-6) def. Phil Baroni (10-10)
How: TKO, 1:11 round one
Key moment: Baroni couldn’t stand and trade, long his bread and butter, with Villasenor.
Analysis: Baroni has long been known as the brash “New York Bad Ass,” but the speed of his fists clearly no longer matches the speed of his mouth. The underrated Villasenor nearly put Baroni away with a guillotine, then floored Baroni with a quick right-left combo that staggered Baroni to the canvas. The referees clearly are erring on the side of caution with a national television audience watching, as both of the past two fights were stopped as soon as they hit the ground. Baroni was a big crowd favorite coming in, but was booed when he attempted to head back to the dressing room before the verdict was announced.
Heavyweights: Brett Rogers (7-0) def. Jon Murphy (4-3)
How: TKO, 1:01 round one
Key moment: After some work in the clinch, Murphy came out swinging wildly and more or less walked into a nasty right to the jaw.
Analysis: Another solid win for Rogers, one of Elite XC’s most promising heavyweight. Rogers, who was introduced by rap star Busta Rhymes, was never in trouble and simply waited on his shot. Six of Rogers’ seven wins have come by way of KO or TKO.
160 pounds: Chris Ligouri (9-7) def. Jim Bova (3-1)
How: TKO (doctor stoppage), 4:31 round two
Key moment:Ligouri used a ground-and-pound assault to open a big cut over Bova’s right eye.
Analysis: The disparity in experience was evident from the get-go. Bova was game and even scored late in the first round with a slam, but Ligouri was just too much for his foe.
Welterweights: Matt Makowski (3-0) def. Nick Serra (8-3)
How: TKO, 3:57 round two
Key moment:Serra decided to stop fighting and waited for the referee to stop it for him.
Analysis: In one of the more bizarre fights seen in a while, Matt Serra’s little brother basically quit in the middle of the second round. Makowski, who won a close first round, looked sharp in peppering Serra with a varied standup game in the second. Makowski scrambled after dropping Serra, but Serra refused to get up, earning a one-point deduction. Serra flopped back to the mat and was told to get up or get disqualified by referee Kevin Mulhall. He didn’t get up, thus the end of the fight.
Heavyweights: Carlton Haselrig (2-0) def. Carlos Moreno (5-3)
How: TKO, 5:00 round one
Key moment:A winded but otherwise visibly unharmed Moreno decided not to come out for the second round.
Analysis: Haselrig, the former Pittsburgh Steeler and New York Jet, is also a former NCAA champion wrestler, and he schooled Moreno with straight wrestling for most of the round. Haselrig was cornered by UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman.
140 pounds: Wilson Reis (4-0) def. Justin Robbins (12-4-1)
How: Submission (rear naked choke), 4:06 round one
Key moment:Came when Robbins wouldn’t get off his hands and knees and gave up his back.
Analysis: A splendid display of jiu-jitsu from Reis. The unbeaten Philadelphian scored a takedown, worked from side control and locked in a scary-looking armbar. The tough Robbins managed to roll out of it, but then found himself in a triangle choke. The Hughes-cornered Robbins also toughed that one out but had no answer for an expertly applied rear naked choke.
Lightweights: James Jones (7-5) def. Calvin Kattar (2-1)
How: Submission (rear naked choke), 4:49 round one
Key moment:Came when Elite XC matched up two fighters with a huge disparity in experience.
Analysis: Baltimore’s Jones dominated the fight from the outset, scoring with knees in the clinch before taking the fight to the ground. Kattar managed to get up once late in the round, but found himself back on the mat and Jones methodically worked his way for the choke.
Bantamweights: Zack Makovsky (4-1) def. Andre Soares (5-2)
Judges scores: unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-26)
Yahoo! Sports score: 29-28 Makovsky
Key moment:After nearly being submitted early, Makovsky refused to engage on the ground the rest of the fight.
Analysis: Soares’ game is based on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and he nearly submitted Makovsky with an omoplata early on. Makovsky rebounded from losing the first round by overwhelming Soares in the standup the rest of the way. Makovsky dropped Soares several times over the past two rounds but refused to go to the ground with him. One judge gave Makovsky 10-8 scored in the last two rounds, which was unanimously regarded as ridiculous on press row.
Lightweights: Joe Sampieri (1-2) def. Mike Groves (0-2)
How: TKO, 4:58 round one
Key moment:A kick soon after a standup put Groves on the ground in a position he couldn’t fight out of.
Analysis: A solid showing for Manhattan native Sampieri in getting his first pro win. Sampieri scored a quick takedown and spent most of the round getting the best of things in Groves’ guard. Sampieri was clearly getting the best of things with the ground and pound that ended the fight, but not letting it go two more seconds and giving Groves a chance to recover first was a bit odd.