The big EliteXC announcement of a working agreement with Affliction came with more criticism of CBS' moneymaker Kimbo Slice. Pro Elite's Jared Shaw told MMARated that this card was going to really shake things up:
"It's a win-win for both organizations but the biggest winner on this night are definitely the fans of mixed martial arts. This hits the mainstream, this hits the hardcore and, especially, this hits Dana White hard."
The hardcore folks at Rear Naked Blogspot took offense:
Getting Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson from Affliction is a major move for the troubled promotion. Arlovski is a good fighter who usually produces in the cage. The only way EliteXC will ever win over hardcore fans is by putting their best fighters in the lead roles.
I'm going to say this for the 500th time because Jared Shaw and Affliction's Tom Atencio can't...they could give a rat's ass about hardcore fans on these CBS shows. I am hardcore too, but recognize that 'our' numbers alone would bankrupt every MMA promotion. Mixed martial arts is still a fledgling sport and has barely made a dent with casual and non-sports fans. EliteXC needs massive numbers to keep this going on CBS. We're talking about 4-5 million viewers. The tens of thousands 'hardcore' fans mean nothing. For these promotions with small rosters and almost no 'free' television time, they have to maximize every opportunity they get. As much as Scott Smith v. Robbie Lawler was a legit fight for the hardcores, it delivered only 60% of the Kimbo show audience.
Shaw is right that this
will could hit the mainsteam and Dana White hard. That's the true story here not what caliber fighter Arlovski is versus Kimbo.
RearNaked is a good opinion-based MMA blog. A piece earlier this week on Matt Hamill was right on the money. The EliteXC criticism was not.