by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
THE LEGEND CONTINUES… KIMBO KO’S TANK
The legend of Kimbo Slice continues to grow as the YouTube Internet sensation continued his emergence in mixed martial arts, knocking out Tank Abbott in just 43 seconds of the first round of their heavyweight match-up.
Abbott charged across the cage to start the fight and worked to take Kimbo down, but the hometown fighter resisted and unloaded numerous punches on Tank.
The fight was stopped for a moment as Abbott went down on the ground. Kimbo unloaded shots to the back of Tank’s head and the referee stopped the action to warn the Miami native about the illegal punches.
After the restart, Kimbo simply came after Abbott with everything he had in his stand-up arsenal, hitting shot after shot on Tank, and landed a huge right hand that put Abbott down on the mat, face first, ending the fight.
Despite all the pre-fight build up between the two fighters, Kimbo expressed his respect for Abbott when the bout was over.
“I got a lot of respect for Tank,” said Kimbo in his post fight interview. “I always watched him growing up as a shorty. This was one of my dream fights along with (Mike) Tyson. To get in the ring and bang with Tank.”
Commentators Mauro Renallo and Stephen Quadros discussed the possibility of Kimbo’s next fight being against Ken Shamrock, who is now also signed to the EliteXC brand and will make his debut in March for Cage Rage against Buzz Berry.
Antonio Silva and Ricco Rodriguez fought a very tough and competitive fight in the heavyweight division with Silva winning a split decision over the former UFC champion.
The first round saw Silva work his stand-up game, using effective jabs and hooks to keep Rodriguez at bay, but eventually Rodriguez managed to get the takedown and land his ground and pound attack to close out the session.
Silva dominated the second round with an aggressive ground and pound attack of his own, which opened a cut under Rodriguez’s eye. The doctor was called into the cage to check the fighter, and the bout was allowed to continue.
The third round saw both fighters exchange takedowns with Silva taking the first half of the round and Rodriguez closing out the five minutes with his ground attack.
Every round saw a competitive side from each heavyweight, but in the end Antonio Silva came out on top in one of his toughest matches to date and moved him one step closer to possibly contending for the first ever EliteXC heavyweight championship.
“Gary Shaw, I want the (heavyweight) belt,” said Silva in his post fight comments. “I want the belt.”
Scott Smith debuted with a thunderous knockout over Australian Kyle Noke in his EliteXC debut, winning in the second round.
In the first session, Smith struggled with Noke’s reach as the Aussie used a very effective jab to work his boxing over on Smith.
The second round didn’t last long as Smith absolutely unloaded a right hand that put Noke down. He landed one more shot for good measure as the referee rushed in to stop the fight declaring Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith the winner.
Afterwards, Smith talked about a possible match-up down the road with current EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler that would likely promise a slugfest between two tough 185-pound fighters.
Yves Edwards stole the early part of the show with his highlight reel knockout of Edson Berto with an unreal jumping knee strike that brought visions of Edwards’ win over Josh Thomson to mind.
As the fight began, Berto worked for an early takedown as Edwards defended. The American Top Team fighter worked out of a guillotine attempt by Berto and then worked for a kimura of his own. Berto resisted and eventually the fight was stood back up.
Berto shot straight back in on Edwards trying for a single leg takedown, but the Thugjitsu expert pushed his opponent’s head away to stop the shoot and as the round came towards a close, Edwards jumped and landed a straight knee strike to Berto’s face, sending him crashing to the canvas.
After the fight, Edwards addressed his recent winning streak and impressive performances giving the bulk of the credit to his training in Florida with American Top Team.
In the opening bout of the evening, James “Colossus” Thompson traveled to fight in America for the first time, but an undefeated heavyweight prospect named Brett “The Grim” Rogers welcomed him to the states with a first round knockout.
Thompson charged across the cage immediately as he usually does, but instead of trading punches, he worked for a takedown, trying to show his ground skills.
Rogers showed his excellent takedown defense and as soon as the fighters separated, it was the young heavyweight who unloaded with punches that put Thompson down and out for the night.
Kimbo Slice def. Tank Abbott by KO at 0:43, R1
Antonio Silva def. Ricco Rodriguez by split decision, R3
Scott Smith def. Kyle Noke by KO at 0:07, R2
Yves Edwards def. Edson Berto by TKO (referee’s stoppage due to strikes) at 4:56, R1
Brett Rogers def. James Thompson by KO at 2:24, R1
Rafael Feijao def. John Doyle by TKO at 2:17, R1
Yosmany Cabezas def. Jon Kirk by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:58, R2
Dave Herman def. Mario Rinaldi by TKO (strikes) at 0:33, R3
Eric Bradley def. Mikey Gomez by Unanimous Decision, R3
Mike Bernhard def. Lorenzo Borgameo by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 4:11, R2
Moyses Gabin def. Jirka Hlavaty by TKO at 2:32, R1