- ELITE XC REVIEW: LAWLER RETAINS, SHIELDS & SILVA CROWNED

July 27, 2008
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by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
STOCKTON, CA- For the second time in two months, Elite XC found its way onto network TV with CBS Saturday Night Fights, headlined with a rematch from their first network TV broadcast.

Elite XC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler defended his title against Scott Smith for the second time in two months. Their first fight ended in a no contest after an accidental eye poke put a halt to their encounter.

Surprisingly both fighters started out cautious, stalking one another and gauging the distance with jabs and kicks. As the first round wore on, they began to trade shots with Lawler hurting Smith then Smith returning the favor with a combination followed by a high kick. The pair continued to swing for the fences as the round came to an exciting end.

The second round began the same way as the first ended with both fighters swinging and landing brutal shots before clinching up along the fence. Lawler began to bleed as he started to work over Smith with body shots and it paid off for him. Landing a series of knees to the body, Lawler smelled blood as he continued his barrage, dropping Smith and almost finishing the fight but Smith got back to his feet to only be dropped by knees once again, this time giving the fight a definitive finish at 2:35 of the second round.

Hometown hero Nick Diaz didn’t disappoint, stopping journeyman Thomas Denny in impressive fashion. Diaz started out strong connecting with punches as Denny returned fire, finding success of his own with punches before taking the fight to the ground. From the bottom, Diaz immediately went for an armbar forcing Denny to scramble out of it. They made it back to their feet and it was Diaz who began to get the better of the exchanges, tagging Denny with crisp combinations that began to take their toll. As the round came to a close it looked like Denny was close to done but he somehow survived.

The second round was much of the same as Diaz continued to punish Denny with combinations. He even started to taunt Denny before finally dropping him and finishing him off with strikes at forty seconds of the second round.

After months of waiting for his opportunity, Jake Shields finally got his shot at the vacant Elite XC welterweight championship taking on Bodog Fight welterweight champion Nick Thompson. Shields wasted no time and got the fight to the ground, instantly moving into mount and pounding on Thompson. As Thompson squirmed to escape, Shields found an opening and locked on a guillotine choke that forced Thompson to tap at 1:03 of the first round, making Jake Shields the first Elite XC welterweight champion and the best welterweight outside of the UFC.

A women’s bout opened the CBS broadcast with Chute Boxe fighter Cris “Cyborg” Santos taking on Josh Barnett trained Shayna Baszler. Right off the bat, Baszler wanted the fight to the ground as she dragged Cyborg down to the ground, looking for a leg lock. Cyborg was able to defend and they continued to grapple on the ground for the rest of the round with neither fighter gaining an obvious advantage.

The second round was much different as Cyborg unleashed a barrage of strikes that left Baszler stunned and scrambling to get the fight to the ground. Cyborg kept the fight on the feet and punished Baszler with vicious combinations, dropping her in a heap and started to celebrate her win, jumping on top of the cage to celebrate but the fight wasn’t over yet. It only delayed the inevitable as Cyborg again charged in with a combination, dropping Baszler again and finally putting a stop to the fight at 2:48 of the second round.

Brazilian slugger Antonio Silva became the Elite XC heavyweight champion by stopping UFC veteran Justin Eilers. Both fighters came out swinging but neither was able to gain the upper hand over the other. Silva then took the fight to the ground. Silva began to unleash strikes but some found their way to the back of Eiler’s head, which earned Silva a warning from referee Herb Dean. As Silva continued to punch Eilers, some again were to the back of head which forced referee Herb Dean to deduct a point from Silva. The round wore on with Silva gaining the upper hand on Eilers on the feet, unfortunately he was unable to land that one punch to end the fight as the round ended.

Silva came out swinging to start the second, connecting with punches that stunned Eilers. He continued his onslaught of strikes, dropping Eilers and finishing the fight with strikes on the ground, only nineteen seconds into the second round to become the first ever Elite XC heavyweight champion.

Highly touted Brazilian fighter Rafael “Feijao” stopped King of the Cage Canadian light heavyweight champion Travis Galbraith in impressive fashion. The fight started slow as both fighters took their time feeling each other out. They quickly clinched up and a stalemate ensued before “Feijao” executed a beautiful judo throw but Galbraith was able to quickly get back his feet. From there, “Feijao” charged in with a flurry of knees that stunned Galbraith, dropping him to the ground with Feijao finishing the job via strikes on the ground at 3:01 of the opening round.

Wilson Reis remained undefeated, winning a unanimous decision over Northwest fighter Bryan Caraway. Throughout the entire fight, Reis was able to ground Caraway and outwork him with superior positioning. From there Reis would either go for a submission or use ground and pound. Caraway’s best moment in the fight came in the second round when he stunned Reis on the feet almost finishing him, but Reis survived and fought on. Caraway was the better fighter on the feet, landing knees and punches but he was unable to stop Reis’s takedowns and that is what lost him the fight with Reis winning a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 on all three judge’s scorecards.

RESULTS:

Anthony Ruiz def. Jeromy Freitag by Unanimous Decision (29-28 on all three cards)
David Douglas def. Marlon Mathias by TKO at 0:12, R1.
Robbie Lawler def. Scott Smith by TKO at 2:35, R2.
Nick Diaz def. Thomas Denny by TKO at 0:40, R2.
Jake Shields def. Nick Thompson by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:03, R1.
Cris “Cyborg” Santos def. Shayna Baszler by TKO at 2:48, R2.
Antonio Silva def. Justin Eilers by TKO at 0:19, R2.
Rafael Feijao def. Travis Galbraith by TKO at 3:01, R1.
Wilson Reis def. Bryan Caraway by Unanimous Decision (30-27 on all three cards)
Carl Seumantafa def. Mike Cook by TKO at 3:39, R1.
Drew Montgomery def. Brandon Tarn by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at 4:22, R3.

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