by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
Internet sensation Kevin “
Slice” Ferguson takes on Pride veteran James Thompson. Kimbo has a 2-0
record and trains out of California with Bas Rutten. Thompson has a 14-8 record
and trains out of Team Trojan.
Kimbo comes off a knockout victory over David “Tank” Abbott
at EliteXC: Street Certified, while Thompson was knocked out in his most recent
bout by Brett Rodgers at the same show.
This is the main event of the first ever edition of
Saturday Night Fights and it’s an interesting choice to say the least.
Neither fighter is too well regarded among fans nor are they anywhere near
being the best in the heavyweight division.
Both fighters are wild strikers, but the advantage goes to
Kimbo because of his punching power and due to the fact that Thompson has no
chin whatsoever. If the fight were to hit the ground, which is unlikely,
Thompson would have the advantage over the green Kimbo.
It is unfortunate that, on what could possibly be one of
biggest days in mixed martial arts history, this will be the main event to
represent the sport to the mainstream audience. Even though Kimbo is trying to
put his past behind him and is taking his MMA training seriously, there is no
doubt that EliteXC will talk extensively about his past as a street fighter
during the telecast therefore giving the impression that all mixed martial arts
fighters are street fighters.
This one ends early. Once Kimbo lands a single shot on
Thompson, he will go down in a heap because of his lack of chin to take
Prediction: Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson by KO in the
EliteXC Middleweight Championship Bout:
vs. Scott Smith
EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler defends his
title against Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Scott Smith. Lawler has a
15-4 record and trains out of the HIT Squad with Matt Hughes. Smith has a 13-4
record and trains out of the Capital City Fighting Alliance with James Irvin.
Lawler comes off a knockout over Murilo “Ninja” Rua at EliteXC:
Uprising. In his last outing, Smith knocked out Kyle Noke at EliteXC: Street
This will be Lawler’s first title defense after having a
successful 2007 with knockout victories over Frank Trigg and Murilo “Ninja”
Rua. Smith had a shaky 2007, but has now settled in with EliteXC and gets his chance
at a title.
Lawler’s punching power has been well documented, but he has
added technique to his strikes and no longer is a wild slugger, making him all
that more dangerous. Although both are heavy handed strikers, the edge goes to
Lawler who has honed his craft and can hurt you with combinations, whereas
Smith always looks for that one-punch knockout. On the ground, neither is much
of a submission fighter, but Lawler is the better wrestler of the two.
These two are going to trade shots on the feet and it should
be a sight to behold. With that being said, Lawler will take the fight to the
ground and start to unload a barrage of punches, putting the pressure on Smith
until he finishes him off with strikes.
Prediction: Robbie Lawler by TKO in the second round.
Muay Thai fighter Gina Carano takes on fellow striker Kaitlin
Young. Carano has a 5-0 record and trains out of Xtreme Couture with Randy
Couture. Young has a 4-1 record and trains out of Minnesota Martial Arts
Academy with Greg Nelson.
Carano comes off a submission victory over Tonya Evinger at EliteXC:
Uprising, while Young was submitted by Sara Schneider at Bodog Fight: Thompson
This will be a historic bout because it will be the first
women’s bout telecast on network television. Both fighters’ pedigrees are
striking so expect these two to trade shots that should please the crowd in
attendance and watching on TV.
These two are fairly even on the feet, so it’s difficult to
gauge which has the advantage over the other when they are so equally matched
on the feet. If the fight goes to the ground, Carano should have the edge
because of her training at Xtreme Couture.
After trading shots on the feet, look for Carano to take the
fight to the ground and lock on a choke late in the opening round.
Prediction: Gina Carano by submission in the first round.
Eccentric slugger Phil Baroni takes on former King of the
Cage middleweight champion Joey Villasenor. Baroni has a 10-9 record and trains
out of Xtreme Couture with Shawn Tompkins. Villasenor has a 25-6 record and
trains out Jackson’s Submission Fighting with Rashad Evans.
Baroni comes off a knockout loss to Kala Hose at ICON Sport:
Baroni vs. Hose, while Villasenor knocked out Ryan Jensen at Strikeforce:
Shamrock vs. Le.
This is an interesting clash of styles with Baroni being a
slugger and Villasenor being more of a technical striker, but also having a
solid wrestling background. There has been a war of words between these two and
its all comes to an end when they meet in the cage.
Baroni has the edge on the feet with his power, but
Villasenor is a better striker when it comes to technique, mixing in kicks and
knees with punches. If the fight goes to the ground, Villasenor should have the
advantage over the one dimensional Baroni.
These two will trade to start the fight, but as it wears on,
expect Villasenor to take the fight to the ground and pound out a decision,
much like he did over David Loiseau.
Prediction: Joey Villasenor by decision.
Brett Rodgers vs. Jon Murphy
In a battle of heavyweight sluggers, Team Bison fighter
Brett Rodgers takes on wrestler Jon Murphy. Rodgers has a 6-0 record and trains
out of Team Bison in Minnesota. Murphy has a 4-2 record and trains out of
Anthracite Combat Club in Pennsylvania.
Rodgers, in his most recent fight, scored a knockout victory
over James Thompson at EliteXC: Street Certified, while Murphy knocked out Dave
Huckaba at ShoXC 2.
This bout will open the card for the first ever prime time
live mixed martial arts telecast on network TV, so expect these two to come out
banging. Don’t expect the fight to go past the first round, as someone will be
flat on his back before all is said and done.
Rodgers has the advantage on the feet with some serious
power in his hands, but he will also have a significant size and strength
advantage over Murphy, who is a small heavyweight to begin with. Murphy is the
better wrestler of the two, however, and has the edge on the ground because of
Expect these two to trade shots and if that happens then
Rodgers will come out on top because of his size and punching power.
Prediction: Brett Rodgers by KO in the first round.