FIGHT-BY-FIGHT: ELITE XC “RETURN OF THE KING”

June 13, 2008
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by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com

Elite XC Lightweight Championship Bout: KJ Noons vs. Yves Edwards

KJ Noons

KJ Noons

EliteXC lightweight (160-pound limit) champion K.J. Noons
defends his title against American Top Team lightweight Yves Edwards. Noons has
a 6-2 record and trains out of the City Boxing Gym in California. Edwards has a
34-13-1 record and trains out of the American Top Team with Gesias “JZ”
Calvancante.

Noons stopped Nick Diaz at EliteXC: Renegade to become the
lightweight champion, while Edwards comes off a knockout victory over Edson
Berto at EliteXC: Street Certified.

These two have trained together and are friends, but they
must now fight with a title on the line. Both fighters prefer to fight on the
feet, so expect them to bang for the duration of the fight.

Although Edwards is primarily a striker and prefers to fight
on the feet, it might be in his best interests to take the fight to the ground,
where he has an advantage over Noons. If the fight stays on the feet, Noons
will take advantage and start to outclass Edwards with his superior technique.
It might be a challenge for Edwards to get the fight on the ground as it was
for Diaz.

These two will bang it out on the feet, having an exciting
fight, but the longer the fight stays on the feet, the more likely Noons will
land that blow that will put Edwards out. Edwards will try to get the fight on
the ground, but won’t find success, sealing his fate in the fight.

Prediction: KJ Noons by TKO in the first round.

Lightweight Bout:

Nick Diaz vs. Muhsin Corbbrey

The always-brash Nick Diaz faces off with up and coming
lightweight Muhsin Corbbrey. Diaz has a 16-7 record and trains out of Cesar
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with his brother, Nathan Diaz. Corbbrey has an 8-2 record and
trains out of South Carolina.

Diaz comes off a stoppage victory over Katsuya Inoue at
Dream 3, while Corbbrey hasn’t fought since last year, when he submitted Bobby
McMaster at a ShoXC event in October.

This is an interesting fight for both fighters. For Diaz its
just another fight, but for Corbbrey it’s a chance to prove that he belongs
with the elite fighters in MMA. Expect these two fighters to fight at hyper
speed and give the fans what they paid for.

Diaz is the better fighter on the ground with his slick
jiu-jitsu. On the feet it could be a different story, as Corbbrey is the more
versatile striker, mixing in kicks and knees while Diaz is more of a boxer.
Although Diaz has shown he is more than willing to fight on the feet, he should
take this fight to the ground and waste no time.

One problem that Diaz has had in the past is taking fights
seriously and it has shown in some of his performances. He needs to take the
fight seriously and take care of business. Corbbrey will get his licks in, but
a lack of competition will get to him and he will succumb to a submission midway
through the fight.

Prediction: Nick Diaz by submission in the second round.

Middleweight Bout:

Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Tony Bonello

Former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua
takes on Australian fighter Tony Bonello. Rua has a 15-8-1 record and trains
out of the Universidad de Luta with his brother, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Bonello
has a 16-0-1 record and trains out of Australia.

Rua comes off a submission victory over Xavier Foupa-Pokam
at Cage Rage 24, while Bonello drew with Ryan Sturdy at King of the Cage:
Damage Inc.

Rua has always been a fan favorite, but has had some bad
luck on the way and will look to build himself back to a title shot. Bonello
has been one of the better fighters in Australia. Most American fans are
unaware of him, but that will change on Saturday.

Rua is the better fighter both on the feet and on the ground
and it will show once the fight begins. Plain and simple, Bonello has a padded
record. He has fought less then stellar competition and in some instances has
been accused of fixing fights in his favor.

Expect Rua to pick apart Bonello wherever the fight goes and
end it rather quickly once Bonello realizes that he is in way over his head
against Rua.

Prediction: Murilo “Ninja” Rua by TKO in the first round.

Heavyweight Bout:

Dave Herman vs. Ron Waterman

Midwest heavyweight fighter Dave Herman takes on Pride
veteran Ron Waterman. Herman has a 10-0 record and trains out of the C-4 MMA
Team with Chris Price. Waterman has a 15-5-2 record and trains out of Colorado
Stars in Colorado.

Herman comes off of an impressive stoppage victory over
Mario Rinaldi at EliteXC: Street Certified, while Waterman submitted Analu Bush
at X-1: Champions.

Herman is one of the more promising prospects in the
heavyweight division, which is lacking new talent. Waterman is a longtime
veteran and will look to make one more run at glory as his career starts to
wind down.

Both of these fighters are more then capable wrestlers. Whichever
fighter ends up on top will have a big advantage. Neither fighter is well
versed in submissions, but on the feet the edge will go to Herman. Waterman
will look to get the fight on the ground and overpower his opponent with either
a key lock or a kimura.

Herman is on the rise and this will be a solid test for him.
Expect him to tag Waterman on the feet, forcing Waterman to try and get the
fight to the ground, but Herman will defend and end up on top, overwhelming
Waterman with strikes.

Prediction: Dave Herman by TKO in the first round.

Light Heavyweight Bout:

Rafael Feijao vs. Wayne Cole

Brazilian fighter Rafael Feijao faces off with Midwest
wrestler Wayne Cole. Feijao has a 5-1 record and trains out of the Minotauro
Team with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Cole has an 11-6 record and trains out of
Oklahoma.

Feijao comes off a knockout victory over John Doyle at EliteXC:
Street Certified, while Cole submitted UFC veteran Mike Kyle at Strikeforce:
Shamrock vs. Le.

Both of these fighters will be moving down from heavyweight
for this bout. EliteXC has talked about creating a light heavyweight title by
years end, which should be more incentive for both fighters. It will be
interesting to see how they react to cutting weight and which is the stronger
fighter.

Feijao has the advantage on the feet, while Cole is the
better of two fighters on the ground with his wrestling experience. If the
fight stays on the feet, Feijao will look to put together a combination that
will end Cole’s night. Cole on the other hand will want it on the ground, where
he can grind out a decision or submit the Brazilian.

Expect Cole to get the fight to the ground, but Feijao will
stay patient and get back to his feet eventually and start to tee off on Cole
until he finally finishes the fight with strikes late in the opening round.

Prediction: Rafael Feijao by TKO in the first round.

 

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