by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
EliteXC makes its Texas debut Saturday night in Corpus Christi with a main event featuring Nick Diaz vs. K.J. Noons for the promotions 160-pound championship.
ELITEXC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT:
NICK DIAZ VS. K.J. NOONS
Pride and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Nick Diaz takes on lightweight prodigy K.J. Noons for the vacant EliteXC lightweight championship. Diaz has a 15-6 record and trains out of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with Nate Diaz. Noons has a 5-2 record and trains out of City Boxing in California.
Diaz comes off a controversial split decision victory over Mike Aina at EliteXC: Uprising. Noons scored an impressive knockout victory over Edson Berto in his last outing at the first ever ShoXC in July.
Both fighters are being heavily pushed by EliteXC and it shows here with them being placed in a fight for the vacant 160-pound championship.
Diaz has had an up and down year, submitting Takanori Gomi at Pride 33, then getting his win overturned and ruled a “no contest” because of a positive drug test. He then returned in September against Aina, looking rather lackadaisical and struggling to win a controversial split decision.
Noons was heavily hyped going into his EliteXC debut against Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, but that was quickly derailed after walking into a hook that left him sleeping. He returned in impressive fashion at ShoXC, knocking out fellow lightweight prospect Edson Berto with a vicious knee.
Noons will have the advantage on the feet against Diaz with his extensive boxing and kickboxing background, but will have to be alert as Diaz also has impressive boxing skills. If this fight hits the ground, look for Diaz to use his superior ground skills to finish the fight. Diaz has more mixed martial arts experience, but he needs to be careful on the feet because he has been dropped in his last two fights and Noons will look to work off of that to win. Expect these two to slug it out early in the fight, but Diaz will soon realize that he can end it on the ground in an instant, doing so late in the fight.
Prediction: Nick Diaz by submission in the third round.
MIKE PYLE VS. JAKE SHIELDS
Former Shooto Middleweight Champion Jake Shields takes on Xtreme Couture fighter Mike “Quicksand” Pyle. Shields has a 19-4-1 record and trains out of Jake Shields Fight Team with Gilbert Melendez. Pyle has a 14-4-1 record and trains out of Xtreme Couture with Jay Hieron.
Shields comes off an impressive stoppage victory over Renato “Charuto” Verissimo at EliteXC: Uprising, while Pyle won a decision over Aaron Wetherspoon at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni.
This fight was suppose to be for the vacant EliteXC welterweight championship, but Pyle refused the opportunity. This is his last fight with the promotion because he isn’t happy with the way he is being promoted. Title bout or not, this is one of the marquee fights in the young promotion’s history with its two top welterweights.
Both fighters’ strengths lie on the ground with Shields concentrating on ground control, while Pyle likes to flow from submission to submission. On the feet, neither fighter has a distinct advantage over the other as they both have polished striking skills.
The fight basically comes down to which fighter can get the takedown and control the other from the top. If Shields can execute the takedown, expect him to control the fight with punches and ground positioning, while Pyle will look to lock on a submission to end the fight. This is going to be a close fight, but expect Shields to get off first and control the fight en route to a decision.
Prediction: Jake Shields by decision.
KEVIN “KIMBO SLICE” FERGUSON VS. BO CANTRELL
Legendary Internet street fighter Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson makes his official MMA debut against King of the Cage veteran Bo Cantrell. Kimbo trains out of Xtreme Couture with Shawn Tompkins. Bo Cantrell has a 10-10 record and trains out of Marinobles in California.
Kimbo comes off a submission victory over Ray Mercer in an exhibition MMA fight in June. Cantrell lost to Brad Imes at KOTC: Arch Rivals by submission.
Kimbo was originally slated to face Mike Bourke who withdrew because of injury. Cantrell steps in on short notice having fought just a couple of weeks ago.
Cantrell has lost four straight fights and seems to be the perfect opponent to get Kimbo a win. Kimbo has been training extensively at Xtreme Couture and seems to be taking his MMA career seriously. Expect these two to slug it out right from the bell, but Kimbo will put his training to good use and finish Cantrell with strikes.
Prediction: Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson by TKO in the first round.
ANTONIO SILVA VS. JONATHAN WIEZOREK
Brazilian monster Antonio Silva returns to action in EliteXC as he faces off with UFC veteran Jonathan Wiezorek. Silva has an 8-1 record and trains out of American Top Team with Wilson Gouveia. Wiezorek has an 11-1 record and trains out of Valdosta Martial Arts Academy in Georgia.
Silva comes off a knockout victory over Wesley “Cabbage” Correira at EliteXC: Destiny. Wiezorek comes off a stoppage loss over Tim Persey at K-1 Dynamite!! USA.
These two fighters were originally scheduled to meet at K-1 Dynamite!! USA, but Silva was forced to withdraw due to medical reasons. Wiezorek went on to defeat the previously undefeated Persey with strikes and now looks to put himself on the map with a win against Silva.
Don’t expect this fight to hit the ground at any instance as these two fighters are going to slug out it out until one of them goes down. Silva is the bigger and stronger fighter of the two with a solid training camp behind him to get prepared. Expect Silva to quickly take over with his stronger punches and put Wiezorek to sleep in impressive fashion.
Prediction: Antonio Silva by KO in the first round.