EliteXC: Heat Preview

The next version of EliteXC- CBS Saturday Night of Fights will take place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida on October 4, 2008. In other words, in Kimbo Slice's home state.

So is it any wonder that the internet fighter turned MMA superstar is headlining the card? The guy he's fighting, by the way, knows a little something about the sport. We're talking about UFC Hall of Famer, Ken Shamrock. To boot, there's a fight Affliction Entertainment put together between heavyweight Roy Nelson? a man that likes to rub his rather large stomach after victories like he just had a meal?and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski. Could be fireworks there, for sure.

So will this be the event that compels EliteXC over the hump? Will it be the night that takes an organization from losing money to making it before it's too late?

We'll see. Now onto the fights.

Kimbo Slice (3-0) vs. Ken Shamrock (26-13-2):
Ken Shamrock is one of the true pioneers of MMA. He's taken on and defeated some of the greatest fighters in history including Dan Severn, Bas Rutten, and Masakatsu Funaki. His strength, of course, lie in the submission skills that have taken out 22 opponents during his career. In addition, his striking skills have improved in a large way since he first starred in UFC 1.

Still, Shamrock has lost five straight and seven of his last eight, with six of those seven losses having come by way of (T)KO. In other words, we're on the downside of a wonderful career here.

Kevin Ferguson (AKA- Kimbo Slice) has nowhere near the MMA experience that his opponent does. That said, there are some things to build off of. First, he's a tough guy that in the past did well for himself via street fights on YouTube. Second, he's very athletic. Third, he has solid technical striking skills. Fourth, he hits like a truck. And fifth, he trains with the legendary Bas Rutten, a man that has had a lot of good to say about his efforts in training.

In his last fight against James Thompson, Slice didn't exactly look strong on the ground. Thus, his weakness is Shamrock's strength and vice versa.

Prediction: The question in this one is simple?Can Ken Shamrock get Kimbo to the ground and keep him there for any length of time? If he can, he'll win. If not, he likely won't.

Expect Slice's size and power advantage to help him stay on his feet in this one. Shamrock just hasn't looked the same recently, and it's hard to believe that's going to change right now.

Kimbo Slice wins via first round KO.

Jake Shields (21-4-1) vs. Paul Daley (18-6-2):
Paul Daley is a very good striker with outstanding power, as his 13 (T)KO's would seem to attest to. The bottom line is that on his feet, this guy can do damage.

Ask Mark Weir, Duane Ludwig, and Sam Morgan, all of whom have fallen to Daley by way of TKO within the last year and a half during a six fight winning streak.

Though Daley's wrestling skills are solid, he doesn't have the greatest submission skills. In fact, four of his six losses have come by way of submission.

Jake Shields is one of the best welterweight fighters in the entire world. Along with this, he possesses elite wrestling skills, outstanding cardio, and submission skills that are well above average. Shields also has solid striking skills and is tough as nails.

Prediction: Shields can probably survive on his feet against Daley for awhile. On the ground, though, Daley will be in trouble.

Jake Shields wins via submission in round two.

Andrei Arlovski (13-5) vs. Roy Nelson (13-2):
This may be the most fun fight of the night. Andrei Arlovski is a powerhouse with elite striking skills, particularly of the boxing variety, to go along with serious knockout power and athleticism. He's also extremely difficult to take down and submit.

Roy Nelson is also a very powerful man that can knock you out in a moment's notice. Further, he has very strong wrestling skills. In terms of toughness, well, it's hard to be any tougher than Nelson.

He's never been stopped. Of course, there's always a first time. But will that time first time happen on October 4th?

Prediction: Nelson is one of those guys that has done a lot of his work behind the scenes. Still, he's truly a top 10 heavyweight. Because of this and his relative lack of notoriety, you have to be tempted to pick him to win. The guy hits hard and is difficult to deal with on a variety of levels.

But can he beat Arlovski on his feet? Not without a big punch, which he's more likely to get hit with than his adversary. Could he take Arlovski down, keep him there, and ground out a decision?

Also a possibility, but it won't be easy.

In the end, expect Arlovski to stay on his feet long enough to do damage. Nelson may be tough enough to get out of this one conscious, but expect him to lose every time they're on their feet.

Andrei Arlovski wins via unanimous decision.

THE REST OF ELITEXC: HEAT

Gina Carano (6-0) vs. Kelly Kobald (16-2-1):
Kobald has six (T)KO's and eight submission victories to her credit, so she can do it all. But Carano is just too athletic and fearsome on her feet.

Gina Carano wins via TKO in round three.

Murilo "Ninja" Rua (16-8-1) vs. Benji Radach (18-4):
The way these two fight with reckless abandon, somebody is going to get knocked out. I've gone back and forth with this one, but in the end Radach has less experience against top flight competition.

Don't bet on this one, though.

Murilo Rua wins via second round TKO.

Cristiane Santos (5-1) vs. Yoko Takahashi (13-9):
Takahashi has some excellent submission skills, but Santos is a killer on her feet and is hard to take down.

Cristiane Santos wins via first round TKO.

Edson Berto (14-5-1) vs. Conor Heun (7-2):
This is a tough call. Heun is difficult to stop and has excellent cardio. Expect him to wear down Berto over the long haul.

Conor Heun wins via unanimous decision.

Aaron Rosa (11-2) vs. Seth Petruzelli (9-4):
Petruzelli has excellent striking skills and hits awful hard. If he can keep this one standing, he can win.

Seth Petruzelli wins via second round TKO in a mild upset.

Jorge Bouchat (3-2) vs. Nicolae Cury (0-0):
Admittedly, I have no idea due to Cury's lack of MMA experience. Still, he's a black belt in BJJ and Judo.

Nicolae Cury wins via second round submission.

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