The bottom line is that the EliteXC organization, which has been losing money, put a whole lot of stock in their October 4, 2008 event called Heat coming in. When EliteXC puts stock in an event that means two names.
Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano, their two biggest MMA draws. Unfortunately, Slice's would be opponent Ken Shamrock received a cut over the eye while warming up and was unable to fight. A terrible blow. Thus, EliteXC was forced to come up with another opponent.
Enter Seth Petruzelli. Not exactly Ken Shamrock in reputation. Still, a dangerous striker capable of taking people out.
The night started off with a bout between Benji Radach and Murilo "Ninja" Rua. "It's going to be a very, very aggressive fight," said Ninja coming in. "I'm winning this no matter what." In the end, win or lose for him this one was almost certain to end in a knockout.
The beginning of this fight was awesome. Radach connected with several huge rights and combinations that had Ninja in big time trouble. Still, the Brazilian fighter somehow got through. That's when both fighters landed rights and fell at the same time. From there they started messing around on the ground with both taking turns being on top. When Radach got on top, Ninja nearly pulled off an ankle lock, but it wasn't to be. Then after giving up his back for a moment, Ninja started looking to tear his opponent's heel up again. Though that didn't work, Ninja found himself on top of his turtled up opponent raining down punches.
Then the bell. Though Ninja came on strong at the end, Radach was awesome in the beginning of the stanza and deserved the round because of that. A great round!
Ninja started off the second stanza connecting with nice kicks and knees inside. But moments later, he tried another kick and ate a huge right for his efforts. Still, Rua kept coming forward with kicks before deciding to clinch with Radach. He tried a single leg takedown attempt that fell by the wayside.
When they separated, Ninja tried a flying knee and fell to the canvas. A couple of rights from Radach later, and it was all over. A huge win for Radach.
The man can hit.
Benji Radach wins via knockout at 2:31 of round two in an excellent fight
"She's coming for it. I know she is, and I didn't come here to lose," said Gina Carano before taking on Kelly Kobald in the next fight of the night. If Carano were to win, it would almost certainly mean a match up with Cristiane Santos, an outstanding athlete in her own right. So the question was, would Carano's focus be on Kobald, where it certainly should be?
The first round saw Kobald shoot in for a takedown right off the bat. Along the cage wall, Carano defended it well for an extended period. When they separated, both fighters connected with strikes, although Carano's were stronger. Kobald once again looked for the takedown to no avail before both fighters traded just before the bell.
A close round that should go to Carano. By the way, Carano opened up a cut over her opponent's right eye/ bridge of the nose.
In the second, Carano connected with a big right hand early and followed it up with a flurry and hard knee in the clinch. While inside, Kobald did a nice of job of dirty boxing. When they separated, however, Carano began to take control, connecting with hard punches in spots. Though Kobald kept coming forward?she's one tough fighter?Carano continually prove to be the cleaner striker. At the end of the round, Kobald took her opponent down and started in with some solid ground and pound.
A very close stanza.
In the third, Kobald came forward like a lion and pressed Carano up against the wall looking for a takedown. Along the way, she hit home with some foot stomps but not much else before the referee separated them. When Kobald came forward again, Carano connected with some nice punches and a big knee before Kobald once again clinched with her along the wall. Still, Carano connected with a couple of knees inside and then looked for a standing choke that took her opponent to the canvas for a moment and nearly worked. Upon separation, Carano began picking her adversary apart with some huge kicks.
Then the bell. A great fight! Kobald was tough as nails and a deserving competitor. Still, this was Carano's fight.
Gina Carano wins via unanimous decision.
Next up was the perhaps the most interesting fight of the night when Roy "Big Country" Nelson took on Andrei "Pitbull" Arlovski. A former IFL Heavyweight Champion vs. a former UFC Heavyweight Champion. A man with a chiseled physique (Arlovski) vs. a man that will never be called chiseled (Nelson).
A huge fight. Let's get to it.
Arlovski came out and connected with leg kicks right off the bat. Soon after, Big Country clinched with him. Due to this, Arlovski tripped his opponent to the ground, but Nelson immediately turned him over and gained side control. Then Nelson gained the north- south position. After Nelson stood for a moment, he regained side control and began nailing Arlovski with knees to the body. Then for some reason, the referee stood them up.
Not fair to Nelson, in my opinion. He wasn't given enough of a chance to do something.
Nelson took a low kick and then clinched with his Russian adversary along the wall. There, Arlovski hit home with a hard knee to the face before some inactivity forced the referee to separate the two.
While on their feet, Arlovski connected with several nice low kicks and punches. Nelson retaliated with some punches as well. Then Big Country once again pressed his opponent up against the wall. Then the bell.
In the second, Arlovski connected with a couple of punches before Nelson hit home with a big left that dizzied his opponent. Rather than keep striking, Nelson once again clinched with Arlovski along the wall and started looking for the takedown. Arlovski pushed him away and then hit home with a nice left and then a solid flurry plus kicks. Then came the clinch with some solid knees followed by punches. Finally, a big Arlovski right dropped Nelson.
There was no recovering from that one.
Andrei Arlovski wins via TKO at 3:14 of round two.
Next up was a bout between EliteXC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields and Englishman Paul Daley. "My reputation precedes me. You know, I'm the best," said a confident Daley before his fight against Shields. He also noted that if Shields stood up with him, he would be sleeping by the end of things.
Looking forward to this one.
Shields started off with a leg and then body kick. Then he shot in, taking a punch to his body for his failed effort. That's when Daley started connecting?first with a low kick, then a body punch.
Then he shirked another takedown attempt. But moments later, Shields took Daley down. Soon after, he moved to the mount position. Then came the ground and pound to the body and head. At first, Daley did a good job defensively. But as the onslaught wore on him, his efforts became less successful.
Though Shields lost the mount position for a moment, that moment was short lived. And when Shields got back there, his ground and pound was stronger. Shields then went for two straight armbars unsuccessfully. The second allowed Daley to get on top of him and start in with some ground and pound of his own. A good ending for Daley, but a clear round for Shields.
Still, Daley is game.
The second started out with Daley landing a nice high kick to the face. Then Daley came forward aggressively, connecting with punches and a hard knee to the body when Shields went for the takedown.
After a separation, another takedown attempt failed.
Daley landed a big left and then sprawled out of a takedown attempt. Then came another takedown that with some effort bore fruit for Shields. Immediately Shields took the mount position. Then came some ground and pound that wasn't as strong as in the first round. Then came the armbar. This time, it was sunk in deep.
Daley tried to get out to no avail. Then he tapped. This was one of Shields' most difficult fights. It was interesting while it lasted.
Jake Shields wins via armbar at 3:47 of round two.
Finally came the main event between Seth Petruzelli and Kimbo Slice. "I just try to shed blood on the situation," said Slice regarding his fighting goals. Though Petruzelli wasn't Shamrock, you have to ask yourself. . . Is this a harder fight for Slice? Certainly from a stand up vantage it is.
No handshake, by the way. Seems Slice didn't want to.
Here's how it went. Slice came inside and got nailed with a right that dropped him. From there, Petruzelli connected with right hand after right hand until the referee had no choice but to step in.
Just like that, Seth Petruzelli was the winner and one of EliteXC's biggest draws had gone down. Lots of boos from the home crowd.
Seth Petruzelli wins via TKO after 14 seconds in round one.
In sum, this version of EliteXC was really excellent. Gina Carano found herself in a war with Kelly Kobald but once again came through with flying colors. Jake Shields was tested by a tough Paul Daley and found capable. Benji Radach reminded the world that few people hit as hard as him while engaged in a war with Murilio "Ninja" Rua. Andrei Arlovski proved once again that he is a top caliber heavyweight, particularly on his feet.
And then there was the Kimbo Slice upset. Did Seth Petruzelli show the world that Kimbo was just a flash in the pan, or will Slice come back stronger and more determined?
We'll see. It was a lot of fun, though.