Busta Rhymes Kicks Off Kimbo’s Big Night


Hip Hop Star Supports Upcoming Release, “Blessed,” With Ring-Walk Performance
“CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS,” MMA’s First Primetime Network Television Event

EliteXC Analysis

LOS ANGELES (May 28, 2008) – Multi-platinum rap music star Busta Rhymes will bring his unique brand of hip-hip to the Prudential Center on May 31st at MMA’s (Mixed Martial Arts) first primetime television event on the CBS Television Network.

Performing the track “Don’t Touch Me (Throw Some Water On ‘Em)” from his upcoming Interscope Records release “Blessed,” Rhymes will set the stage for up-and-coming MMA heavyweight contender Brett Rogers’ bout against  John Murphy at the milestone event, “CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT).”

“I’m a huge fan of the excitement and intensity of Mixed Martial Arts, and it’s a thrill for me to be a part of the most important event in this sport’s young history,” said Rhymes. “My high-energy performances are a perfect match to get the fighters in the perfect mindset for total domination inside the EliteXC cage on May 31st.”

With a stacked fight card highlighted by the highly anticipated primetime television debut of rising MMA star and legendary street-fighting YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice, along with a list of some of MMA’s most respected fighters, including Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith, Phil Baroni, Joey Villasenor and “Crush” from American Gladiators, Gina Carano, the May 31 event is poised to take MMA to new level of mainstream prominence with this inaugural primetime television event.

“Busta’s performance brings an entirely different element of excitement and entertainment, to what is already going to be one of the most electrifying nights in MMA history,” said EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw. “What better way to kick off this live telecast than the raw intensity of Busta Rhymes setting the tone for the bout between Rogers and Murphy, and for the entire evening.”

Rhymes’ upcoming release, “Blessed” is due out on July 31st and promises to be his strongest release to date. His music career began in the 1990s as a member of the rap group Leaders of the New School. In 1996 he released a solo album, The Coming, featuring the hit single “Woo-Ha! (Got You All in Check).” The album and single both went platinum, as did his second release, When Disaster Strikes. Known for his innovative videos on MTV, Rhymes has teamed with Janet Jackson and also appeared in movies, including Finding Forrester (2000, starring Sean Connery). His other recordings include Extinction Level Event — The Final World Front (1998), Anarchy (2000), It Ain’t Safe No More (2002) and Big Bang (2006). He’s also collaborated with Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige on the 2006 single “Touch It” and with Mariah Carey on the 2007 hit “I Know What You Want.”

In addition to the heavyweight bout between Rogers and Murphy that Rhymes performance precedes, the five-fight CBS broadcast will include: Miami native and street-fighting legend Slice (2-0) taking on MMA veteran British heavyweight James “Colossus” Thompson (10-8), EliteXC middleweight champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (15-4) of St. Louis, by way of Davenport, Iowa, vs. Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (13-4) of Sacramento, Calif.; Gina Carano (5-0) of Las Vegas, Nev., vs.  Kaitlin Young (4-1) of Circle Pines, Minn., at 140 pounds; and MMA fan favorite Phil Baroni (10-9) of Long Island, N.Y., vs. Joey Villasenor (25-6) of Albuquerque, N.M., at 185 pounds.

The Lawler-Smith fight is scheduled for five, 5-minute rounds. The others are slated for three, 5-minute sessions with the exception of Carano-Young, which is set for three, 3-minute rounds.

“CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS” will be produced by SHOWTIME Sports. The executive producer is David Dinkins, Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

Other bouts streamed live at ProElite.com: Chris “The Story” Liguori (7-7) of Middleton, N.J., vs. Jim Bova (3-0) of Philadelphia at 160 pounds; Nick “The Mad Monkey” Serra (4-2) of East Meadow, N.Y., vs. Matt Makowski (2-0) of Philadelphia at 170 pounds; Justin Robbins (8-3-1) of St. Louis vs. Wilson Reis (3-0) of Philadelphia at 140 pounds; and James “Binky” Jones (6-6) of Baltimore, Md., vs. Calvin Kattar of New Hampshire at 155  pounds.

In preliminary bouts that will not be streamed at ProElite.com, Zach Makovsky (3-1) of Philadelphia meets Brazilian Andre “Gigetto” Soares (5-1) of Pinebrook, N.J., at 135 pounds; and Mike Groves (0-1) of Philadelphia faces Joe Sampieri (0-2) of Manhattan, N.Y., at 155. The seven undercard fights are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds.


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