Elite XC Show at the Prudential Center

Kimbo, Gina Carano, Robbie Lawler, ‘Hands Of Steel’ Smith, Phil Baroni, Joey Villasenor

Among The Standouts Featured On First-Ever MMA Card on Primetime Network Television

Kimbo Slice pictureLOS ANGELES (April 24, 2008) — Fans seeking to participate in what some regard as the most important fight card in mixed martial arts history, presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite Inc.’s live fight division, EliteXC, have the opportunity to reserve their seats now.

Tickets, starting at $25, for a history-making event Saturday, May 31, at the Prudential Center at Newark, N.J., are available at online at www.ticketmaster.com. Doors open at 5 p.m. ET. The first live fight is at 6:30.

“I’m obviously very excited to come back to New Jersey, which is my home and a place where I served as a member of the board of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board,’’ said EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw. “Newark is a great city and the Prudential Center is one of the newest, most modern facilities in the United States.

“No one is better at running an event center than AEG. I’m very pleased to be working with them again. From start to finish, it is going to be a spectacular, memorable night of exciting fights and entertainment for fans in the tri-state area. Top to bottom, everybody’s matched tough.

Kimbo is really excited about returning to New Jersey to fight on May 31. I know he wants to put on a show and continue his magical trip from the street to Elite.’’

The card will be the first-ever MMA event shown live in primetime on network television. “CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS” will air on the CBS Television Network at 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.

The incredibly popular Kimbo Slice (2-0) of Perrine, Fla., will face England’s James “Colossus’’ Thompson (14-8) in what will be a thrilling main event of an outstanding show.

In other televised fights, EliteXC middleweight champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (15-4) of St. Louis, by way of Davenport, Iowa, will defend against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (13-4) of Sacramento, Calif.; Gina Carano (5-0) of Las Vegas, Nev., faces Kaitlin Young (4-1) of Circle Pines, Minn., in an excellent women’s fight at 140 pounds; Phil Baroni (10-9) of Long Island, N.Y., faces Joey Villasenor (25-6) in a 185-pound scrap and unbeaten Brett Rogers (6-0) of Minneapolis throws down with Jon Murphy (4-2) of Minersville, Pa., in a heavyweight match.

The Lawler-Smith dispute, scheduled for five, 5-minute rounds, figures to be a slugfest. The other fights are slated for three, 5-minute sessions with the exception of Carano-Young, which is set for three, 3-minute rounds (see Fighter Pages below).

Matchups for non-televised, undercard bouts that will be streamed live at ProElite.com will be announced soon. Fans can watch pre- and post-fight interviews only at ProElite.com.

Kimbo, who’s trained by the respected legendary fighter and trainer, the no-nonsense Bas Rutten, has required all of 62 seconds to dispatch of his initial two MMA opponents. Kimbo, aka Kevin Ferguson, has shown ferocious striking skills but has yet to be taken to the ground.

“We’re continuing to work on polishing his striking and we’ve changed his stance, which has made him an even better striker,’’ Rutten said. “He is more explosive now and fit. But for a guy who has had only two MMA fights, Kimbo continues to do everything right.

“He is going to surprise everybody with his ground game, especially those who believe he doesn’t have one. After about 200 street fights, he is putting it all on the line and taking a big risk. James Thompson is going to be a great opponent.’’

Already a major MMA attraction, Kimbo made a name for himself on the Internet where videos of the bald, bearded, menacing-looking former underground bare-knuckle street fighter have been downloaded literally millions of times on YouTube.

Kimbo registered a 43-second, first-round knockout (punches) over Tank Abbott in his last start Feb. 16, 2008, in Miami, Fla. Dangerously explosive and always one punch away from ending a fight, Kimbo won his MMA debut Nov. 10, 2007, stopping Bo Cantrell in 19 seconds.

“I’m looking forward to fighting Thompson in Newark on CBS,’’ said Kimbo, who recently re-signed with EliteXC. “But I love to fight and always look forward to fighting. It really doesn’t matter where or against whom. Everybody knows that.

“To all the MMA fighters who continue to disrespect me, to all those who say I don’t have a ground game, I lack this, I lack that, I say, ‘stop talking and bring it on. I’m ready.’ ’’

Thompson, who trains with Randy Couture at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, could be Kimbo’s toughest test. Since going pro in January 2003, the former Pride and Cage Rage fighter has defeated the likes of Dan Severn, Japanese judo legend Hidehiko Yoshida and Don Frye.

The 29-year-old, six-foot-five Thompson possesses significant advantages in age (three years), height (three inches) and experience. The Brit has fought all over the world.

But the key may be whether a veteran known for heavy hands will come out and look for takedowns and try to use his size to wear down Kimbo from the top position on the ground.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I will have a solid game plan for it,’’ said Thompson, who has won four times by submission. “The world will be watching. I’ll be ready.’’

Long regarded as one of the world’s most gifted middleweights, Lawler will be making the first defense of the EliteXC belt he won in dramatic, convincing fashion with a third-round TKO (strikes) over defending champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua on Sept. 15, 2007, in Honolulu.

“I fought a smart and controlled fight and kept my distance, but that is how I fight these days,’’ Lawler said. “I told my corner after the second round that I was going to knock him out.’’

Lawler rocked and mocked Rua several times before dropping him with a left hand. After a series of jackhammer right hands and two more lefts, the referee halted matters at 2:04.

While he performed with poise against Rua, the crowd-pleasing Lawler is known for an aggressive, unbashful, at times swing-for-the-fences style, and for putting as much heart and bad intentions behind his punches and lethal flying knee attacks as anyone could expect.

“Every fight’s big, at the time,’’ said Lawler, who recently re-signed with EliteXC. “You live by the moment, fight for today. May 31 is obviously a big fight for me, and more people will be watching. But once I’m in the cage, they’re (his fights are) all equal.”

Smith is a “freestyle” fighter and knockout artist who comes out throwing bombs with an abandon that’s made him a huge fan favorite. Aptly nicknamed “Hands Of Steel’’ — he’s a union field foreman in his family’s steel business – he’s won 11 of his fights by KO or TKO.

But one of the most dangerous strikers in the business also owns a strong wrestling background and possesses terrific cardio. Smith’s two other triumphs were by submission

In his EliteXC debut, Smith rallied after losing the first round to knock out Kyle Noke at 0:07 in the second. Two brutal, picture-perfect right hands did all the damage.

“I didn’t fight the first round like I usually do, but I started to get comfortable and find my range toward the end of it,’’ said Smith, who has won nine times in the first round. “I came out pumped for the second and made up for it. Once I got inside – bam — I knocked him down.”

Until numbing Noke, Smith was best known for his dramatic comeback victory over Pete Sell in perhaps the most totally unexpected, shocking ending to a MMA fight in history.

“Fans know I come to war, that I’m a fighter,’’ said Smith, who rallied from the brink of defeat to score a second-round knockout over Sell Nov. 11, 2006. “I think they love that I engage and I keep punching until I knock you out. They can read that when they watch me in the cage.’’

Since its inception, EliteXC has consistently included women’s fighters on its cards. None is more popular than Carano, the most recognizable female MMA fighter in the world.

Carano, aka “Crush” on American Gladiators, will be making her first start since she got up from a hard early takedown to record a 2:53, first-round submission (rear naked choke) over Tonya Evinger on Sept. 15, 2007, in Honolulu.

“When she got me down, I knew I couldn’t freak and had to keep my composure,’’ said Carano, who celebrated her first submission by running around the cage. “After reversing her, I considered standing up. But I’ve been practicing working on top, so I just went through with it.”

It’s apparent the moment you meet Carano that she’s the epitome of strength; a strong woman: mentally, spiritually and physically. Yes, she is more than a pretty face. And the Muay Thai specialist also is smart enough to know she had better not underestimate Young.

“I don’t take anyone lightly,’’ said Carano, who trains at Xtreme Couture gym and also recently re-signed with EliteXC. “I’ve got a big target on me.’’

Carano, who’s not afraid to hit or get hit, garnered national notoriety in 2007 for her quote: “We’re not hitting tennis balls. We’re hitting people. Isn’t that more exciting?”

The talented Young, a devastating striker with excellent skills and a solid Muay Thai background, is excited about getting the chance to test her skills against Carano.

“I’m totally pumped,’’ Young said. “Gina always comes to fight and doesn’t seem to have an off day. I think on paper we are probably even. One of my greatest advantages is definitely that I have a very aggressive striking style. I think it’s more aggressive than Gina’s.’’

Young won her pro debut with a second-round TKO on Oct. 4, 2007, and then gained instant notoriety the following Nov. 24 by registering three devastating first-round knockouts to win a HOOKnSHOOT eight-woman, single night tournament in Indiana. Total fight time: 1:53.

Baroni is a flamboyant, trash-talking, KO artist who exploded on the scene in 2001.

MMA fans may love or hate him, but they can’t ignore a true showman and personality who always makes for entertaining, memorable, non-stop slugfests. His entrance alone, some say, is worth the price of admission. He is of the best interviews in all of sports.

With his pulverizing punching power and dynamic energy that triggers an edgy persona, Baroni truly believes — sometimes until his very last breath — that he’s going to win every time.

Baroni, who’s fought the best, may not always back up his words but he’s tough and courageous and one would be hard-pressed to find a fan seated during one of his fights.

“I am sick and tired of what’s been going on and someone’s going to pay and that someone is Villasenor,’’ said Baroni, who has lost two in a row (both were world title fights). “I am going to knock the s— out of Villasenor and then go after one of the champions again.’’

Villasenor is a well-conditioned, determined, battle-tested, well-rounded veteran who’s always been willing to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere.

“I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me,’’ said a native of Albuquerque, N.M., and a protégé of MMA guru, Greg Jackson. “You can bet there will be a lot of fireworks in this one.’’

A former King of the Cage champion, Villasenor enters this one with momentum, having won his last two starts, including an exciting 4:45, first-round knockout over Ryan Jensen in a rousing battle that featured numerous exchanges on March 29, 2008, in San Jose, Calif.

“He caught me with some shots but then I really connected with that right hook,’’ said

Villasenor, who stopped Jensen with a series of combinations followed by the punishing right.

Rogers, a big, scary, intimidating sort, will be making his third consecutive appearance for EliteXC. “I’m extremely happy working for them,’’ he said. “EliteXC is a great organization and nothing compares to how I’ve been treated by them. They definitely take care of their guys.’’

The hard-hitting six-foot-five, 27-year-old Rogers has ended his last four fights in the first round. Only one of the relative newcomer’s fights has made it to the second.

“When I touch you with my fists, you are going down,’’ said Rogers, a member of Team Bison who has only been training two years.

Rogers got involved in MMA to keep him off the streets. “Life for me has never been easy,’’ he said. “I’d always lived in bad areas, terrible environments, first where I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and then in Minnesota where I moved to in 1992.

“You had no choice but to learn to pick things up. I’m a patient man but everyone has a breaking point. But I knew it was better to train and fight pro then fight on the streets. If I am going to fight, it had better be for the right reasons and get me paid.’’

Murphy scored a career-best 0:19, second-round knockout over Dave Huckaba in his last outing on Aug. 25, 2007, in Jackson, Miss. He dropped Huckaba with a series of punches, the most damaging of which were four vicious right hands.

The following December the former middle linebacker at Syracuse University underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Murphy was back in the gym by early January ‘08. Before resuming training, however, he had a complete hair makeover.

On New Year’s Day, Murphy, who hadn’t seen the inside of a barbershop since October ‘05, shaved his shoulder-length hair and donated it to Locks Of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to children under 18 who suffer from long-term medical hair loss.

“I had known about them for about a year,’’ Murphy said. “It took a while for my hair to grow the required 10 inches it took to donate. I wound up donating about 15 inches.’’


EliteXC Heavyweight Sensation, Kimbo Slice, Will Headline an Exciting Night of Mixed Martial Arts

Middleweight Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will Defend His Title Against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith

KimboLOS ANGELES, March 20 — CBS and ProElite, Inc. today announced that the first live primetime mixed martial arts event will be broadcast Saturday, May 31 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be broadcast live from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“We’re excited to introduce broadcast television viewers to America’s fastest growing sport with this prime time event,” said Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime. “EliteXC is putting together a lineup card that showcases the unique personalities, world-class athleticism, and raw power and emotion that characterizes mixed martial arts.”

Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will put his title on the line against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith in a middleweight championship bout. EliteXC heavyweight phenom, Kimbo Slice, will also participate in the May 31 event along with other stars from mixed martial arts. Additional matchups will be announced at a later date.

“I am very happy for the highly trained fighters, who will finally get the kind of exposure they deserve, and, of course, the viewers, who will get the opportunity to learn that MMA is truly a sport that requires an abundance of skills, both mentally and physically,” said Gary Shaw, EliteXC Live Events President.

CBS and ProElite, Inc., a Los Angeles-based leading entertainment and media company that produces world class mixed martial arts (MMA) events, announced last month they were teaming up to bring MMA to a major broadcast television network for the first time. CBS will broadcast four MMA events per year, produced by ProElite’s EliteXC fight division, as two-hour live primetime specials.

Mixed martial arts is a sport evolved from a number of ancient combat disciplines including judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, wrestling and kickboxing. World-class athletes engage in hand-to-hand combat in a ring — both caged and traditional — and must adapt their fighting style to fit their opponent. The wide variety of styles and techniques make every event an unpredictable spectacle.

Kimbo vs Tank photos and quotes

Only 1 more day to Kimbo’s fight with Tank and I must confess it’s growing on me. I really look forward to seeing what on earth will happen. Here are some training photos and a few quotes from the final presser. Does anyone think Tank (+370) has any chance of lasting a minute (-450), nevermind winning.





“Tank is full of (poop) if he thinks I can’t take his punches. I’m bringing the whole thing to the cage. I am bringing the hood with me to this cage.

“This fight means a lot to not only me but the entire city. This is big time. That is why I am going to break his rib, break his nose, break his arm.

“Mentally, I’m going to have to bring some extra earmuffs to try and stay focused. The crowd is going to go crazy, but I am going to have to stay focused.

“There are a lot of things in my arsenal I am going to try to use. If he’s a tad bit slow, I’m going to hurt him. I’ve trained with the best. It is going to be a long fight for him, or a short night.

“There is no extra pressure to get the KO. Nothing concerns me with Tank. I’m not overly concerned at all. I am prepared for whatever he is going to do.

“My family drives me to succeed. As long as I have all my limbs there is going to be a way. The right hand is for his top lip, the left hand is for his bottom lip.

“Bas (Rutten) is a mentor of mine. Anything Tank has to say about Bas, I am going to take it personal. I am going to make him pay for his words.

“Tank has a very big mouth. He needs to be careful about what he says. We take a lot of things personal. I just hope I don’t run into him before the fight starts. I want to settle this in the cage.


“Training has just evolved for this fight more than for any of my other opponents. I have taken it very seriously.

“Kimbo is tough streetwise, but he is behind the times as far as putting it all together. The only thing he has done that is only remotely close to me is he has been in a few street fights. And I don’t even consider those fights.

“Kimbo is going to get hurt, that’s for sure. The way I am and the shape I’m in right now I can’t fathom a human being who can take five minutes of my shots. I am on fire right now.

“I think it is funny that he’s got Bas Rutten to train him. This is a real fight, not a slap-fest. He should have gotten a real fighter to train him. Training with Bas is better than nothing. But you either have it or you don’t. Technique doesn’t make you tough.

I think the guy has guts and heart. But as far as toughness, you either have it or you don’t. You can’t teach toughness.

“I think Kimbo’s motivation is to be on TV or on the Internet. I think that is why he fights. Me? I have been in over 200 street fights to various degrees, ranging from knocking a guy out at a stop light to sending someone to the ICU for a week. I fight because I love it.

“There’s nothing he can do, barring a lucky punch, to beat me. I’ve been wrestling, grappling, fighting — you name it — for 20 years. What’s he going to do? There’s nothing about his game that worries me. This is what I love to do. I like to fight. I like it because I can’t go to jail for it.

“If you make a strategy to fight someone you are developing little crutches for yourself. I don’t have a plan.

“It’s just going to be a beating, unless something bizarre happens. Where I am right now there is no man alive who can take five minutes of my punches.

“Everybody gives me (poop) about my shape. I can do 15 minutes on my head holding my breath.


Kimbo Spars




















Kimbo trains for Tank






LOS ANGELES (Jan. 9, 2008) — Fans seeking to participate in perhaps the biggest, most significant fight card in the history of mixed martial arts in Florida will have the opportunity to reserve their spots beginning this Friday, Jan. 11, when tickets to EliteXC’s tremendous mega-event on Saturday, Feb. 16, will go on sale.

Kimbo Slice pictureTickets for a spectacular 10-bout event start at $35 and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the BankUnited Box Office at the University of Miami.

In a long-awaited, much-anticipated grudge match that figures to be an absolute slugfest, the incredibly popular pride of Perrine, Fla., and hometown hero, Kimbo Slice, will face David “Tank’’ Abbott, of Huntington Beach, Calif., in the main event on SHOWTIME.

It will be the second professional MMA fight for Kimbo, the legendary Internet street fighter and YouTube sensation who scored a smashing 19-second, first-round knockout in his Street-to-Elite debut.

“With these hands I can part the sea. With these hands I feed the family,’’ Kimbo said.

Tank, of Huntington Beach, Calif., is a feared knockout artist and notorious bad boy and trash-talker. A veteran who has never turned down a fight, Tank has called out Kimbo on numerous occasions, including after Kimbo’s EliteXC and MMA debut in November. Tank is supremely confident he will send home Kimbo and his fans unhappy.

Besides Kimbo, The Sunshine State will be represented with other local favorites and MMA standouts — Antonio “Big Foot’’ Silva, Charles “Krazy Horse’’ Bennett and Edson Berto.

The promising Silva, a Brazilian who lives in Coconut Creek, Fla., is considered by many to be one of the world’s top heavyweights. Berto, of Tampa, the brother of top boxing contender, Andre Berto, will meet Yves Edwards of Conroe, Tex., in a fight at 160 pounds and “Krazy Horse,’’ of Ocala, who owns a knockout victory over current EliteXC 160-pound world champion KJ Noons, will be opposed by an opponent to be determined.

In other fights: England’s James “The Colossus’’ Thompson will face unbeaten Brett Rogers of Minneapolis in a heavyweight match and Australian Kyle “KO’’ Noke, the bodyguard of the late Steve “Crocodile Hunter’’ Irwin, will take on Scott Smith of Sacramento, Calif., in a solid matchup at 185 pounds.

The SHOWTIME portion of the card will begin at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

For more information on EliteXC and other MMA-related stories, including bios, video-on-demand, photos, stats, Fantasy Fight Game TM and more, please visit ProElite.com and EliteXC.com