Elite XC: Sometimes Settling is a Bad Thing
Everyone is guilty of settling, whether it be settling for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonalds because a Jack in the Box isn't conveniently located near, or settling on that somewhat cute girl who has had a crush on you for years over the hot girl that won't give you a chance.
The point is, we all do it. Gary Shaw's Elite XC was supposed to be that fill in, the equivalent to WWE's Raw or Smackdown, even though we all know that the great matches are going to go down on whatever pay-per-view they show.
Unfortunately, Gary Shaw isn't that guy with the brain power or knowledge to go head to head with the juggernaut UFC, and even at this point I wouldn't even match it against the WEC or IFL.
Settling on the Elite XC is pretty much the equivalent of settling on the fat girl at the bar who is sitting by herself because no other girl would give you a chance.
In the world of boxing, Gary Shaw plays a distant third to the likes of Bob Arum and Don King with Golden Boy Promotions quickly passing him. He never had the fire power or smarts to hang with the big boys, or the ambition to take boxing in a different level, which most boxing fans have been begging for, for years.
For example, for every Marquez-Vasquez classic, he gives us the likes of Antonio Tarver-Chad Dawson, or even better, Roy Jones-Anthony Hanshaw and then has the nerve to put that one on pay-per-view.
In comparison, Dana White gives quality matches that the fans want to see, and challenges fighters to fight the best fights possible or get out of the UFC. The best example of that is Cro Crop. Gary Shaw gave a couple of name fighters who either are UFC rejects, or fighters that the UFC just doesn't want.
In the end, logically speaking, there is a reason why Elite XC lost $27 million last year, and once the novelty of watching MMA on network TV wears off, people will notice a difference between promotions, and the quality they provide.
The Kimbo Slice circus isn't Kimbo's fault. A check on his background will let you know that he is going to get whatever he can, however he can. If you don't know his background, a strip club bouncer, a body guard for a porn company, street fighting/YouTube legend, and before all of that, a man that called the backseat of a 1987 Pathfinder home.
So with that being said, who can blame him for riding the wave? Even though in reality the Kimbo Slice circus shows how much vision that Gary Shaw lacks, and makes a case that he is just trying to cash in on the MMA craze while CBS is just trying to catch a piece of the coveted 18-34 demographic, and nothing else. Otherwise, money before quality.
Because quality would mean that the best heavyweight in Elite XC, Antonio Silva, would be getting some exposure, even though his last fight against Ricco Rodriguez was a snoozer. The question is, how long does Gary Shaw think we, the fans, are going to be patient?
We are going to demand that he fight someone whose biggest splash in MMA was a loss to Aleksander Emelienko in Pride. We are going to demand that he fight Ricco Rodriguez or Antonio Silva.
However, going on what we saw last night, his ground game isn't there, even though I was just happy to know that he knows how to pull guard. His conditioning wasn't there.
Even though his punches were accurate for the most part, he left himself open most of the night. He wouldn't make it three rounds with Rodriguez, and Silva would make him look silly. In the end, Kimbo, get what you can get. Enjoy your 15 minutes.
I could go on and on about last nights debacle, the camera work, the commentary, the fighters, I am going to say that it wasn't all bad, but it wasn't anywhere near all good.
Luckily, the WEC, who is owned by UFC parent company Zuffa will give us fight fans what we need to wash out the nasty taste of last night, as Uriah Faber and Jens Pulver will throw down n the most anticipated featherweight fight in recent memory.
As far as competition for the UFC, hopefully the July 19 Affliction pay-per-view will show us something, as the world's consensus No. 1 heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko, will be the headline the promotion's first card, and has the look and feel of a Pride card.
If Elite XC is going to be a company that challenges the UFC for MMA supremacy, it has to realize that Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was the UFC.
The flop that was last night's card is only going to ensure that not only will Gary Shaw's promotion will not make it to the end of the year, it won't win any more MMA fans.
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