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Controversial endings put damper on EliteXC's CBS debut - Boxing - CBSSports.com MMA, Results, News
Controversial endings put damper on EliteXC's CBS debutJune 1, 2008
By Denny Burkholder
CBSSports.com Staff Writer
It was a fight promoter's worst nightmare.
In the most important event of EliteXC's existence, the story of Saturday's debut broadcast on CBS was not that Kimbo Slice smashed his opponent in under two minutes -- he didn't. It wasn't even who walked out with a victory in the show's only title match -- nobody did. Neither champion nor challenger earned the W.
The story of Saturday Night Fights was quick stoppages. And while that's hardly the fault of the fighters or the promoter, it's still no way to send the fans home happy. That's not EliteXC's fault, but it's still their problem.
Kimbo Slice came into his main event fight with James Thompson telling reporters that he still considers himself a baby in the sport, with plenty left to learn despite his off-the-charts hype. He proved his humble talk correct by struggling to keep up with Thompson on the ground and needing until Round 3 to put away "Colossus" despite rendering him wobbly several times.
Slice gets to test his ground game vs. Thompson. (AP) Slice (3-0 overall, 3-0 EliteXC) rushed toward Thompson at the start of the first round, neutralizing Thompson's trademark gong-and-dash strategy. Slice landed some solid strikes on Thompson early, but didn't overwhelm him the way he has each of his past opponents. Thompson (14-9, 0-2 EliteXC) even appeared on the verge of being knocked out at times, but survived either by forcing a clinch, attempting a takedown, or through Slice's own failure to capitalize when Thompson was vulnerable.
Thompson and Slice wound up on the ground numerous times. Slice showed some ability to escape at first, but later found himself eating soft punches on the ground and not being able to answer the strikes or better his position. Slice appeared to tire out from the constant grappling. Finally, in the third round, he nailed Thompson with a right that burst his cauliflower ear and caused blood to pour from Thompson's head instantly. A few strikes later, the fight was waved off, and Slice awarded the victory.
Thompson was so frustrated with the stoppage that he shoved the ref.
In stark contrast to the raucous ovation Slice received in Miami in February after knocking out Tank Abbott, there were audible boos from the audience after this win.
"I know I busted his ear," an exhausted Slice said after the fight. "The ref did a good job, because I was going to aim for it again."
Commenting on his struggle to put up a fight from the ground, Slice reiterated that he still has a lot to learn.
"I didn't underestimate him, but I didn't know he was going to be that strong on the ground."
The co-main event title fight pitting middleweight champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler against Scott Smith was shaping up to be a classic until an accidental finger to the eye -- and a cautious ringside doctor -- resulted in an anticlimactic early stoppage, and neither man awarded the victory.
Lawler rocked Smith near the end of the first round and left Smith with .....see link for more.
Last edited by Wesley; 06-02-2008 at 08:21 AM.
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