EliteXC: Lawler vs. Smith II – The Good And Bad

If you watched the EliteXC: Lawler vs. Smith II card on CBS, then you watched, for the most part, an entertaining event for 2 hours or so.  Here are some observations on the card, in general:

Good: Mauro Rannallo.  Rannallo, former PRIDE announcer/analyst, did a fairly decent job and lent some credibility to the broadcast.  He helped temper the hyper-active announcing of Gus Johnson.  Bring him back, please.

Bad: Frank Shamrock‘s “MMA For Dummies” segment.  It was OK for the inaugural event, as there are some casual fans, who at that time, may not have known about some of the MMA terminology.  Frank, I think they know all about it by now.  Enough already.  I suppose it could’ve been worse – they could’ve had Kurt Angle doing the segment.  Another thing – Frank needs to lose those butt-ugly braces (grill?); that’s why they invented Invisalign.

Good: The interviews with Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano.  Especially talking to Slice made him more human than the press has, until recently, made him out to be.

Bad: Bad, only because it made EliteXC look bad – the moment where Cristiane Cyborg celebrated prematurely before she finally disposed of Shayna Baszler.  Referee Steve Mazzagatti yelling, “Hey, hey!!” to Cyborg – while funny, magnifies the need for Cyborg to have a translator in her corner or near the ring.

Good: The pro-Nick Diaz crowd at Stockton Arena.  Every good card has a hometown hero – or as close to a hometown hero as possible.  That “2-0-9” chant was classic.

Bad: The crowd at the Stockton Arena.  This isn’t a knock on the crowd whatsoever; they booed at, in my humble opinion, the wrong time during certain key moments of some of the matches.  This isn’t a criticism at all – it’s just a matter of the crowd getting more opportunities to see MMA cards in Stockton, as that market doesn’t seem to be get enough MMA events on an annual basis.

Overall, a pretty decent card.  The announcing improved markedly, they ditched the dancing girl routine, and unlike Affliction, they didn’t have some rock and roll band to detract from the action in the cage.  I do, however, sense that EliteXC will need to add more talent to their roster.  Anyone who has followed EliteXC has at least a working knowledge as to who Gina Carano, Kimbo Slice, Scott Lawler and Brett Rogers are.  And someone needs to step up and be the face of the promotion, just like Dana White is with the UFC.  The Shaws don’t need to be so incognito in promoting their events.  EliteXC, at the very least, has something to build on as they roll into Ft. Lauderdale, FL in October; hopefully, they can improve as each event transpires.

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