EliteXC’s inaugural event kicked off on Saturday February 10th from the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven Mississippi. The event was televised live on Showtime with the undercard broadcast exclusively on ProElite.com.
Credit Tom Casino on all photos.
(SOUTHAVEN, MS) February 11, 2007 – In the historic first EliteXC MMA event ever shown live on premium television, Renzo Gracie and Frank Shamrock capped an exciting night of fights at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss. Female MMA star Gina Carano demonstrated her prowess and mixed skills as she registered a crowd pleasing win over Julie Kedzie. A capacity crowd of 7,200 and many more watching from coast to coast on SHOWTIME witnessed the newest phenomenon in professional sports.
In the anticipated main event, legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Renzo Gracie won his bout with pioneer Frank Shamrock when Shamrock was disqualified (DQ) in the second round for illegal knees to the head.
Gracie, who took Shamrock down early and often, was in control from the outset.
In the second, Gracie used a leg sweep to drop Shamrock for a second time in the round and almost had his opponent in full mount.
From side control, Gracie was working for submission when Shamrock curled his back and delivered consecutive blows to the back of the head. Veteran referee Herb Dean, after warning Shamrock, broke the fighters and Gracie reeled in pain.
After five minutes of recovery time, Gracie could not continue and Dean determined it was intentional.
“Tonight was ‘Destiny’ and the destiny of the Shamrock and Gracie families’ continues,” said President of Live Events for EliteXC, Gary Shaw. “It was a great night of fights on SHOWTIME and we look forward to our next fight in our series of events together.”
“I was telling him I was going to stand up and knock him out,” said a stunned Shamrock after the bout. “I think he started to believe it and I just quit.
“I am old school and I came here to fight. I apologize to the fans for this finish. I’ll fight him again, anytime. I will fight any of the Gracies.’’
After Gracie was escorted out of the cage, his cousin Caesar addressed the audience: “These aren’t bar fights. We have rules to protect these fighters. They are professionals. You can’t knee to the head in the United States and that’s that.”
“Anyone that knows the heart and will of the Gracie family knows that he had to have suffered some serious damage,” said SHOWTIME play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo. “This is not settled. These two warriors will do it again.” In a super heavyweight bout, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva, who weighed in at 298 pounds on Friday, used his enormous and surprisingly swift hands to overwhelm a very tough and hard-headed Wesley “Cabbage” Correira by first round TKO.
Silva, fighting out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, delivered a high knee to the head that rocked “Cabbage” midway through the first. “Cabbage” went down and the big Brazilian jumped on him reigning blows to the head. The referee stopped the fight due to blows at 3:49 of the first.
Veteran “Smokin” Joe Villasenor handed David “The Crow” Loiseau his third straight loss with a decisive, unanimous decision in their middleweight contest. Villasenor displayed improved striking skills and quality defense through the match, but it was his clinching and repeated slams that depleted Loiseau. The fighters spent nearly half of the match that ended in a unanimous decision, on the ground.
In another historic first for MMA on television, pro fighters Gina Carano and Julie Kedzie met in the cage to engage in three exciting rounds in the first women’s MMA fight ever televised in North America.
Carano dominated the match behind a skillful jab and a powerful right hand to earn a unanimous decision. Kedzie, a former Hook N’ Shoot champion, absorbed several punishing blows in each round and was unable to get control on the ground. Kedzie showed incredible resiliency throughout the bout and grace in defeat. “You know, I read a lot of criticism of Gina on the Internet,” said Kedzie after the bout. “Let me tell you something. Gina is one of the toughest fighters out there.”
Shaw said, “Gina fought like a true champion and all of us at EliteXC are proud to have her as part of our family and we look forward to featuring her in the future.”
After a bout that drew a standing ovation and found the fighters center ring embraced in a salute to one another, Carano was asked about the impact of this match on the future of the sport.
“I don’t know, let’s ask them,” she said, addressing the adoring crowd. “You guys want to see some more of this again? Yeah. I just want to say to all women, live your dream. Don’t let anyone tell you, ‘No’.”
Kedzie added, “I think I showed that women fighters are here to stay and we’re going to be around for along time.”
In the opening bout of the night, lightweight street fighter Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett knocked out previously undefeated K.J. Noons in the first round.
Noons, the favorite coming in, is relatively new to MMA and holds great promise as a well-rounded fighter. However, the unpredictable and dangerous Bennett packs dynamite in his fists and fire in his eyes. He caught the 24-year old Noons with a devastating right hook to the jaw. With Noons on the mat clearly dazed, Bennett jumped on him and landed an additional punch to the head before the referee waved it off at 3:43; a startling upset first-round KO.
Bennett celebrated his victory with his patented back flip off the top of the cage into the center of the ring.
“Victory and humility go hand and hand,” said the showman Bennett facetiously. “I faked him (with the body shot). Then I dropped him. Oh, I knew I was going to knock him out. I ate a couple of his punches, but I have a hard head.”
The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast was David Dinkins, Jr. with eight-time Emmy Award winner John Faratzis directing. MMA veteran play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo called the action cageside with Bill Goldberg and Jay Glazer serving as color analysts.
This continues a partnership of ProElite Inc. and Showtime Networks; the premium television network which recently invested in the MMA company.
Visit www.ProElite.com for exclusive photos, video and information on upcoming events.
RED CORNER BLUE CORNER(Middleweight Bout)Gracie by Disqualification in 2:00 min of 2nd Round FRANK SHAMROCK VS. RENZO GRACIESan Jose, CA Rio De Janeiro, Brazil(21-7-1, 2 KOs/13 Subs) (12-6-1, 2 KOs, 7 Subs)
(Heavyweight Bout)Silva by TKO (Strikes) in 3:49 min of 1st RoundANTONIO SILVA VS. WESLEY CORREIRARio De Janeiro, Brazil Hilo, HI(7-1, 7 KOs) (18-11, 14 KOs/2 Subs)
(Middleweight Bout)Villasenor by Unanimous Decision of 30-27DAVID LOISEAU VS. JOEY VILLASENORMontreal, Canada Albuquerque, NM (14-6, 9 KOs/2 Subs) (22-5, 10 KOs/10 Subs)
(Women’s max 140-lbs.)Carano by Unanimous Decision of 29-28 / 30-27GINA CARANO VS. JULIE KEDZIELas Vegas, NV Indianapolis, Indiana(3-0, 2 KOs) (8-4, 2 Subs)
(Lightweight Bout)Bennett by KO in 3:43 min of 1st RoundKJ NOONS VS. CHARLES BENNETTSan Diego, CA Orlando, FL(3-0, 3 KOs) (16-13-2, 10 KOs/3 Subs)
Official Undercard Results
Live from ProElite.com
RED CORNER BLUE CORNER(Middleweight Bout)Fukuda by Submission in 1:18 min of 1st RoundCHRIS GATES VS. RIKI FUKUDAPontotoc, MS Tokyo, Japan (6-2, 2 Kos, 4 Subs) (6-2, 4 KOs)
(Lightweight Bout)Berto by KO in 2:27 min of 2nd RoundJOHN-DAVID SHACKELFORD VS. EDSON BERTO Memphis, TN Winter Haven, FL(*7-4, 5 Subs) *pro & amateur (10-3-1, 4 KOs/6 Subs)
(Lightweight Bout)Vazquez by Split Decision 29-28 Vazquez; 29-27 NasalADRIANO NASAL VS. JAVIER VAZQUEZMemphis, Tenn/Rio de Janeiro Pomona, CA(4-1, 3 Subs) (10-2, 1 KO/6 Subs)
(Welterweight Bout)Pyle by Submission in Rear Naked Choke Hold 1:55 min of 1st RoundMIKE PYLE VS. ROSS EBANEZMemphis, TN Hilo, HI(11-3-1, 2 KOs/9 Subs) (13-4-1, 5 KOs/ 2 Subs)
(Heavyweight Bout)Persey by KO 1:33 min of 1st RoundTIM PERSEY VS. BO CANTRELLIrvine, CA Citrus Heights, CA(8-1, 6 KOs/2 Subs) (10-5, 6 KOs/4 Subs)