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The early reviews for EXC on CBS are in…

By Zach Arnold | May 31, 2008

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Kimbo Slice’s fight is the top headline on Yahoo’s front page

I’ll post some personal thoughts on the show soon, but one interesting trend I am already spotting… the show is generally getting positive or neutral coverage in the broadsheet media, whereas it is getting ripped apart by hardcore MMA writers and fans.

  1. MMA Predictions: Breakdown of EXC on CBS
  2. AOL Fanhouse: Brett Rogers calls Kimbo’s fight ‘garbage’ and claims that Kimbo tapped out in his fight
  3. TV By the Numbers: MMA on CBS, best in low definition!
  4. Yardbarker: Likes and dislikes for the EXC CBS broadcast
  5. Greg Cote (Miami Herald): Can’t MMA fans play nice?
  6. New York Newsday: Kimbo, Carano earn TKO wins and so their stars shine on…
  7. Sherdog: Kimbo survives scare in Jersey
  8. The Newark Star-Ledger: Gina Carano lives up to hype in win
  9. The Newark Star-Ledger: Kimbo gives CBS slice of victory
  10. The Dayton Daily News: Sponsorship issue proves MMA not yet mainstream
  11. The Associated Press: Kimbo had his hands full with The Colossus
  12. CBS Sports: Controversial endings put damper on EXC’s CBS debut
  13. Sports Illustrated: Carano’s KO adds spice to male-dominated EXC card
  14. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel: MMA a sport? Yes, well, sort of
  15. Brent Brookhouse: I’m Sorry…
  16. Five Ounces of Pain: Pros and Cons of EXC on CBS
  17. Jared Barnes: Refereeing at the EXC show was abysmal
  18. MMA Opinion: CBS Saturday Night Fights delivers
  19. The Bleacher Report: EXC fixed — Kimbo Slice wins a rigged match

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “The early reviews for EXC on CBS are in…”

  1. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Before I turn in, I just want to extend an olive branch of peace, and say that I hope we can all make up and be civil in the morning. It’s just one show, and we’ve got a great card coming up Sunday night.

  2. IceMuncher says:

    MMA Opinion gave it a 9/10? I’m flabbergasted. I can understand people arguing that “it wasn’t as bad as you guys say it was”, but I cannot see how it could possibly be considered a “superb MMA show”.

    They need to watch the WEC show tomorrow, then re-watch EXC and give it a proper rating.

  3. Hawk says:

    Or you could try not comparing a show that just happened to a show that has not happened yet.

    Just a thought.

  4. Terry Querns says:

    oh my god, kevin iole didn’t like a non-ufc show and wrote a column ripping it. what a giant surprise

  5. IceMuncher says:

    Judging from every WEC show I’ve seen in the past year, and knowing the fighters in the main event, I can say with all the confidence in the world that it’ll be better than EXC was. Substantially. After watching the WEC, then comparing it to EXC, I think even the stubbornest of EXC supporters will start to realize just how bad that show really was.

  6. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:


    You’d think so, but I kind of doubt it. There’s a strong contingent of ABZs out there (Anybody But Zuffa). Right, wrong, they have their opinion, and I have mine. Continuing to argue with those specific people is kind of fruitless.

    Thankfully there are a lot of people around who are willing to step back and see that, yes, Yamma Pit Fighting was indeed shit.

  7. TCT says:

    I can imagine Dana White watching the event, pulling out his hair and screaming “wtf r u guis doin 2 my sport??????????????? NOOOOOOOOOO:((((((((((((“

  8. Leslie says:

    Jeremy (not that Jeremy),

    I might be close to an ABZ, only because UFC production values/showmanship/atmosphere are garbage (as is clearly shown in every EXC show, especially tonight), but I watch all MMA that I can find and think I judge it fairly. I often enjoy UFC, but I’ll say easily that the Dream, Cage Rage, EXC, and WEC are better. Top talent doesn’t always make for top shows. I’d rather watch two young guys, or two down on their luck guys let it all hang out than two superstars play it safe for 3-5 rounds. I can’t blame them with all the money and fame on the line, but there’s a clear difference in the raw hunger between an average non-UFC fighter, and a UFC fighter. Same thing you see in a lot of sports, and most clearly in Pro Wrestling.

    I enjoyed everything about last nights show except the refs. I can’t imagine how people are trashing this show with the number of exciting fights and knockouts just because of couple of disappointing ref calls. After all, did any of you stop watching the show before the Kimbo fight? Before the stoppage of said fight? No, you were on the edge of your seat the entire time and now I think a number of “hardcore MMAers” are trying to get their “I told you so’s” in without just admitting that they stayed in till midnight on a Saturday, wide eyed, watching Kimbo Slice be challenged.

    It was a compelling fight and a compelling story with a disappointing ending. It happens, I just hope people get perspective and treat this like they would a UFC card with a couple of bad calls but fights that were all exciting from beginning to end.

    I’m not surprised, but disappointed, by both the live crowd and the internet mob in their reaction. This was a big night for the sport, the fights were good, the main event was shockingly entertaining and a couple of lame ref calls shouldn’t change that.

    I think the fix talk needs to end as well. There was no need to fix that fight. Thompson couldn’t finish it, if he won it would have been by some split decision. Kimbo would not have lost any face or marketing potential by going down to a savvy grappler in such a way. Also, I think calling that a 10-8 round is just as bullshit as calling it 10-9 for Kimbo, so apparently the goons who threatened the refs got their signals crossed.

  9. Jimmy Allcorn says:

    Well, the happiest man in America this morning is certainly Dana White!

    And, for once, I can’t blame him & won’t begrudge him his moment in the sun. I mean, who else can do their company so much good by simply being a bystander & letting the “other guy” shoot himself in the foot?

    Last night’s event wasn’t the worst MMA card I’ve ever seen ( Yamma & the infamous Canadian disaster known as EFC 2 from WAY back in 1996 hold those “honors” ), but it was enough of a disappointment that I fully expect CBS to NOT renew their clause for a second show. No matter what the ratings might have been.

    Seriously, I don’t think that middle America was ready for what it saw from EliteXC last night. Because, if it left a bad taste in my mouth ( someone who’s been a die hard follower, supporter & even pratitioner of MMA since it’s birth in 1993 ), I seriously doubt if most of the other mainstream viewers enjoyed what they saw.

  10. ad says:

    I thought the card was very entertaining and very reminiscent of Pride in a way with the great action, focus on “entertainment” and questionable refereeing. I would certainly rather see any fight on that card last night than 2 UFC blankets lying on top of each other and dropping cheap elbows which is what the UFC has become more or less.

  11. ad says:

    O, and if the prefight HD closeups of Thompson’s ear were not amazing enough getting to watch it explode in HD was very very funny and extremely satisfying. Viva EliteXC!

  12. cyph says:

    You obviously haven’t watched UFC 84.

    Basically you’re saying: I’d rather watch mismatches, WWE fake entertainment, one sided refereeing, fixes, screw jobs, etc., over any fights in the UFC because I hate Dana White with a passion.

    Are we missing anything?

  13. THE HUNTER says:

    Leave it to a Pride apologist to start the cheers about how the ‘entertainment aspect’ and ‘questionable referreeing’ are great elements to a MMA show.


  14. Wha?!!

    To each their own ad, but if you couldn’t recognize the difference in quality between last night’s show & the previous week’s UFC, then something’s wrong with your eyesight. Seriously.

    I’m far from being a shill for the UFC, but DAMN, there’s just no comparing the two.

  15. Leslie says:

    Why are people holding up UFC 84 as some pinnacle of entertainment. Ortiz vs Machida wasn’t exactly riveting, neither was Sherk vs Penn for that matter. I enjoyed the return of Chute Boxe violence, but it was only a few seconds out of a 3 hour show. The show was good, but UFC’s put on much better. I enjoyed the 3 back and forth fights at the top of the card (in spite of disappointing ends for 2) more than the fights on 84. Now if we were comparing it to the last TUF season finale that would be something.

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    One of the judges gave the second round to Kimbo. The fix was most certainly in.

    Gary Shaw has brought his corrupt boxing to MMA. Too many weird things happen on his shows to say otherwise.

  17. Leslie says:

    45 Huddle,

    One of the judges also gave the 2nd round 10-8 to Thompson. That’s a pretty crappy fix, and giving him that round by two points is fishier than anything else that happened last night.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    That round was closer to 10-8 for Thompson then it was 10-9 for Kimbo… Especially after almost 2 minutes of unanswered blows.

  19. Fan Futbol says:

    Not a good show. Not boring, but not top level MMA. The stoppage of the Lawler-Smith fight was terrible; Smith was saying he couldn’t see *at the beginning* of his five minutes. That’s why he should have gotten five minutes!

    Plus, Lawler was the most skilled fighter on the show, and I would have liked to see if he could have finished Smith.


  20. Rollo the Cat says:


    The trend you noticed may actually help the UFC, or at least some other RESPECTABLE company, to get a network deal. The show went over ok with the uneducated which means it may be safe to put on the air. The smart folks hated it which means they need to get some real fights, fighters and promotions on TV instead.

    I can only pray.

    I won’t spend time howling about last night. I said this would happen and it did. Yes, it is even worse than people think. But it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I am so happy it is over. OVER!…for now.

  21. cyph says:

    UFC 84 VS Elite XC

    Machida VS Ortiz was an awesome display of technical fighting. If you don’t like technical battles, then it may not be exciting for you. This was the best fight of UFC 84 for me. It also showed who is at the top of the light heavy division.

    Penn VS Sherk was not as competitive, but we saw two top level lightweights determining who the best lightweight in the world is. Did any fights at EliteXC determine anything in the MMA pecking order?

    Kimbo VS Thompson was a bout between two lackluster fighters with bad cardio and a horrible ground game. If Thompson had any power in his punch, or skilled in submission, Kimbo would’ve been done in the first round. Add in the one-sided ref job and you got a disaster.

    Gina VS Young was competitive only in the first round. After that, Gina’s muay thai skill took over and it wasn’t even close. The skill level was apparent right away. Oh yeah, the winner didn’t make weight.

    Lawler VS Smith was a good fight that ended with a ridiculous stoppage. However, this was a one-dimensional fight with strikers who’s punches were more effective than their kicks, and there was hardly any display of a ground game. However, this was a good fight, nonetheless.

    Compare that with Goveia vs Reljic, an awesome technical fight with great stand up, punches and kicks, to great ground and pound, and submission defense.

    Silva VS Jardine shows what a definitive end is and how a superior MMA fighter finish his fights, no praying for an early stoppage by a biased referee. It may be short, but it’s the epitome of the forceful and unpredictable nature of MMA.

    Thiago VS Mendes showed the ebb and flow of great fighters can come back from near defeat, and how skill can overcome near flash KOs. It also signal the emergence of a new top ten light heavy.

    The rest of preliminaries on UFC 84 gave us a glimpse of how talented and good the new UFC fighters are. All fights end in great technical display, never say die determination (Jason Tan), and no fighter had suspect cardio.

    Need I go on?

  22. Leslie says:

    “Machida VS Ortiz was an awesome display of technical fighting.”

    It was a display of UFC wasting Machida’s time and trying to cash in on a no longer game Tito once more. It was just as one sided as the Penn fight. I’m not on the “Machida is boring” bandwagon, but that fight was boring. Machida is, of course, much more skilled than Kimbo and Thompson put together, but he can’t put on a better fight by himself. Lack of skills doesn’t mean it’s a bad fight. It’s often the opposite.

    I’d have to go back and watch UFC 84 again to remember the lower matches, and I think that says enough. I have been in MMA overload this week catching up on Cage Rage, Dream, Strikeforce, EXC, IFL, and everything else. UFC 84 is probably one of the 2 or 3 least memorable cards of the 12 or so I’ve recently watched.

    Again, UFC has had some stellar shows but I didn’t think 84 was one of them. The top two matches were non-competitive and the next absurdly short. I enjoyed the rest, but nothing stood out.

  23. Grape Knee High says:

    I just watched the fight again. Miragliotta is an embarrassment to refs everywhere.

    I just noticed that he was threatening to stand them up during the crucifix up against the fence.

  24. cyph says:

    Lack of skills doesn’t mean it’s a bad fight. It’s often the opposite.

    We’ll going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

  25. Brandt says:

    Yup. 9/10. But please don’t assume I was speaking from an enthusiast standpoint when writing that article. You know that most hardcore fans were complaining about everything and anything, but it was a mainstream MMA show. Name something else you wanted in a mainstream MMA show. I know, I sound like Family Fued here, but there were knockouts, a little ground game action, controversy and good announcing.

    If it was a PPV event aimed at the MMA fanbase, it would have received even more criticism.

    Please feel free to stop over to the site and leave some thoughts. It’s always good to have some new faces (or maybe names? usernames? I dunno) at the site. I’m very open to anyone writing as well (sorry Zach, I don’t mean to shamelessly plug again) to share their thoughts on anything.

  26. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I prefer to keep controversy out of my MMA, thank you very much.

    My personal opinion was that the presentation of the show was insulting to me as an experienced MMA fan. The pedantic announcing moreso than the “intro to MMA” segment. The dancers, the musical talent…this stuff doesn’t shout “MMA” to me, it shouts “MMA isn’t interesting enough, so we need to put mustard on it.” You’re getting your mustard in my chocolate, and I’m not happy about it.

    If there was a fight on that card that helped to establish ranking, it was probably the Kimbo fight. I think it revealed a lot of significant holes in his game that we should expect any capable opponent to attempt to exploit in the future. He’s going to have to go back and fix things to remain competitive against reasonably capable opponents.

    I did enjoy two of the fights on the card, and one was stopped between rounds, while the other was ruled a no contest when the fighters were by all evidence healthy enough to continue. I didn’t enjoy them because of the controversy, I enjoyed them because of the two rounds of each that I actually got to see, and I wish that I had had the opportunity to see them finished in the cage instead of at the stool, even if they had gone to decisions.

    I found the first hour of the show especially disappointing, because we got didacts, narpets, and poorly coordinated nyphets at the expense of more than three minutes of fights.

    After the no contest, we lost more time waiting around for an explanation than it would have taken for them to give the man his five minutes and finish the fight, so that was a disappointment to me as well.

    If you had a great time, then that’s your opinion, but to me it was a pretty dreadful show, and I can’t see myself tuning in for more of it. This is the first time I’ve even watched a Pro Elite show, because I’d been hearing bad things about it all along that I’ve now confirmed with my own two (four, whatever), eyes.

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