Objective/ Analysis: EliteXC and IFL Co-promotion?

May 30, 2008


Five Ounces of Pain’s Sam Caplan is reporting that Kimbo Slice’s next opponent could be the International Fight League’s heavyweight champion, Roy “Big Country Nelson.”

According to Caplan, IFL CEO Jay Larkin has said that informal talks have begun. Pending the outcome of Slice’s fight this weekend, more formal talks could begin as early as Monday.
Larkin and EliteXC President Gary Shaw were 20-year colleagues at ShoTime, where the two worked together on boxing promotions and helped create ShoBox.

From an industry stand-point, this would be a much needed co-promotional event and would benefit both organizations as they look to find new opponents for their top stars.
Slice and Nelson are question marks in the MMA world. Hardcore fans say they are waiting for Slice to fight a major opponent, and many underestimate Nelson because of his less than athletic physique.
IFL Vice President of Fighter Operations Bas Rutten knows these men rather well, as he has seen the majority of Nelson’s fights while color commentating for the IFL, and is training Slice.
Earlier today, Bas Rutten told MMAPayout that it would make for a great matchup.
“Nelson is a great all around, hits hard, great wrestling, submissions and ground and pound,” said Rutten. And despite Nelson’s shape and size Rutten says, “he is well conditioned and in great shape.”
While Slice’s meteoric rise has attracted the scorn of others in the business, Rutten says he’s a monster in the making.
“I think his hands are better than 80 % of the MMA guys out there, his take down defense is good and on the ground he’s getting better and better. People saying he’s not good on the ground is absolutely nuts, how on earth do they know this?”
Slice’s next test comes against James “The Colussus” Thompson this Saturday night on EliteXC’s CBS debut, but most fight analysts are saying that “test” isn’ the right word and expect a dominant performance, if not first round KO, from Slice. Nelson has himself proved to be quite the KO artist and is coming off of an impressive first round TKO (strikes) victory over Ultimate Fighter finalist Brad Imes.

MMA fans who consider a “boxing-style slugfest with the occasional takedown attempt” to be their favorite style of fight, would enjoy a Nelson/ Slice throwndown.
The IFL website has also linked to the Caplan article and says this would be the “first-ever co-promotional event in the history of American Mixed Martial Arts.” While I am purely speculating, since the article says first co-promotional “event” instead of “fight” it leads me to believe that we may be looking at a full card of EliteXC and IFL fights, because the IFL has already held a co-promotional fight when Tim Kennedy fought Jason “Mayhem” Miller on HDNet Fights.

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