Being live in Miami for the Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott fight was an experience. The BankUnited Center in Miami, Fla., was sold out -- a record gate for the venue according to EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw -- with all different kinds of people who were all united with their support for the hometown fighter, Kimbo Slice.
When it came time for the bearded wonder to make his way to the cage, there was not one seat in the building with a butt in it. In fact, even with a ringside seat the only time I could see Kimbo was for a few seconds before he got in the cage.
I watched the entire fight -- all 43 seconds of it -- on the big screen because there were literally hundreds of people standing on their chairs between my seat and the actual cage.
Slice's opponent, Tank Abbott, played his part in the show as well as he could. Someone had to be the bad guy and someone had to get knocked out. If any good can be said about Tank's performance, it's that even with all the hoopla that surrounded him, he still went out there and stood toe-to-toe with a man who was in better shape, younger and as it turns out, better than himself at his own street-fighting game.
At least we didn't see a repeat performance of the Bo Cantrell fiasco. That's not Tank's style -- he comes to bang ... win or lose (usually the latter).
Regardless, cheers Tank.
While Kimbo was impressive with his knockout, there was another heavyweight with his own highlight reel stoppage on Saturday night.
Brett Rogers was the next fighter to stamp his name on the petition to change James Thompson's nickname from "The Colossus" to "Glass Jaw." Seriously, it's possible that Thompson has a form or narcolepsy with as many times as he's fallen asleep in his fights.
He should get that checked out.
It was obvious from the beginning Thompson's gameplan was to take the Minnesota native down, but every time he was successful, Rogers was able to stand the fight right back up ... and with ease. Rogers eventually got tired of the up-and-down routine and decided to land a devastating knee followed by a five-punch combination that ended the fight.
It was nasty.
Rogers is 6'5" and 265 pounds. Kimbo is listed as 6'2" and 234 pounds. I wonder what Kimbo would do in a fight with a man who is that much bigger. I know a lot of people want to see Kimbo get tested on the ground, but tonight we might have found someone who can test him on his feet.
Slice vs. Rogers would be a very interesting fight.
Yves Edwards' Urijah Faber-esque one-legged hopping knee knockout of Edson Berto was one of the sickest finishes I've ever seen. That was set up and executed to perfection by Yves, who is looking like a fighter on a mission to resurrect his once brilliant career.
And if Berto's not careful he's going to make a name for himself as the guy who gets knocked out by highlight reel knees. That's two now, counting this one and the other courtesy of EliteXC lightweight champ, KJ Noons, back in July 2007.
The knockout trend continued in the middleweight fight between Scott Smith and Kyle Noke.
It took the entire first round for Smith to get acclimated with the EliteXC cage, but that's all it took. He didn't do much but dance around for the first five minutes of his fight with the Aussie, but when the second round bell rang he decided it was finally time to throw a punch.
And what a perfectly timed and placed punch it was.
It looks like Smith could be the next challenger to Robbie Lawler's middleweight title. If, of course, Lawler's ever healthy enough to defend it.
I wish I could say Antonio Silva lived up to all the hype tonight, but that's just not true. In all fairness, a win against a fighter with the background of Ricco Rodriguez is nothing to be ashamed of. But for someone who is being touted as the number one heavyweight in the world, a split decision win over a guy coming off years of drug addiction and weight issues is just not good enough.
Shaw stood by his claim that Silva is the best at the post fight press conference and didn't waste any time serving up an excuse for his fighter's lackluster performance, claiming that Silva had an injury coming into the fight that wasn't announced.
What's done is done and like I said a win against Ricco is nothing to be ashamed of, but I hope Silva does more in his next fight. He's going to have to if he wants to live up to the hype his promoter is heaping on him.
After the last bell had rang and the fans had all gone home, EliteXC: "Street Certified" surpassed all expectations. Sure there were no Chuck Liddell's or Anderson Silva's on the card. No BJ Penn's or George St. Pierre's. But there were 22 fighters giving everything they had to this great sport and leaving us, the fans, with some memorable knockouts and plenty to talk about heading into the future.
It was truly an exciting night of entertaining fights.
Next up for EliteXC is the copromotion with Strikeforce on March 29 in San Jose, Calif. Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le for the Strikeforce middleweight championship will headline the event, and Jake Shields will take on Drew Fickett for the first ever EliteXC welterweight championship in the co-feature of the evening.
Should be another solid event ... don't miss it.