CBS AND ELITEXC ANNOUNCE LINEUP FOR INAUGURAL PRIMETIME BROADCAST OF "CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS," MAY 31 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
Street Fighting Legend-Turned-EliteXC Heavyweight Sensation Kimbo Slice Will Square Off Against Hard-Hitting British MMA Standout James "Colossus" Thompson in the Main Event of a Five-Fight Broadcast
Popular Female Fighter Gina "Conviction" Carano and EliteXC Middleweight Champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler will also Appear on the Card
LOS ANGELES, May 23 - CBS and EliteXC today announced the lineup for the first "CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS," to be broadcast live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Saturday, May 31 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"In terms of recognition and perception, I believe May 31 is the biggest and single most important MMA fight card ever. It will forever change the landscape of the sport and how it is perceived," said Gary Shaw, EliteXC Live Events President.
The following five primetime matchups are confirmed for the CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS on May 31.
Kimbo Slice vs. James "Colossus" Thompson (Heavyweights)
"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler vs. Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith (for EliteXC Middleweight title)
Gina "Conviction" Carano vs. Kaitlin Young (140 lb. weight class)
Phil Baroni vs. Joe Villasenor (Middleweights)
Brett "The Grim" Rogers vs. Jon Murphy (Heavyweights)
KIMBO SLICE vs. JAMES "COLOSSUS" THOMPSON
Heavyweight sensation Kimbo Slice will headline the first-ever CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS. From the street to EliteXC, Slice's unorthodox ascension through the world of mixed martial arts started with posting his local fights on "YouTube," a move that quickly garnered millions of downloads and made him an instant legend among fans of the sport. Kimbo, aka Kevin Ferguson, who resides in Perrine, Fla., near Miami, will be matched against James "Colossus" Thompson, a British MMA standout whose pre-fighting resume includes work as a "debt collector." Thompson is aptly nicknamed, standing at six-foot-five and weighing more than 250 pounds. He will be the first MMA fighter to possess a height advantage over the six-foot-two-inch Kimbo. This bout is scheduled for three five-minute rounds.
"RUTHLESS" ROBBIE LAWLER vs. SCOTT "HANDS OF STEEL" SMITH
Champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler of St. Louis by way of Davenport, Iowa will put his title on the line against Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith in the evening's middleweight championship fight. Lawler trains under the legendary Pat Miletich, while Smith trains in Reno, Nev. Both fighters are widely considered two of the most prolific knockout artists in the business. This championship bout is slated for five five-minute rounds.
GINA "CONVICTION" CARANO vs. KAITLIN YOUNG
In a female bout, Gina "Conviction" Carano will square off against Circle Pines, Minn. native Kaitlin Young. Carano, an undefeated Muay Thai specialist, lives and trains in Las Vegas, Nev., and is considered one of the most popular female fighters in the world of mixed martial arts. Carano recently appeared on the series "American Gladiators" where she put her skills to the test as the gladiator "Crush." Young, a well-conditioned athlete who trains at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, started Olympic-style taekwondo when she was 14. Her aggressive style and Muay Thai background should provide one of the most interesting matchups of the evening. This bout is scheduled for three three-minute rounds.
PHIL BARONI vs. JOE VILLASENOR
Outspoken, hard-hitting, MMA bad boy, Phil Baroni, will take on middleweight contender, Joe Villasenor. Baroni, a fighter known for always putting on a good show, hails from Long Island, N.Y., and is currently training in Las Vegas, Nev. and San Jose, Calif. Villasenor, a prot�g� of MMA guru Greg Jackson, established a record for the fastest knockout in an MMA fight, a four-second victory over Hank Weis in 2004. Villasenor most recently scored an exciting first-round knockout over Ryan Jensen on March 29. This bout is scheduled for three five-minute rounds.
BRETT "THE GRIM" ROGERS vs. JON MURPHY
Brett "The Grim" Rogers brings an impressive undefeated record to the fight against fellow heavyweight contender Jon Murphy. The explosive, hard-hitting Rogers, who hails from Minneapolis, Minn., is six-foot-five and weighs over 260 pounds. Murphy, a former middle linebacker at Syracuse University who lives in Minersville, Penn, is six-foot-four and weighs over 240 pounds. This bout is scheduled for three five-minute rounds.
The intense nature of the contests and the theatrical elements of its live events have made mixed martial arts one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the U.S. Over the last several years, the genre has seen tremendous growth in popularity, especially among the coveted 18-34 demographic.
Mixed martial arts is a sport evolved from a number of ancient combat disciplines including judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, wrestling and kickboxing. World-class athletes engage in hand-to-hand combat in a ring-both caged and traditional-and must adapt their fighting style to fit their opponent. The wide variety of styles and techniques make every event an unpredictable spectacle.
CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be produced by SHOWTIME Sports. The executive producer is David Dinkins, Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.
For additional information and fighter profiles, visit http://www.proelite.com/