EliteXC - Renegade predicitions
Nick Diaz vs. K.J. Noons (Lightweight Championship Bout)
Nick Diaz's last fight against Mike Aina in September was considered by some to be unspectacular. In other words, un-Nick Diaz-like. He was still victorious and the letdown may have just been a result of him being out of action for nearly 7 months following a suspension from the NSAC. He was also in the beginning stages of staph infection. Diaz has very good boxing skills, but K.J. Noons is professional boxer looking to make his mark in MMA. Diaz has the clear advantage on the ground by having a black-belt in jiu-jitsu from Cesar Gracie and should look to get the fight to ground sooner rather than later. I expect to see a more determined and focused performance from the larger, more technical, and vastly more experienced Diaz. Once the fight hits the mat, the longtime OTM favorite Diaz, should quickly end it via submission in the first round via Kimura. This win will earn him the EliteXC lightweight title.
Kimbo Slice vs. Bo Cantrell (Heavyweight Bout)
Bo Cantrell has a spotty 10-10 MMA record and has proven to be a bit "chinny" throughout his journyman MMA career (7 of his 10 losses are via TKO or KO). The EliteXC invested a lot of money in signing and promoting Kimbo Slice, who gained fame from his internet street fights, and chose Cantrell as his first opponent for a reason. Cantrell will look to win the stand-up battle and will end up joining the long list of Kimbo Slice's street fighting victims by coming out on the brutally short end of the exchange. This fight will add the first professional KO to Kimbo Slice's already extensive KO highlight reel. Kimbo Slice will win this fight early in the first round via KO.
Jake Shields vs. Mike Pyle (Welterweight Bout)
Personally, I am a fan and friend of both Jake Shields and Mike Pyle. Jake is a longtime friend of OTM and Mike trains out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and frequently visits Coba Kai. They are currently two of the best welterweights in the world in any organization and this will prove to be the highest level bout of the night between two very experienced and accomplished fighters. Where Pyle does everything well, Shields does too. However, Shields also excels as a world-class wrestler, has ADCC experience, and is a brown-belt in jiu-jitsu under Cesar Gracie. Pyle is tough as nails and will prove to be Shields' toughest test, since his win over Carlos Condit in April 2006. I see this fight going the distance with Shields grinding out a hard-earned Unanimous Decision victory.
Seth Kleinbeck vs. Kyle Noke (Middleweight Bout)
Out of all the matches scheduled to be televised on Showtime, this fight has the most question marks. Seth Kleinbeck and Kyle Noke are unknown to the general public, as well as some loyal MMA enthusiasts. Both men will be fighting in their highest profile bout to date. Kleinbeck has fought on Showtime once before, a TKO victory against Jaime Jara in his last fight during a ShoXC card in August. He possesses good KO power in his hands and also has powerful leg kicks. Kleinbeck will have his work cut out against Noke, however, who is the current Xtreme Fighting Championship middleweight champion, as well as the best pound-for-pound fighter in Australia. The deciding factor will probably come in the form of Kleinbeck's punching power, which should prove to be too much, and he will walk away with a TKO stoppage victory in the third round.
Antonio Silva vs. Jonathan Wiezorek (Super-Heavyweight Bout)
Antonio Silva and Jonathan Wiezorek were originally supposed to fight on June 2nd during the K-1 "Dynamite USA!!" show at the L.A. Coliseum, which was co-promoted by the EliteXC. Silva was pulled from the match after his pre-fight medical exams revealed a tumor near his pituitary gland. He received a medical suspension from the CSAC and was told he would need to undergo surgery to have the tumor removed in order to be cleared to fight again. He underwent the surgery and this bout will mark his first fight back. Silva is known for possessing tremendous agility for a big man, but Wiezorek is also an athletic heavyweight who lettered in wrestling, football, and tennis in high school. Wiezorek has a skill set of boxing and wrestling, whereas Silva's background is better suited for MMA with training in Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. While Wiezorek has strong athletic skills and strong fighting credentials, he's not known for being as agile or as strong as Silva, so I see Silva taking this fight with a Unanimous Decision.
Yves Edwards vs. Nick Gonzalez (Lightweight Bout)
Yves Edwards' career hit a brick wall after being stopped by Joe Stevenson in July 2006. His head was literally split open and the canvas was soaked in his blood causing the Doctor's Stoppage at UFC 61. That loss combined with his upset loss to Mark Hominick at UFC 58 saw the UFC cut ties with their once top lightweight fighter. Edwards has since dropped two more fights in Bodog and will look to turn his career around against a fellow Texan, but less experienced Nick Gonzalez. Edwards should win in the first round via RNC.
Brett Rogers vs. Ralph Kelly (Heavyweight Bout)
Brett Rogers has finished all 4 of his fights via KO or TKO. Weighing in at 264-pounds, gives him a clear size advantage over the smaller 243-pound Ralph Kelly who has a record of 2-2. I see Rogers taking this bout with a KO punch in the first round.
Jon Kirk vs. Matt Lucas (Middleweight Bout)
Jon "El Jaguar" Kirk has amassed an impressive 10-1 record by fighting in mainly local Texas shows, while Matt "Luke Duke" Lucas has tallied a flawless 7-0 record while fighting mostly in the Arizona-based "Rage in the Cage" promotion. Both men weighed-in at an even 186-pounds for this middleweight contest, but I would have to give the edge to Lucas, as he is the larger middleweight whom has fought comfortably at 205 in the past. Lucas should earn the win via Unanimous Decision.
Geoff Bumstead vs. Robert Ruiz (Heavyweight Bout)
This bout features the two most inexperienced fighters of the night. Geoff Bumstead is 0-1, whereas Robert Ruiz is 1-1. The biggest difference will come in the form of a sheer size advantage. Weighing-in at 227-pounds, Ruiz will enjoy a 22-pound weight advantage over Bumstead who weighed-in at only 205-pounds. I'm taking Ruiz via TKO in the first round.
Jae Suk Lim vs. Daniel Pineda (Welterweight Bout)
Jae Suk Lim is a Korean fighter with a jiu-jitsu and kickboxing background, who has a 7-2 record while fighting out of the SpiritMC and Neo Fight organizations in his homeland of Korea. SpiritMC recently agreed to a partnership with the EliteXC, which is why Jae Suk Lim is making his debut fight on foreign soil. He will be facing a late replacement in Daniel Pineda who is stepping in for Lane Yarbrough. Pineda has no fights to his credit and weighed-in at 162-pounds, which is 9-pounds smaller than Jae Suk Lim, who weighed-in at the 171-pound weight limit. I see Jae Suk Lim winning this fight quickly via TKO in the first round.