I've generally been supportive of EliteXC's efforts to launch a major-league competitor to the UFC.
But this weekend's debacle was the last straw.
Not because of the Kimbo/Shamrock debacle either. Although that was the revealing instance that gave away their fundamental contempt for Mixed Martial Arts as a sport.
Steve Cofield outlines exhibit A -- refs restarting fights when one fighter has achieved dominant position and is working for a submission:
He actually had Arlovski in a real predicament working a kimura with 2:49 left in the first. Ortiz apparently not understanding what a kimura is, called for Nelson 'to work to improve his position' three different times over the next 20 seconds. Arlovski freed himself from the kimura at 2:28 and Nelson was still in a dominant side-control position. For some inexplicable reason, the referee stood them up FOUR SECONDS LATER!
This is the pitfall of holding big events in states with inexperienced MMA referees. The crowd at the Bank Atlantic Center was one of dumber groups in recent history. It seemed like they booed anytime that a fight went to the ground or there was a clinch. Ortiz officiated to the crowd's response instead of watching the fight.
And Fightlinker outlines exhibit B -- the hanging offense -- bribing a fighter to keep the fight standing:
Petruzelli: THE PROMOTERS KINDA HINTED TO ME, AND THEY GAVE ME THE MONEY TO STAND AND TRADE WITH HIM. THEY DIDN’T WANT ME TO TAKE HIM DOWN. LETS JUST PUT IT THAT WAY.
This is just too much. MMA is MIXED martial arts, not sloppy standing brawls for fighters who aren't good enough to make it in boxing or kickboxing.
They've set the sport back enough by buying up and then running into the ground a bunch of smaller promotions who were making money on their own. They need to stop.
BE reader szucconi spells out
This is fixing a fight, make no mistake. Using money to give a fighter an advantage is fixing a fight. Petruzelli maybe didn't get it. This is not a post fight bonus. The UFC gives bonus' for sub, KO, and fight of the night. The sub and KO bonus are win bonus' so they can't be looked at as fixing. Fight of the night is for exciting fights and both fighters involved get it. It gives you no incentive to lose. This type of prefight "hint" with money offered behind it to stand is fixing. Of course I assume they thought Slice had the advantage standing and it didn't work out the way they wanted, but it seems like a clear example of trying to affect the outcome.