Apologies up front for taking so long to get this up. I'm here in New York City right now with the photographer trying to get plans coordinated. I've been so busy this week with everything going on that I've gotten behind, so forgive me for my tardiness.
I also want to apologize for not getting an undercard picks in. Shocker of the century, I've been working on so many other items that I haven't had time to really weigh the fights in my mind. I'm confident Wilson Reis will do well and I think Nick Serra might have his hands full with Makowski. If you want more info, check out Sam Caplan's great breakdown of the undercard. Lastly, I can't do an Any Given Saturday tonight. In order to do the press conference after the fights and get the photos uploaded as soon as possible, there's just no time. However, after tomorrow's fights on Versus, we'll cover both events.
BloodyElbow.com Staff Predictions for "EliteXC: Primetime"
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson vs. James Thompson
Luke Thomas: Let's not belabor the point: Thompson's chin is tapable and I suspect sooner or later Slice's vicious punching power will put the Brit down. What we should be looking for is how Slice's skills have progressed. Not that Thompson has incredible takedowns or the ability to hold someone down, but we should get a glimpse of how Slice's takedown defense has progressed or if he's able to get off the bottom quickly should a takedown occur. But that's about all, really. Slice, via KO, round 1.
Kid Nate: Kimbo should clown Thompson quick. Slice by KO in 1.
Brent Brookhouse: I think this will be interesting. I'll be flat shocked if Thompson sprints across the cage to start the fight. I think we're going to see him be very patient and look for a moment when he can slip inside and grab a body lock. At that point it is a matter of if he can withstand the close quarters punches of Kimbo or if he can manage to work a trip or some other takedown. If the fight hits the floor things get very interesting. I think this goes about 4 minutes before Kimbo manages to get back to the distance he wants and shuts out Thompson's lights. Kimbo by KO, round 1.
Nick Thomas: *** Spoiler warning *** Thompson with the crazed stare down, fight starts… Ferguson by quick KO. Yeah!
MIchael Rome: Kimbo will win via quick KO. I don't expect Thompson is going to try to fight the strategic fight necessary to win, he'll go down swinging. Kimbo via KO, round 1.
Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith
Luke Thomas: Smith has good power, moves forward and good wrestling, but he's essentially a poor man's version of Lawler. The Lawler of old who preferred the slugfest at the expense of the fight is largely gone, replaced with a striker with explosive athleticism, good combinations, excellent timing and lots of experience. He's legitimately one of the top middleweight in the world and while Smith poses a serious challenge, only carelessness on the part of Lawler will cause an upset here. Lawler, via TKO, round 3.
Kid Nate: Smith always has a puncher's chance, but I think Lawler has learned enough to go for the takedown against someone who's essentially helpless off his back. Lawler by TKO in 1.
Brent Brookhouse: This is going to be a fun scrap. I'll take .
Nick Thomas: What a slug fest this is going to be. Lawler is more consistent but I'm calling the upset because of Smith’s performance against Kyle Noke. Upset #1: Scott Smith by KO.
Michael Rome: This should be the fight of the night, and it needs to deliver. I think Lawler will indeed be sucked into a slugfest, but I think it is one he will win. Lawler via TKO, round 2.
Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young
Luke Thomas: Carano's decision to burn the candle at both ends here is likely going to cost her. Even if she wins, I expect her to take a beating. Young is hungry, posses KO power in her hands and feet, is strong physically and in the clinch and comes in significantly better shape. If she can push the pace against Carano early and maintain it while keeping up a strong defense, she can take Carano into the deep waters of the third round where she can use her cardio resources to take over. Carano's talented and is the better pure Thai boxer, but her shortened training camp and lack of focus is going to haunt her. Young by TKO, 3rd round.
Kid Nate: I'm on board with the Gina haters at this point but she should still be too much for Young who was hand picked to stand, bang and lose to Gina. Carano in 2.
Brent Brookhouse: I'm starting to feel like it's getting a little too trendy to pick Kaitlin here. But I think she has been more dedicated to the game over the past year and she is straight dangerous. I'm going to look for Young to pull of a very exciting decision victory.
Nick Thomas: Upset #2: As long as Young can keep this standing, I'm going with Young by TKO.
Michael Rome: I have money on Kaitlyn, but I think Gina is going to win this. This is going to stay standing, and from what I've seen Gina is much more polished on her feet. If it goes long then maybe cardio will become a factor, but I am sticking with Gina. Carano via decision, round 3.
Phil Baroni vs. Joey Villasenor
Luke Thomas: I don't know what's wrong with me, but I can't seem to divorce myself from being attracted to Baroni's power. While he's consistently disappointed me, I still remember the Baroni who defeated Amar Suloev. Some part of me believes Villasenor's chin problems will crumble under Baroni's power punches. I'm probably dreaming, but it's important to be honest. Baroni, by KO, round 1.
Kid Nate: Villasenor by training.
Brent Brookhouse: This is about as do or die as it can get for Baroni. He is now a loss away from being a .500 fighter. As with every Baroni fight it'll either be a quick KO or he's going to gas and eat a big beating. I'll take Villasenor to survive the first round and get a decision win after taking the second and third. Joey Villasenor by decision.
Nick Thomas: Tough fight to call... I'm going to go with the bigger gas tank and more well rounded game. Villasenor by decision.
Michael Rome: This could really go either way. I think this is going to be short, so I don't expect Baroni's gas tank to be a huge issue. I think Baroni rebounds and wins via KO, round 1.
Brett Rogers vs. Jon Murphy
Luke Thomas: Murphy is tough and is being slept on here quite a bit by a lot of folks. I expect him to look for takedowns and to control from top position. That will probably work for a while and longer than expected. This will be a close bout. But Murphy tends to have problems with power punchers and if Rogers is anything, it's powerful. Rogers by KO, round 3.
Kid Nate: Rogers is dangerous. Brett in 1.
Brent Brookhouse: Rogers is a beast and the future of the EXC heavyweight division should he stick around. I'll take Brett by KO in the first.
Nick Thomas: Hopefully we'll get to see Rogers vs. Kimbo one day. Rogers by being bigger and stronger.
Michael Rome: I think Brett is just going to be too big and too strong. Rogers via KO, round 1.