EliteXC: Uprising Review

Jake Shields vs. Renato Verissimo (Welterweight)
Referee: Mario Yamasaki

They trade some shots before they end up in a clinch. Verissimo gets a takedown but Shields gets back up to his feet. Some posturing about until Shields gets Verissimo down on his back. Shields has Verissimo against the cage and connects on some elbows. Verissimo goes for a kimura but it was a wasted attempt. Shields moves into full mount. Shields rains down punches and the ref can pretty much stop this at any point. Verissimo is trapped and using his face as a destination for Shields’ punches. Yamasaki gives Verissimo more than enough to time to get out of the predicament but finally calls a stop to the fight at 4:00 of round 1 giving Jake Shields the TKO victory.

Joey Villasenor vs. Riki Fukuda (Middleweight)
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti

Villasenor throws an uppercut and Fukuda is all “whatever” and takes him down. Fukuda moves into side control and wraps Villasenor up in an arm triangle. Villasenor bursts out of the hold and gets to his feet. They slug it out with Fukuda landing a leg kick as Villasenor pops him with a jab. Back to the ground where Fukuda seems to have the clear advantage. Fukuda tries to ground and pound but nothing of merit goes down. Back to the feet and Villasenor rocks Fukuda who is sporting a crazy big mouse on his right eye. No takedown attempts in the final minute as they trade punches.

The second round begins with more standup. Villasenor is winning that battle. Fukuda needs to go for the takedown. Fukuda slips in an uppercut that connects before the get caught up in a clinch. Fukuda works Villasenor’s body with hooks and knees while in the clinch. Mazzagatti breaks them up and restarts the action in the center of the ring. Fukuda presses and seems to be getting the better of Villasenor. Villasenor isn’t showing a whole lot right now. Villasenor goes for some leg kicks but Fukuda catches one and takes Villasenor down to the mat with only five seconds remaining in the round. Joey scrambles to end the round.

A clinch begins the third round. They fight out of it. Villasenor lands a nice kick but Fukuda follows up with a double jab. Fukuda shoots for a takedown and Villasenor is just too tired to do anything to stop it. Villasenor isn’t too tired to reverse it though as he rolls over on top. Fukuda pops up to his feet during an attempt to pass guard. One minute remains and they are on their feet throwing bombs. Good chins from both fighters. Goldberg predicts it will go to the judges with eight seconds left in the fight. I guess you aren’t lonely out on that limb, Bill. It does indeed go to the cards where Joey Villasenor wins by split decision.

Gina Carano vs. Tonya Evinger (Women Don’t Reveal Weight)
Referee: Mario Yamasaki

Since they are female it will be three rounds of three minutes. That’s still lame. Carano barely made weight and Evinger swarms her to start. Evinger lands a punch and then scores a takedown. Mauro Ranallo makes a juvenile penis joke but that’s unfortunately what Ranallo does. Evinger rocks back with a guillotine but Carano gets out of it. Evinger gives up her back and Carano takes it. Carano sinks in the leg hooks and applies the choke, earning a submission at 2:53 of the first round. She didn’t get to show off that much but Carano took advantage of an opportunity and earned her first tapout.

Nick Diaz vs. Mike Aina (160 lb Catchweight)
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti

They start with some boxing which is right up Diaz’s alley. Aina is landing the bigger shots but Diaz is more consistent, landing at a higher volume. Aina grabs Diaz in a muay thai clinch briefly but lands a few nice shots. Diaz comes back with a clinch of his own and cuts Aina under his eye towards the end of the round.

Aina throws heavy shots in the second round and knocks Diaz to the mat with a hard right hand as Diaz is throwing a kick. Diaz does a monkey roll to avoid any finishing blows. Aina lets him back up lands two more solid shots. Diaz needs to think about taking this down to the ground because Aina is winning the standup. Diaz grabs Aina against the cage. Aina goes for a takedown but is in a bad spot because he set himself up for a guillotine. Aina gets out of there and returns to dominating the standup. Diaz is cut over his right eye. Diaz takes Aina down with only 30 seconds to go and Aina survives a choke attempt to close the round.

Aina looks tired coming out for the third round. Diaz gets into a clinch against the cage and lands a bunch of body shots, followed by an elbow. Aina comes back with a combo of his own as the fighters trade shots. Into the clinch again as Diaz is really trying to put Aina on the mat but Aina has good defense. Diaz finally gets Aina down and has 1:40 to work out a stoppage that he likely needs. Diaz gets Aina’s back and goes to work. Diaz goes through his repertoire and after failing to apply a choke, goes for an armbar but the bell rings and the fight is over. Split decision is read in favor of Nick Diaz. Hamill-Bisping comparisons are already being drawn. The post-fight speeches were kind of similar too.

Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Robbie Lawler (Middleweight Title Fight)
Referee: Mario Yamasaki

They stalk to start and Lawler gets a big takedown right as the crowd starts to boo. Lawler looks intimidating with a shaved head. Lawler lets Ninja back up and they return to stalling on their feet. Ninja throws kicks while Lawler backs up. Lawler lands some nice combinations in what is mostly a prodding first round. Perhaps they are trying to conserve energy for a potential five round fight. Ninja keeps going for the leg kicks and Lawler goes for a leaping head kick at the end of the first round that seems to surprise Ninja, even though it was blocked.

Ninja presses the action to start the second round. Lawler tries to counter with knockout shots. Lawler lands a nice uppercut in close quarters and that starts an uppercut frenzy as each tries to land a knockout punch. Lawler has an evil grin, making him look even more menacing. Lawler catches a kick and pushes Ninja down but invites him right back up for some more punches. It doesn’t look like standing up with Lawler is the best gameplan for Ninja.

Lawler looks confident to start the third round. Lawler nails a huge kick-punch combo and Ninja has no answers. Ninja throws more leg kicks, which Lawler is known to hate, but I don’t think they are effective enough to win rounds or wear Lawler down. Lawler drops Ninja to the mat with a bomb and rains down punches. The fight should be stopped as Ninja isn’t doing much to stop Lawler’s onslaught but Yamasaki let’s it go. The ref finally stops the fight and Ninja isn’t in good shape. This is the second fight of the night that Yamasaki let go too far. Ninja has to be helped out of the ring as Robbie Lawler is announced as the winner by TKO at 2:04 of the third round.

Final Thoughts

Lawler looked awesome in the main event but I’m disappointed in Yamasaki’s two decisions tonight to let fighters continue when they were clearly beaten. Nick Diaz is a big name for EliteXC but he was beaten by Mike Aina. A rematch between the two would be great for the next EliteXC show. Otherwise it was the usual faces of EliteXC being pushed for nothing down the road. Who is there for Jake Shields, Villasenor, and Gina Carano to face in EliteXC for a big fight? All they are doing is being built up for UFC runs, except Carano. She doesn’t have many other options. It was an average show but ought to be checked out for Lawler’s dominating performance.

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