Sunday, October 5, 2008

What Next for EliteXC?

I went to bed hopeful last night that Kimbo Slice's embarrassing loss to Seth Petruzelli would change the way EliteXC uses Slice. Instead of having him be the main event, put him as the lead-in fight and let the viewers who come for him stay for the final fight between two worthy main event fighters. A lot of people would change the channel after the Kimbo fight, but some would stay and see a fight they normally might not. I was actually hopeful this would happen.

Well, it is not happening. EliteXC went into panic mode last night at the press conference. VP Jared Shaw, who could be seen cageside screaming at the referee during Kimbo's bout, declared Petruzelli a "star" and compared him to a "modern day Rocky Balboa". Another EliteXC executive, Jeremy Lappen, made excuses for Slice by saying, "I think Kimbo's a huge star. Again he's been thrust onto the scene. People are interested in watching him. And I think people will continue to be interested in watching him." His statement is the EliteXC party line. Do not expect any changes in their marketing of Slice. He will still be featured in main events and cast as the floundering company's biggest star.

There are many problems with EliteXC's strategy. The obvious being Slice is not a top-tier fighter. Putting him in main events is a risky proposition because his talent level is not high enough for him to consistently win, even against lesser competition. The other major problem with their strategy is it does not build up their other fighters. Since they have chosen to put all of their promotion muscle behind Slice, it has their talented fighters in relative obscurity. They never built these fighters up, so it is impossible to throw them into the limelight and expect the public to care about them. EliteXC has no choice, but to continue down the road they chose.


Mike said...

How do you think a guy like chuck lidell would have done with fighting a guy he hasn't prepared for? is that a worthy excuse?

Also, which UFC fighter would you say is the most well prepared to fight a random guy on any given night, with no preperation for that particular fighter?

Landon Tucker said...

EliteXC clearly doesn't think long-term. They may be trying to look 5 years down the line, but they aren't looking 20 years, like the UFC is. The UFC knows that no one fighter is going to last forever, no one fighter can lead a promotion. The UFC has always adapted to new fighters taking the spotlight.

Rear Naked said...

Kimbo was at a disadvantage because he had nothing to go on about Petruzelli, while everyone already knows how Kimbo fights. He still should have never lost the fights. I think it might be time for him to begin questioning his training. It takes time to develop into a good fighter, but Kimbo looks stuck in place to me. A lot of successful fighters change trainers before finding one who brings out their best.

The lack of wrestling skills is what boggles my mind. The guy is a house and should be able to overpower just about anyone. However, in the cage he continually gets pushed around. With the proper wrestling and his punching power, he'd be a legit threat. Now he's just a joke with a ton of untapped potential.