The time slot on CBS that was once reserved for Mary Tyler Moore will be filled by mixed martial arts. Some people are viewing the prime time debut of EliteXC as the first sign of the apocalypse. I just look at it as another potential betting opportunity. Here’s a quick look at what is on tap for tonight (I know I am on three favorites in three matches, but there’s no avoiding it):
Gina Carano (-280) vs. Kaitlin Young (+220) – UFC fans will immediately notice something they aren’t used to here – these dudes are women. Carano is recognized as the top female MMA fighter in the world. If you watch the new version of American Gladiators (does anyone?) then you will recognize her as Crush. She’s undefeated in MMA over her two year career, and had a strong Muay Thai career before that. Young has only been a pro since October, but she has put together four nice wins since then. She lost last time out, but she’s not a pushover here. Still, Carano should win unless something goes wrong for her.
Robbie Lawler (-250) vs. Scott Smith (+200) – This fight is for Lawler’s middleweight title. It’s not the main event, but based on potential it certainly should be. Lawler is only 26, but he’s a veteran who has been around. Prior to being here he had seven fights in the UFC. He also coached on season six of The Ultimate Fighter. He had an excellent year last year, but has had injury problems to start this year. Smith also has experience with The Ultimate Fighter, but as a contestant in season four. He lost to Travis Lutter. He’s undefeated in EliteXC, but that’s not saying much since he has only fought once. This one should be fun to watch because both guys like to stand up, and both are tough to knock out. These guys should have a brawl, and the winner will be the last one standing. I expect Lawler will still have his belt at the end of the night.
Kimbo Slice (-600) vs. James Thompson (+400) – This is the main event, but purists would say that Slice, a street brawler, has no business topping a card like this. He used the internet effectively to build a following, though, so he has earned it. He’s had two pro fights after leaving the streets, and he has crushed both opponents in a combined 62 seconds. Of course, neither Bo Cantrell or Tank Abbott were at the top of their game when he faced them. Cantrell’s game never really had a top. Thompson is known as The Colossus. He’s been around for about five years. His most notable victory was over the legendary Dan Severn. That win led to his biggest embarrassment, though – he fought Aleksander Emelianenko and was knocked out in just 11 seconds. It’s that same glass jaw that Slice will be looking for, and I like his chances of finding it. I think that this one will end in a knockout, and I doubt it will make it out of the first round.