Monday, February 12, 2007

EliteXC Etcetera

By Steve Sievert

-The location of the event, in my opinion, just didn't work. Despite Southaven being a stone's throw from Memphis, the show didn't seem to draw a strong contingent from the market. From a media perspective - and, yes, us reporter types like logistics to be as seamless and simple as possible - the setup was sub par. The host hotel was a solid 45 minutes from the Memphis airport; the civic center was a 30-minute drive from the hotel; there was no formal post-event news conference; fighters were not made accessible at the conclusion of the show; I could go on.

-The UFC was well-represented at the show, with Nate Marquardt, Keith Jardine, Rashad Evans, Randy Couture and Quinton Jackson all making the trip. Interestingly, when talking with Evans, he said the UFC wouldn't permit him to do an on-the-record interview at a competitor's show.

-Perhaps not surprisingly, Jackson was a bit more forthcoming, and when I congratulated him on his recent victory over Marvin Eastman, he told me that he barely trained for the fight ... very nice!! "Rampage" has a love-hate (most hate) relationship with training, which probably needs to change if he's to seriously challenge Chuck Liddell for a title, which could come at UFC 71 in May.

-The Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni fight will take place under a co-promote banner between EliteXC and Strikeforce later this year. No date set yet, but it will be a pay-per-view show and not part of EliteXC's six-show deal with Showtime.

-The next EliteXC event - location TBA - will take place May 5.

-Lastly, where was Slater? Mario Lopez, of Saved by the Bell fame as the high-school wrestler, Slater, was high-profile in the pre-event promotion, but nowhere to be found on fight night.

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