1. Nick Diaz looked bad. I usually don’t say such a thing about fighters, but Diaz looked awful tonight. He was getting torn apart on the feet by KJ Noons and all of his takedown attempts were stuffed easily by Noons. Diaz’s takedowns looked lazy, telegraphed, and sloppy. Nothing explosive. Nick just looked sloppy tonight and paid for it. On top of looking out of his game, what Diaz did after the fight was stopped was a little classless. It was a good stoppage and I know that Diaz never wants to lose a fight like that, but the fact of the matter is that he got dominated and ended up looking like a sore loser.
2. KJ Noons was damn impressive. With all of the above being said about Diaz, take nothing away from KJ Noons. He fought a perfect fight. He kept it standing, stuffed all of Diaz’s takedown attempts and beat Diaz up for the entire round with hard punches and combinations. Diaz’s face looked like it had been through the meat grinder after the fight was over. Even when Diaz got KJ to the ground, KJ was easily able to get the fight back to their feet. He opened up two good cuts on Diaz and had Diaz’s left eye almost swollen shut. Dominating performance by Noons, your first ever EliteXC lightweight champion.
3. Kimbo Slice won the fight before even stepping into the cage. Kimbo Slice didn’t win this fight by TKO. He won this fight via intimidation. Bo Cantrell was literally scared to death of Kimbo. Kimbo came out calm and collected and Cantrell looked like he was shaking in his boots. I expected a bit more out of Cantrell just due to his experience, but Kimbo hit him with two good shots and Cantrell had had enough. Ray Mercer lasted longer than this guy. Cantrell had himself mentally defeated before he ever stepped foot into the cage. Intimidation will work for only so long against lower level fighters, but if Kimbo can mentally defeat his first few opponents before they step foot into the cage, then so be it. I’m surprised there wasn’t a puddle of piss in Cantrell’s corner before the fight started.
4. We still know next to nothing about Kimbo. Bo Cantrell didn’t really give us an opportunity to see how far Kimbo has come in his training. We know he hits like a Mack truck as he showed us by doubling over Cantrell with a body shot right off the bat. So, through one exhibition fight and one professional MMA fight, we’ve seen roughly two minutes, total, of Kimbo inside the cage. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too terribly long for Kimbo to get back in there and mix it up again.
5. Jake Shields belongs in the UFC. I know he just signed a long term deal with EliteXC, but this kid’s skills are off the charts and once he weathered the storm of Mike Pyle’s initial first knee to the body, he dominated the fight. Pyle is a good fighter, too. No joke. Shields made him look like clown shoes once he got him into the position he wanted him in and choked him out with a gorgeous, textbook rear naked choke. Shields is one of the top welterweight fighters in the world. He deserves to be fighting the best welterweight competition in the world and that competition, like it or not, is in the UFC. GSP/Shields and Fitch/Shields are two fights I would love to see.
6. Look out for Australia’s Kyle Noke. In what was easily the most competitive fight of the night, Kyle Noke looked very good off his back, on his feet, and with his takedowns and jiu jitsu. He looked very well rounded. Seth Kleinbeck looked good too, with some real smooth transitions and some decent ground and pound until Noke landed a fight ending elbow that opened up a sick cut over Kleinbeck’s eye, forcing the doctor to stop the fight. Even though the fight was ended early, Noke looked to be the more well rounded fighter and never stopped working and moving his hips while working from his open guard when on the ground. Noke is regarded as one of the best Australian fighters around, so he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on, especially if he’s been hooking up with Greg Jackson’s camp as well.
7. Antonio Silva dominated. He looked more in shape than we’ve ever seen him before and he obliterated Jonathan Wiezorek, eating him up with punches and knees from the clinch. Once the fight went to the ground, it was all but over for Wiezorek and Silva used his far superior jiu jitsu and ground and pound to force a ref stoppage. I’d like to see Silva get a step up in competition, but who is out there right now at super heavyweight? Mark Hunt? Rex Richards? Another shot at Eric Pele?
Overall, the show was a bit underwhelming with two doctor stoppages, the Kimbo fight only lasting nineteen seconds, and the other two fights not getting out of the first round. I give it a C.