PRO: Gus Johnson. Absolutely fantastic job. Not only did he give credibility to the show but he’s an absolute professional and made it twice as good. I’d like Gus Johnson to announce everything on my television from MMA to hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos to talking to the banker on Deal or No Deal. I love you Gus Johnson.
CON: Brett Rogers cursing. Immediately after the Rogers/Murphy fight I saw Gary Shaw talking to Rogers and my first thought was that he was reminding him he’s on CBS and this is the first fight and he needs to make sure to be professional and sound good. And Rogers comes right out and gets us a five second mute. If that isn’t what Gary Shaw was saying to him what the hell was he saying? This was the first fight ever on major network television and that wasn’t the chat you had? Seriously?
PRO: Big Black. Like all civilized human beings, I realize Rob & Big was the greatest show in the history of MTV. While I’m sad that he apparently left the show to do things like stand behind Brett Rogers on television wearing a t-shirt I’m just happy he’s around. Simply seeing him brightened my day.
CON: Whore dancers. Seriously, if there was one thing everyone agreed on it was that EXC needed to lose the strippers dancing on the ramp. Oh yes, dancing to rap music and closeups of ass shorts, exactly what all of us were praying for on the network debut. The whore dancers are the equivalent of K-1’s horrible DJ. Just stop it.
CONFUSING: Phil Baroni has a college degree!?!? Phil Baroni? I was 80% sure he couldn’t read let alone finish a four year degree at a D-1 university. This information has made me question everything I thought I knew.
CON: Stoppage of the Lawler/Smith fight. Doctor Sherry Roken (sp?) apparently felt everyone paid to see her and step in the way of a man’s career and future. What is the point of giving five minutes if you take a man’s comment 30 seconds after something happens as the final word? What is the point of telling a doctor the truth? And to hell with the NJSAC for blaming it on Smith saying he couldn’t see. No, it was your fault, not his. Don’t pass the problem off because you were incompetent. Give him his five minutes and then talk to him. Smith obviously didn’t want to stop and you just robbed us of a great ending to a great fight. You’re not protecting anyone, you’re trying to steal the show. I don’t care how hard you try, you’re never going to be as incompetent as Armando Garcia so stop with the effort.
PRO: Carano/Young. Nothing else to add, well played.
CON: James Thompson’s ear. I got a phone call during the fight asking if there was a new trendy Hollywood plastic surgery that involved inserting pool balls into ears. That’s just not right. That ear made Mark Coleman’s head tumor look like a scratch.
PRO: Kimbo’s scissor sweep. Sure he was seemingly confused in the crucifix but I was really impressed by the sweep. Long way to go but a great sign.
CON: Dan Miragliotta’s stoppage. Just awful. Our own Adam Morgan strongly disagrees but I feel he’ll be in a huge minority. They were looking for a reason for Kimbo to win. And I should note I like Kimbo and have defended him time and time again so this is hardly hatred towards him. Thompson took 5 shots worse than those throughout the course of the fight and it wasn’t stopped. Yes, his disgusting ear exploded and he might have been killed with the next punch but that fight should not have been stopped. Apparently the scorecards are out and Thompson was winning the fight. That certainly doesn’t help the case for EXC and that end was a sham.
OVERALL: I loved the show. The fights were fantastic and despite the two horrible stoppages and the dancing whores I think it went off very well. All things considered over how bad it could have went I think this was as nice as we could have hoped for as mixed martial arts fans on a national stage. Just please stop with the strippers. Please.