EliteXC is slated to return to CBS this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET. While drawing a strong rating in the dead of summer on a Saturday night is not easy, all indications are that the promotion will return to the Tiffany network in September or October, regardless of the ratings.
This Saturday’s show will be headlined by a EliteXC middleweight title rematch between incumbent Robbie Lawler and challenger Scott Smith, but the fall show is expected to have additional star power with the anticipated return of both Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and Gina Carano.
Since defeating James Thompson via TKO in the main event of EliteXC’s inaugural telecast on CBS on May 31, Slice has kept a relatively low profile. However, ProElite chairman Doug DeLuca offered an update on the former Internet street fighting sensation during a conference call last week. He also used the opportunity to defend him against some of his critics.
“He’s training hard,” said DeLuca. “Kimbo is flying back and forth between Miami and California; he’s training with his team. The thing I will say about Kimbo is that I really don’t understand likes to give him a hard time…
“In Kimbo’s case, it was a year or so ago, but he found the sport, he’s committed and he’s a natural, a great fighter, who, unlike other guys you see come up off the streets that don’t have the discipline and the focus, this guy is one of the most disciplined and focused guys I’ve ever seen.
“So, to his credit, after that fight with James Thompson, Kimbo said (at the press conference), ‘I’m a baby in this sport and I know that.’ He said ‘I’m standing up here on this dais with world-class athletes that have been at this much longer than I have been.’ And he said, ‘I know I need to up my game in various places and at various levels and I will do that.’ Kimbo’s been committed and he’s doing that and he’s training real hard. You are going to see Kimbo fight again probably in late September, early to mid-October.”
With Kimbo expected to be added to the fall show, all that’s left is an opponent. Previous reports indicated that a bout between heavyweight rival Brett Rogers was likely, but the rumored bout is far from official.
“I definitely cannot confirm that he will be fighting Brett Rogers because we’re not sure that that’s the next fight for Kimbo,” stated DeLuca.
All indications are that EliteXC has yet to decide on Slice’s next opponent. While Rogers could still be in the mix, there are been recent rumblings that British heavyweight Neil Grove could be next in line following his July 12 second round TKO against Robert “Buzz” Berry at Cage Rage 27.