Some are calling this night, MMA's debut on network TV one of the biggest nights in the history of the sport, and it will be up to these ten fighters to make the all important audience happy...
917 Percentage (91.7) of the combined fights between big men Brett Rogers and Jon Murphy to be stopped. Murphy, who despite having four kids, recently quit his job as a tire repairman at Sam's Club to further pursue his MMA career, is 6-0 and has stopped all six of his opponents, 5 (T)KO's and one submission due to strikes. Jon Murphy also has six fights and is 4-2 with three (T)KO victories and one TKO loss to Houston Alexander. Murphy has also dedicated himself to the sport after playing college football at Syracuse and later battling alcoholism. He is now ready for his big break, but it won't be easy against Rogers.
622 Date (6/22) of 2007 when both Joey Villasenor and Phil Baroni fought on the same card at Strikeforce - Elite XC Shamrock vs. Baroni. It didn't go well for either man. Villasenor, now 25-6, was TKO'd by Murilo Rua and Baroni, currently 10-9, was stopped by Frank Shamrock. Since the loss, Villasenor has won two straight, Baroni dropped one more, a grueling TKO to Kala Hose at 1:45 of round five. Baroni says he fights because he can't sing or dance and it beats working any day. When Villasenor isn't fighting you might find him playing poker or fly fishing, he enjoys both.
91 Combined record (9-1) of Gina Carano, 5-0, and Kaitlin Young, 4-1. They will be the combatants in the biggest women's MMA fight in the history of the sport...and Gina didn't make weight, but anyway... The fight should be exciting as Carano is known for her striking and has two (T)KO's, Young can also strike and all four of her wins have come via (T)KO. When not hitting people she's hitting the books working toward a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Exercise physiology. When Carano isn't in the cage she's participating in another high profile profession as "Crush" on the new American Gladiators.
23 Scott Smith and Elite XC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler have combined for (23) (T)KO's in their careers. Smith, who is 13-4 has 11 (T)KO's and two submissions. Lawler, 15-4, has 12 (T)KO's. This one has the makings of an epic slugfest...or a spectacular fast KO. Lawler is coming off a biceps injury and will look to announce his return with his usual aggressive "ruthlessness." Smith, a union iron worker for eight years who now consistently drives all over California to train, has had a lot of time on the road to think about becoming the champ, and he knows that only one big punch or kick stands in his way.
2 The headliner, the man Elite XC is building the show around, Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson has (2) professional fights and they lasted a combined 1:01. Of course he's had many more fights in backyards and boatyards. His opponent on Saturday, Brit James Thompson, 14-8, is more experienced than the guys on "Kimbo's' resume. But Kimbo will look to stop him too, and many think there is a good chance this will happen and quickly. Thompson, who has nine wins by (T)KO can stop the fight too, but of his eight losses, he's been (T)KO'd seven times. The recipe is there for this one to end with emphasis.
For more interesting numbers and pics of the above fighters at the press conference check out my blog Sports by the Numbers MMA