Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson headlined Elite XC: Primetime 13 years ago on this very day.
This landmark card went down on May 31st, 2008. This event broadcasted on CBS in what was a historic happening.
It all went down live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey; the state that introduced the unified rules of mixed martial arts in 2000.
Kimbo Slice lands a right hook against James Thompson,
that causes his ear to explode on national television pic.twitter.com/wgWAru1VhH
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) May 31, 2021
Gus Johnson, Mauro Ranallo, and Frank Shamrock are on the call for this one.
The cheerleaders/ dancers in between bouts have a vibe akin to the WCW’s Nitro Girls from back in the day.
A lot of these attitude-era pro wrestling aesthetics were discussed at the time by some with a level of disdain reminiscent of people nowadays who begrudge entertainment-infused shows like Triller Fight Club.
Elite XC certainly drew the ire of many including fans, media, and even promoters alike.
Elite XC: Primetime
The preliminary portion of the event features notable names like Wilson Reis and Zach Makovsky who both secured victories. Also of note, present-day-ranked UFC featherweight Calvin Kattar tasted defeat on this night.
The televised portion of the card kicks off with Brett Rogers, who got an introduction via Busta Rhymes’ live performance, clashing with Jon Murphy. A first-round firefight that saw Rogers improve to 8-0 with a devastating knockout punch in sixty-one seconds.
Phil Baroni versus Joey Villasenor serves as the sophomore main card contest here. The New York Badass cut his customary bombastic style of promo before entering this bout with a boisterous entrance. Baroni rocks a shiny robe whilst being accompanied by two women.
Despite the electric entrance, Baroni fell to a .500 record (10-10) as he also fell to the canvas. A barrage of punches from Joey Villasenor transpires at seventy-one seconds into the opening frame.
Gina Carano triumphs and Robbie Lawler retains
Gina Carano’s popularity was white-hot at this time and she improves to 6-0 in this outing by besting Kaitlin Young. This contest is a curious timestamp because this was when women’s MMA bouts were still done in three-minute round increments.
The crowd reaches a fever pitch in the second frame of the bout as Carano’s elite level Muay Thai is largely showcased while also nearly securing a fight-ending rear-naked choke to end the round.
Doctors call off this contest between rounds due to swelling underneath the eye of Young. The crowd continually roared in approval throughout for Carano.
In the Elite XC: Primetime co-feature, Robbie Lawler readies to defend his Elite XC middleweight world championship against Scott Smith.
An incredibly exciting fight on paper and the action that transpired lived up to the lofty expectations. I remember there being high hopes heading into this fight per the message board sentiments and it delivered big time. Sadly though, there was a tragically anti-climactic ending.
Smith takes a thumb to the eye, the doctor calls it off to the dismay of both combatants, and the 185 lb championship fight is a no contest.
Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson
Slice versus Thompson saw Kimbo at the peak of his popularity as he took on a PRIDE FC veteran in James Thompson.
Thompson initiates the grappling game and takes the heavy-handed Slice to the canvas. A cacophony of crowd noise accompanied every Kimbo Slice anti-grappling effort. Slice even gets a first-round takedown and a sweep on Thompson.
Slice rocks Thompson repeatedly in the second with The Colossus getting some decent top control time on the mat.
An enigmatic street fighting legend was able to showcase some incremental improvements in his grappling. But it’s obvious he and the promotional figureheads that positioned Kimbo Slice as their golden goose wanted things to stay standing.
The infamous exploding ear incident takes place and Slice starts teeing off on Thompson for what amounted to a premature stoppage in the eyes of many at the time. Kimbo Slice improves to 3-0 while James Thompson falls to 14-9.
In summation, Elite XC: Primetime has great replay value and firing up the UFC Fight Pass for this one is a must. High octane action in all of the main card fights and an intriguing but charming level of nostalgia permeating throughout.
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.