This is from CBS, which announced the date and tentative card for its next mixed martial arts bout taking place in July. The first one was well-received by Saturday night standards, and the next one might do better because there will be no other sports airing on competing networks (NBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup finals actually beat CBS’s MMA event during its debut in late May).
CBS and EliteXC announced that the next CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be broadcast live from the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif. on Saturday, July 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The four-fight broadcast will be highlighted by the highly anticipated rematch between “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith for the EliteXC Middleweight Title.
The night of mixed martial action will begin with three live fights on SHOWTIME (8:00-9:00 PT, ET/PT) including an EliteXC Heavyweight Championship match featuring Antonio “Big Foot” Silva.
“One venue, two networks and seven exciting world class fights adds up to an entertaining and memorable mixed martial arts event in prime time,” said Doug DeLuca, Executive Chairman, ProElite, Inc.
In a rematch of their exciting, controversial first fight on May 31 on CBS, Lawler, the EliteXC middleweight champion from St. Louis by way of Davenport, Iowa, will put his title on the line once again against hard-hitting challenger Smith of Elk Grove, Calif. Their last meeting, a fight that many called the fight of the night, ended in controversy when doctors called the fight after Smith caught an unintentional finger in the eye late in the third round. Smith claimed he was ready to continue, but the fight was stopped and declared a no contest.
In a second world title fight on CBS, two of the sports’ most talented welterweights will collide when San Francisco’s Jake Shields, who has won nine in a row, gets his long awaited shot at a world title when he squares off against Nick Thompson of Minneapolis, Minn., who has won 12 straight and 20 of his last 21 fights, for the vacant EliteXC 170-pound belt.
The world title fights are scheduled for five, five-minute rounds.
Also on CBS, hometown favorite Nick Diaz of Stockton, Calif. will face Thomas “Wildman” Denny of Hesperia, Calif. The talented Diaz, who will be seeking his third victory in three months, needs a win to stay in the hunt for a potential rematch with ElliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons. Denny, a winner in four of his last five fights, is coming off a first-round disqualification victory over the highly regarded Malaipet on March 21, 2008.
The remaining primetime match-ups for the CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS on July 26 will be announced at a later date. The SHOWTIME match-ups also will be announced in the near future.
CBS Sports play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, cageside analysts Frank Shamrock and Mauro Ranallo, and reporter Karyn Bryant will return as the “CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS” broadcast team and also have the call for the SHOWTIME telecast.
CBS’s inaugural mixed martial arts broadcast on May 31, 2008 dominated its time period in all key young men and young adult demographics. The total viewership increased throughout the night, peaking at 6.51m viewers for the Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson fight. The entire broadcast (9:00-11:51 PM) averaged 4.85m viewers.