CBS has canceled its popular Saturday Night Fights show after the company that produced the show, Pro Elite, went out of business this week. They were supposed to film a match on November 8 in Reno, NV (and Showtime was supposed to air it later) but the company has canceled that show. No word on why the company is no longer operating.
Well, did you watch it? Last night CBS boldly went where no network has gone before... and it kind of sucked. That's too bad. As someone who counts himself as a fan of MMA, I had high hopes for the big debut. But then, I knew going in that it was an iffy proposition. They try hard, but the Elite XC is still far from the cream of the MMA crop. For the prime time debut, it really would have been nice if this could have been a big UFC event. Heck, even the WEC with that Uriah Faber vs Jens Pulver (VS tonight at 6PM PST) match would have been preferable.
Despite the lack of big name talent, the show still had a shot. Great fights can make up for a lot of shortcomings, and this one had a lot of them to be made up for. To start, the production left a lot to be desired. For example, if you are promising the fans big time fighting, get to it already. It took a full 25 minutes before the first match started. Worse than that, given the way the first two matches played out, fans were left with just over two minutes of actual fighting in the first hour of the show. I was left thinking that the most exciting thing about the first hour was the commercial for Street Fighter IV. Not a good sign.
CBS Executive Chairman, Sumner Redstone, was asked on Wednesday for his thoughts on the four MMA events scheduled to air on the network as a result of their partnership with Elite Xtreme Combat. Now, if Sumner just said he's not a fan, or he didn't think it was right for the network, I could probably just agree to disagree with him. My issue with his comments, as reported by Reuters, come from the reference that airing the sport on free, broadcast TV, is not socially responsible.
Seriously? Does he watch the network? We all know what would be plugging those open holes in the lineup if it wasn't for the appearance of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano (American Gladiators, pictured). Yes, another heaping helping of CSI:X reruns, possibly featuring psychopaths that poison/stab/shoot/strangle/etc their victims. If your argument is that airing fictional murderers committing heinous, bloody, crimes is somehow taking the moral high ground when compared to MMA, I'm really not buying it. For those of you interested in some Saturday night MMA, I've attached the press release, with the fight card, after the jump.
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