John Beyrooty from Showtime sent along the following:
KIMBO SLICE & TANK ABBOTT,
“BIG FOOT’ SILVA & RICCO RODRIGUEZ,
SCOTT SMITH & KYLE NOKE,
JAMES “COLOSSUS” THOMPSON & BRETT ROGERS,
EDSON BERTO & YVES EDWARDS
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008,
Bernie Kosar’s Steakhouse, Miami, Fla.
In what will be a thrilling and entertaining heavyweight fight for as long as it lasts, the incredibly popular Pride of Perrine, Fla., Kimbo Slice (1-0), will face hard-hitting Mixed Martial Arts icon, David “Tank” Abbott (9-13), of Huntington Beach, Calif., in a must-see showdown this Saturday, Feb. 16, at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami.
Tickets for a spectacular 11-bout event, presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s EliteXC, start at $35 and are available at Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the BankUnited Box Office at the University of Miami. Doors open at 7 p.m. The first fight is 7:30.
SHOWTIME will televise five fights including the long-awaited, eagerly anticipated Kimbo-Tank confrontation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), while six non-televised undercard bouts will be streamed live on the leading MMA internet site, ProElite.com.
In addition to Kimbo-Tank, the SHOWTIME telecast will include: Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (9-1), a highly touted Brazilian who lives in Coconut Creek, Fla., and is considered one of the world’s top heavyweights, versus former champion Ricco Rodriguez (27-7), of Staten Island, N.Y., England's James “The Colossus” Thompson (16-7) battles unbeaten Brett Rogers (7-0) of St. Paul, Minn., in a heavyweight match, Australian Kyle “The Ozzie” Noke (14-3-1), the bodyguard of the late Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, meets Scott “Hands Of Steel” Smith (14-4), of Sacramento, Calif., in a terrific scrap at 185 pounds; and Edson “Little Tiger” Berto (14-4-1), of Tampa, Fla., faces Yves Edwards (32-13-1) of Conroe, Tex., in a fight at 160 pounds.
A non-televised undercard streamed live at ProElite.com will include: Rafael Feijao (4-1), of Brazil, vs. John Doyle (6-2), of Allentown, Pa., at 205; Mike Bernhard (3-0), of Miami, vs. Lorenzo Borgameo (2-0), of Miami, at 170; Eric Bradley (2-1), of Las Vegas, Nev., vs. Mikey Gomez (6-3), of Orlando, Fla., at 170; Mario Rinaldi (6-2), of Miami, vs. Dave Herman (9-0) of Indiana at 265; Jon Kirk (10-2), of Houston, vs. Yosmany Cabezas (4-0), of Tampa, Fla., at 185 pounds, and Moyses Gabin (1-0), of Miami, vs. Jirka Hlavaty (1-1), of Miami, at 265.
In addition to the fights being streamed live, fans can watch pre- and post-fight interviews on ProElite.com. The 11 contests are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds. Note: Fighter pages for televised and non-televised bouts are below.
“Tank is full of (poop) if he thinks I can’t take his punches. I’m bringing the whole thing to the cage. I am bringing the hood with me to this cage.
“This fight means a lot to not only me but the entire city. This is big time. That is why I am going to break his rib, break his nose, break his arm.
“Mentally, I’m going to have to bring some extra earmuffs to try and stay focused. The crowd is going to go crazy, but I am going to have to stay focused.
“There are a lot of things in my arsenal I am going to try to use. If he’s a tad bit slow, I’m going to hurt him. I’ve trained with the best. It is going to be a long fight for him, or a short night.
“There is no extra pressure to get the KO. Nothing concerns me with Tank. I’m not overly concerned at all. I am prepared for whatever he is going to do.
“My family drives me to succeed. As long as I have all my limbs there is going to be a way. The right hand is for his top lip, the left hand is for his bottom lip.
“Bas (Rutten) is a mentor of mine. Anything Tank has to say about Bas, I am going to take it personal. I am going to make him pay for his words.
“Tank has a very big mouth. He needs to be careful about what he says. We take a lot of things personal. I just hope I don’t run into him before the fight starts. I want to settle this in the cage.
“Training has just evolved for this fight more than for any of my other opponents. I have taken it very seriously.
“Kimbo is tough streetwise, but he is behind the times as far as putting it all together. The only thing he has done that is only remotely close to me is he has been in a few street fights. And I don’t even consider those fights.
“Kimbo is going to get hurt, that’s for sure. The way I am and the shape I’m in right now I can’t fathom a human being who can take five minutes of my shots. I am on fire right now.
“I think it is funny that he’s got Bas Rutten to train him. This is a real fight, not a slap-fest. He should have gotten a real fighter to train him. Training with Bas is better than nothing. But you either have it or you don’t. Technique doesn’t make you tough.
“I think the guy has guts and heart. But as far as toughness, you either have it or you don’t. You can’t teach toughness.
“I think Kimbo’s motivation is to be on TV or on the Internet. I think that is why he fights. Me? I have been in over 200 street fights to various degrees, ranging from knocking a guy out at a stop light to sending someone to the ICU for a week. I fight because I love it.
“There’s nothing he can do, barring a lucky punch, to beat me. I’ve been wrestling, grappling, fighting — you name it — for 20 years. What’s he going to do? There’s nothing about his game that worries me. This is what I love to do. I like to fight. I like it because I can’t go to jail for it.
“If you make a strategy to fight someone you are developing little crutches for yourself. I don’t have a plan.
“It’s just going to be a beating, unless something bizarre happens. Where I am right now there is no man alive who can take five minutes of my punches.
“Everybody gives me (poop) about my shape. I can do 15 minutes on my head holding my breath.
“My opponent is a talented fighter. I am very excited and really anticipating the fight. Saturday night is going to be a great stepping stone for my career.
“I have prepared for Ricco at his best and I expect him to be in his best physical shape. I watch his last fight against Ben Rothwell every night. I think I have better mat work than Rothwell.
“I would like to show the public what some may consider impossible, and that is to beat a ground fighter on the ground. If I have an opportunity to submit him, I will. I know he has a good ground game, but if I need to use my ground skills, I will.
“I have practiced a lot on the bottom and on the top. I will take what Ricco gives me. I think that Ricco has improved a lot since his last fight, but I have come to knock him out.
“I found it very unprofessional when he spit on Rothwell, but I have respect for him. I hope he doesn’t try to do that to me, but if he does try that they will need three referees instead of one to take me off him.
“I have a long path to run in the heavyweight division. The goal is to be the No. 1 in the world. I am working toward that now.
“I feel great fighting at 265 pounds. I’m comfortable. I am well prepared. I want to give a good fight to the fans.”
“I don’t know about Antonio’s system, but I know about my system. Training is going well. I am right at 265 pounds.
“Win or lose, six months from now Antonio and I will be fighting again, probably for a title. We are the two best fighters in this organization right now. Tank and Kimbo are just tomato cans. We are the two real fighters.
“I don’t see this fight going the distance, but if it does I will be very impressed.
“This guy is amazing. He does everything. I’m going to bang and I’ll just start swinging. I don’t know how the fight is going to go, but I am going to come out like I always do.
“The truth is the guy is a stud. He can fight anyone in the world.
“This fight is a mirror match. There is nothing in his arsenal that I don’t use or have. He is a better fighter than Rothwell all around. (But) No one has brought the heat to him yet.
“Setting the tempo first is going to be huge in this fight. Whoever takes the center of the cage is going to be calling the shots.
“I don’t care if I get clobbered or if I go 15 minutes. I just don’t want to get knocked out. Kicks, punches, everything is going to hurt. He’s capable of doing some damage and he’s going to be bringing it.
“It’s one of those fights you might win, but you will still be walking away from that cage hurt.
“I am confident in my striking. This is going to be the most technical fight of the night. I’m just hoping it doesn’t end in the first minute. The only way I am going to win is by a knockout. I’m banging. This is ground and pound. The key to this fight is position over submission.
“I’m just happy to be working for a big time show.”
“It doesn’t matter how the fight goes, I can take it all. We’re going to stand up and bang. I probably have better hands than him. He may try to take it to the ground, but I’m ready.
“This is a tough fight. I respect him a lot. I looked up to him, but once we get in the ring I am trying to win.
“When I get in the ring I don’t see Yves Edwards. I see someone who is standing in my way, someone I have to beat.
“Training with American Top Team is great for me.
“I am motivated to leave this sport with a legacy. Twenty years from now I want people to look back at the sport and remember me. I want kids to look at me like they looked at Sonny Liston.
“I want the title to say Yves Edwards, champion of the world. I want to fight everyone, and of course, I want to fight the best. Those are the guys that motivate me.
“You can’t judge any fighter by a grouping of fights. It is unprecedented for me to lose three fights in a row, but I am doing everything it takes to come back on top.
“Six months from now, I want to be on a five fight winning streak. About a year from now, I want to be back in the top 10. A year after that I want to be the man that everyone wants to beat.
“I’m expecting to see the best out of Berto. I want to get to the top of the world and he’s standing in my way. I can’t see past him, so I’ll have to beat him on Saturday to get to where I need to be.
“I don’t think you have seen the best of me yet. In the past I have given fans the best of me, but that was my best back then. There are still a lot more surprises in my bag of tricks and I feel I have gotten a lot better. Don’t blink or you are going to miss something amazing.
“It doesn’t matter where the fight goes. I feel that I am more skilled than he is. He is going to fail at a lot of his takedown attempts. I am a better stand up fighter than him and if it goes to the ground, I will prove that I am better at Jiu-Jitsu than him.
“Brett Rogers is a big guy, a strong guy. He has quick hands, but I’m not sure if he has been challenged yet. He has only fought seven fights, and I am the biggest of his career.
“I have been training hard with Randy Couture. I am more than ready for Saturday night.
“I am more well-rounded than I have ever been. Being able to spar and train with people who are actually my weight class is a huge advantage.
“Rogers is dangerous, but he’s someone I should beat. I am looking forward to it. I’ve moved base, I’ve moved teams. I’ve accepted responsibility for my losses. Now I need to move forward.
“I am more refined as a fighter now, but I will still keep the basic instinct that I have in the cage. I am aggressive, that is just my nature.
“This is a new start, a new promotion and a new team. I am very excited about fighting on EliteXC. I will not disappoint.”
“I’ve seen tape on him. He doesn’t have a chance. He has the experience. He may have had a couple of bad nights, but I’m not thinking he’s a pushover.
“But at the same time, I know I have skills and I know I will win. Everybody wants to see the KOs, and I want to be the guy who can deliver them.
“This fight seems like a natural progression. This is my opportunity to put myself on the map.
“I am a pretty good shot blocker and I’ll dance in circles until he slows down. I will dictate the pace. If I fall on the ground I am going to be comfortable. I use the groundwork as a defense to get back to standing up.
“There are no easy fights. This is a long way to come for a fight from Australia , so I want to be tested every time I come here. I think this is going to be a great test for me.
“My wrestling has improved since my last fight. My takedowns and takedown defense has improved so I am more well-rounded. I don’t expect to be taken to the ground in this fight though. I expect him to keep it standing up.
“It is going to be a good, hard fight. I’m just going to go in there and fight.
“I try and improve myself for each fight. I want to put in a good show for the crowd.
“I don’t know where I stand in the division in EliteXC. It is stacked all the way through. After this fight, it will be a good judge for me to see where I am in this division. If my training team tells me I’m ready for a fight, I’m ready for a fight. I’ll fight whoever they tell me to.”
“I’m very excited about the fight and want to thank everyone involved. I am looking forward to this opportunity. I’m facing a very tough opponent but I’m confident I can come out with a win.
“EliteXC is loaded in the middleweight division, and I am making my debut against one of their best. If I can get past Noke, I have a chance to compete with the best in the business.
“Training has been going great. I am prepared to fight in whatever way my opponent wants to go. My stand up skills are strong, but I am always prepared to take the fight to the ground.”
Fighter pages (televised bouts): Kimbo (http://kimboslice.proelite.com), Tank (http://tankabbott.proelite.com), Silva (http://antoniosilva.proelite.com), Rodriguez (http://riccorodriguez.proelite.com), Thompson (http://jamesthompson.proelite.com), Rogers (http://brettrogers.proelite.com), Noke (http://kylenoke.proelite.com), Smith (http://scottsmith.proelite.com), Berto (http://Edsonberto.proelite.com), Edwards (http://yvesedwards.proelite.com).
Fighter pages (non-televised bouts): Gabin (http://MoysesGabin.proelite.com), Hlavaty (http://jirkahlavaty.proelite.com), Borgameo (http://lorenzoborgame.proelite.com), Bernhard (http://mikebernhard.proelite.com), Bradley (http://ericbradley.proelite.com), Gomez (http://mikeygomez.proelite.com), Rinaldi (http://mariorinaldi.proelite.com), Herman (http://daveherman.proelite.com), Kirk (http://jonkirk.proelite.com), Cabezas (http://yosmanycabezas.proelite.com), Feijao (http://rafaelfeijao.proelite.com), Doyle (http://johndoyle.proelite.com).