SUNRISE, Fla. -- As officials scrambled about the BankAtlantic Center following the announcement
"It's a chance of a lifetime," Shaw said.
The evening's conclusion, which came 14 seconds after the opening bell, was as bizarre as its start. Rumors swirled early that Shamrock was likely out because of a cut. Confirmation came when EliteXC announced the UFC Hall of Fame fighter suffered a "deep" laceration above his left eye while warming up, requiring a hospital visit, six sutures and new foe for Slice.
The promotional company's biggest draw was left in a quandary. Leave fans that turned out in a heavy rainstorm in a lurch, or fight someone he'd never heard of. True to his reputation, Slice, 34, said he would give the hometown crowd, and those watching in prime time on CBS, what they came to see.
Petruzelli, fighting for the first time in over a year, was no step down from the 44-year-old Shamrock. Consensus among media watching cage-side was that Petruzelli, 27, presented a stiffer test than Shamrock -- who had failed to survive the first round in each of his last five fights, compounding a horrendous stretch of three wins in 14 appearances since the millennium.
Despite a 29-pound weight advantage, Slice could not force himself upon Petruzelli in the opening salvos. Wild swinging made for ugly exchanges, but the Petruzelli's effectiveness against a man hyped for heavy hands and stout chin cannot be denied.
His back to the fence, Petruzelli, now 10-4, turned over a right hand that parted beard before meeting chin. Slice stumbled and fell face first, absorbing several shots, mostly to the back of the head, before referee
Wearing a black eye for what he claimed was the first time, Slice glanced at Petruzelli and smiled at the post-fight press conference.
"My family was here," said the brawler, who has used his name to cash in on MMA better any fighter the sport has seen to this point. "You knocked me out in front of my family. That's [expletive] up."
Slice, who had garnered criticism for a sluggish stoppage win against
There was little suspense. Daley, a dangerous striker with 13 stoppages in 18 wins compared to just one submission, seemed terribly suited to fight Shields. Having earned a reputation as one of the top submission fighters in the sport, Shields had to wrestle the 25-year-old Daley harder than most projected, but once he did it was clear the 29-year-old Californian was in another class.
Shields was near perfect in the mount. Intertwining his legs with Daley's, Shields remained comfortably on top until the possibility of an armbar was too much to pass. Turning from the mount and attacking Daley's right arm, Shields missed -- however, he learned a valuable lesson.
"I just got a little too anxious in the first, so I went for it a little too fast," said Shields, now 22-4-1. "I was taking my time some more in the second. I didn't want to miss it again."
Polar opposites in frame and tactics, heavyweights
Early, Arlovski, a former UFC champion, was on the bottom of side-control when Nelson's beer-belly-enhanced leverage helped counter a trip. Nelson (13-3), the IFL champion before the company folded earlier this year, fruitlessly attacked Arlovski's left arm, first with a keylock, then Kimura.
Nelson's control prompted an explosive response from the 29-year-old Arlovski, who burst to his feet before measuring proper distance to land punches recently enhanced by boxing trainer
In Round 2, the Belarusian showed the power in his hands that helped put away
"It was a good stop for him," said Arlovski, who kept alive a potential dream fight against
During the three-round nine-minute bout, referee
Kobold attempted to change her fortune by wrestling Carano, but the 26-year-old "Crush" of "American Gladiators" fame countered with improved takedown defense.
In the third, after Waugh pulled the two apart, Carano went after Kobold (16-3-1), opening a vertical cut at her right eyebrow at the nose.
"I see that as being a tough fight," Carano said.
Following a sloppy but aggressive opening round from both middleweights, Radach (19-4, 1 NC)) took advantage when Rua, 28, slipped to the canvas after failing to connect with a knee to the stomach. Three fully cocked right hands later Rua (16-9-1) was unconscious at 2:31 of Round 2.