411mania MMA Interview: The EliteXC’s Gary Shaw
Posted by John Curry on 06.06.2008
“I had the show on CBS. Dana White watched the show on CBS. That says it all.” –Gary Shaw
Gary Shaw is one of the largest figures behind the up and coming EliteXC company. What many people may not know is that Gary Shaw is no stranger to putting on large-scale successful events as he is also behind the highest grossing boxing match of all time, Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis. Gary Shaw recently took time out to talk with 411mania about the EliteXC, Dana White, and More.
Gary Shaw (Pictured on the right.)
411Mania Mr. Shaw, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join 411mania. How are you doing today? Tell us a little about your background that led you into MMA.
Gary Shaw "I'm doing great, thanks for asking. I was a former regulator in New Jersey, a boxing promoter and a big fan of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts."
411Mania First of all you just completed the first Prime Time MMA show the CBS Network. Tell us how you thought it went?
GS "I think it was terrific. The company is happy. CBS is happy. The fighters are happy. We pulled the demographics we wanted and the ratings were great. I think it was the best show it could be. There is always room for improvement. We put the show together in two months."
411Mania A lot of fans of who watched the show thought some of the stoppages were a little premature? What are your opinions on that?
GS "You know, the refs are in the best position to determine when to stop a fight. I agree with their decisions. I would rather stop a fight one punch too soon rather than one punch too late."
411Mania One thing I noticed more than anything on the show was your willingness to pay both Smith and Lawler after their stoppage. This seems like something I wouldn't expect from the UFC. How else are you different from Dana White and the UFC?
GS "Dana White has a huge ego and I don't. It is all about Dana White in the UFC and what he can do to help himself. I care about our fighters and organization more than myself. It just comes down to this Dana White cares about Dana White and I care about our fighters and it paid off. I had the show on CBS and Dana White watched the show on CBS. That says it all."
411ManiaI have to say there was no better fight to introduce casual fans to MMA than the Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith fight. Can we expect to see a rematch between Lawler and Smith?
GS "I completely agree with that statement. It was everything that is good about MMA. We will absolutely see a rematch between them, probably anywhere between August and October. I hope it will be on CBS but it could be on Showtime."
411Mania Apparently you had some issues at the post fight news conference between Kimbo and Rodgers in which Rodgers stated he saw Kimbo tap. You actually had to physically restrain Kimbo while Phil Baroni restrained Rodgers. What happened? Is there any chance we will see Rodgers vs. Kimbo in the near future?
GS "Rogers started trash talking Kimbo, calling him garbage and everything in front of Kimbo. You just don't do that in front of Kimbo. It got ugly real quick. Robbie Lawler stepped in and helped keep them separated. Those two will get a chance to fight each other in the cage eventually."
411Mania There is a lot of concern that the EliteXC is protecting Kimbo Slice. I think there is only so much protection that can be offered in a fight. What is your response to this statement?
GS"That kind of stuff comes from the 23 blogging haters. The guy has had three fights in his career, not 20 fights. We aren't going to rush him into big matchups when the guy only has three fights. Those comments come from those bloggers. We had six million people watch the show. You don't have six million bloggers on your site. Kimbo is the number one most recognizable face in MMA and that is why they are hating on him. They are just jealous. The guy is the greatest striker in the world. "
411Mania A lot of MMA fans aren't familiar with you enough to know that you are also a boxing promoter in addition to MMA. Is there any news on Rafael Marquez? When can we expect to see him fight again & what are your plans for him?
GS "No there are no plans for him at the moment. You can check out our fights on Saturday on Showtime. "
411Mania Tell us a little about the June 14th Card in Hawaii.
GS "It's going to be a great card. We have KJ Noons fighting Yves Edwards for the Lightweight title. We have Nick Diaz, Rafael Feijao, Wayne Cole, Corbbrey. It should be a great night of fights. I think we should have higher ratings on Showtime thanks to the CBS show."
411Mania I have to ask you a question. Why is it that although you receive an extensive amount of publicity from Internet sites, they are considered low priority for press passes and media events to the CBS event?
GS " That was all CBS. We didn't have any control over that."
411Mania With recent information that the UFC's Keith Jardine only made 10,000 for his last fight, let me ask how do you treat your fighters differently than the UFC?
GS "I don't know how the UFC treats their fighters so I won't comment on that. I know we treat all of our fighters like they are champions."
411Mania Worst job you ever had?
GS "Being a guinea pig for NASA."
411Mania Harder sport to promote Boxing or MMA?
GS "Equally difficult."
411Mania What is something no one would guess about you?
GS "I'm sensitive."
411Mania Do you have a guilty pleasure?
411Mania Who do you look up to and why?
GS "My father, who was a great role model for me."
411Mania Favorite Singer?
GS "Mariah Carey"
411Mania Favorite day off activity?
GS "Watching television. Mainly educational programming and the news."
411Mania Favorite movie?
GS " My Cousin Vinny"
411Mania Mr. Shaw I want to thank you for taking time to introduce yourself to our readers and we wish you the best of luck in the future. Before we go is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
GS "Thank you so much for following my career. Keep watching you never know what you'll see."