Image Entertainment // 2008 // 126 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ian Visser (Retired) // September 5th, 2008
Rumble in paradise!
Broadcast live from Honolulu, Hawaii, Uprising is the latest mixed martial arts (MMA) offering from EliteXC, a fledgling fight league. EliteXC is doing its best to make a mark on the sport, through regular pay-per-view events on Showtime and a recent deal with CBS to broadcast fights during prime time.
EliteXC: Uprising features the middleweight championship bout between Murilo "Ninja" Rua and "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler, in addition to four other fights broadcast during the event. These matches include:
* Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler
* Nick Diaz vs. "Iron" Mike Aina
* Gina Carano vs. Tonya Evinger
* Jake "The American Dream" Shields vs. Renato "Charuto" Verissimo
* "Killer Bee" Riki Fukuda vs. "Smokin'" Joe Villasenor
In my recent review of EliteXC: Street Certified, I took the organization to task for hyping a Kimbo Slice/Tank Abbott fight to impossible levels, while delivering a collection of low-quality fights. I'm pleased to say that Uprising rectifies that shortcoming, by providing a solid collection of bouts in the broadcast portion of the release.
Where Street Certified barely offered twenty-five minutes of fight time, Uprising packs considerably more action into its show and at least three of the five fights are top-notch offerings. The Fukuda/Villasenor bout is a tough knockaround for both fighters, the title match between Rua and Lawler delivers the goods with some serious pounding by both participants, and the battle between Diaz and Aina is an unpredictable mix of both stand up and grappling action.
One of the areas where EliteXC differs from its competitors is the inclusion of female fighters. I'm pleased to report this particular brand of fighting is handled with considerably less exploitation than I had expected. The female fighters get the same attention as their male counterparts and the featured match is gratefully absent of any bikinis or Jell-O. The fight itself is not altogether entertaining, but at least the endeavor is handled with maturity. It's a bit early to say if women fighters will find a place in the sport, but it's nice to see that they are at least getting a chance to show their stuff.
I continue to be impressed by the quality of EliteXC releases. The widescreen image does a good job of delivering the action, with black levels appearing nice and deep and few defects being apparent. The audio also performs admirably; there are a number of instances when the impact of the punches comes across so loud and clear that it creates a nice "you are there" atmosphere for the viewer.
It's nice to see that EliteXC is willing to provide additional materials to flesh out the second disk in this set. In addition to bonus matches, fans get a series of behind-the-scenes segments, fighter bios, photo galleries, a fight glossary, a list of rules, and two collectible trading cards featuring Murilo Rua and Robbie Lawler. The behind-the-scenes section includes pre-fight interviews, training profiles, weigh-in footage, post-fight speeches, and a promo for the event.
Seven matches not included in the broadcast are listed on Uprising as extras:
* Kala Kolohe Hose vs. Jeff Cox
* Elias Delos Reyes vs. Chico Cantiberos
* Justin Buchholz vs. Ikaika Choy-Fu
* Tyson Nam vs. Albert "Bad" Manners
* Mark Kurano vs. Jose Diaz
* Mark Oshiro vs. Nui Wheeler
* Brandon Wolff vs. Chad Klingensmith
Unfortunately, in terms of quality, these undercard bouts can't match the main event. Two of the fights are finished in just over a minute, and another lasts barely twenty seconds. It seems EliteXC still has a way to go, when it comes to finding a balance of talent among its newer fighters. It's great that these fights are included, but the organization needs to up future value, in order to make their inclusion more worthwhile.
A superior effort compared to other EliteXC releases, Uprising provides some solid fight action tied up in a nice package. The company still has to work more on getting evenly balanced fighters together in the ring, but fans of MMA can be confident adding this release to their collection.
Review content copyright © 2008 Ian Visser; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 126 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Seven non-broadcasted fights
* Behind the Scenes features
* Fighter bios
* Photo gallery
* Fighter trading cards
* Official EliteXC Site