Kimbo Slice good for the sport
Could MMA's prime-time debut on network television showcase a better fighter? Yes. But, there’s still a way to make the entire Slice situation more tolerable, and I will expound more on this next week. For now, and this is what I told the host, people need to grudgingly accept Slice because he’s going to be bringing a whole lot of people to this sport. Yes, it sucks that the winner of American Idol is being treated like the greatest musician of all time, but MMA still comes out a winner Saturday night.
And, at least EliteXC is handling Slice the right way. They aren’t trying to make him someone he’s not and putting him up against the top competition in the sport, because he would get destroyed. Kimbo is getting a push in mainstream media like Chuck Liddell got before he fought Rampage Jackson. Liddell lost steam because of his loss to a real fighter. Slice will only grow from this event as he knocks out this big guy, who is proficient at only one thing related to fighting -- getting himself knocked out. He’s a real star in that category.
I will say this -- Kimbo certainly does not set the sport back two years, as a commenter to an early post suggested. Slice will bring new eyes to the sport and he won’t embarrass it. He’s not going to be showboating or dancing around the ring. He’s not going to be gauging eyes or going for groin shots. He’s simply going to destroy James Thompson. That’s not bad for the sport. It may mislead people, who think that either of the two fighters in the main event is relatively close to the top of their field, but it won’t cause any long-term damage.
No one will be tuning in to see a technical exchange of muay thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and turn off the TV in disgust when they see nothing but a brawl. It’s like having a guy in a giant Uncle Sam costume stand in front of a store with a sign -- it will draw some eyes and get people in the door. Maybe they will give the real products in the store a chance, and if that happens, then the ridiculous Uncle Sam costume wasn’t a bad idea after all.
For a more in-depth breakdown of an otherwise mediocre card, check out the good people at FiveOuncesofPain.com, as my guy Adam Morgan and the others over there tell you everything you need to know.
A few quick things: Next week, the gloves will officially be off for this blog. It’s been hectic with UFC 84, then this event, and we have UFC 85 around the corner. So things will be hectic, but you will get a much better feel for how this blog will work next week. While it’s still in a fluid stage, e-mail me any suggestions you have (suggestions for guest bloggers? More Q&As? More X's and O's? More sarcastic comments made from the safety of my mom’s basement, home for all bloggers? More sexy pictures ... of me?). Whatever ideas you have or things you want to see from this blog, send them my way now.
On deck in the coming days/week: Fallout from Saturday Night Fights and from Faber-Pulver in the WEC Sunday. The complete and utter evisceration of one of the most ignorant MMA “takes” I’ve seen from a mainstream media member in my life. A look ahead at UFC 85 and, hopefully, a sit-down with Kimbo Slice.