A plan for EliteXC to get out of the MMA game
I have a plan. A plan that will let Gary Shaw escape from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts with his box of money, a plan that will let Kimbo Slice fade into obscurity with his smaller box of money, and a plan that will bring the new MMA fans to the real fighters and real promotions. If someone can do me a favor and just forward this blog entry to Gary Shaw, we’ll be set. Thanks.
We wouldn’t need a plan if we didn’t have a problem. The problem is the holes in the myth that is Kimbo Slice are starting to grow. At one point, he was more myth than man. He’s since been exposed as human, which means the clock is ticking on EliteXC’s time in the limelight. It’s not long before EliteXC turns back into a pumpkin (a bankrupt pumpkin at that) and Kimbo Slice turns back into an internet phenomenon (his place alongside Lonelygirl15, OK GO! and videos of Will Ferrell yelling at someone’s daughter is secure).
This is what MMA fans were worried about. They worried that the Saturday Night Fights would force the sport to take a major step backward. The ratings were respectable, encouraging even (only a matter of time before NBC or Fox makes a play for the UFC) but the EliteXC is a one-trick pony. They can’t keep up the momentum.
I had to think EliteXC head Gary Shaw knew there was no future in the organization or he wouldn’t have made the desperation play to fabricate a heavyweight “icon.” It’s smoke and mirrors, a quick cash grab by an opportunistic gasbag. But there’s a way we can all win here. Kimbo, Gary Shaw, and MMA fans everywhere can come out on top in this whole situation.
CBS has three more of these shows to put on. There’s only so many fighters that can be plucked from backyards and as soon as Slice loses, the gig is up. So, the endgame that makes sense here is to have Slice headline the last three events before the organization folds.
His first fight would be a rematch with the only person to defeat him, Sean Gannon. This fight would be an easy sell and an easy win for Slice. He may have lost the first one, but after training with Bas Rutten and taking this whole fighting thing seriously, it should be a comfortable win. That fight sells itself. So does the next one.
Kimbo Slice v. Mike Tyson is a fight Gary Shaw said he’d take without hesitation. And why not? The only goal Shaw appears to have is to grab as much cash as he can and this fight would sell. The ratings would be through the roof for this freak-show circus act. That’s not saying much because I also think the ratings would soar if Mike Tyson was fighting a bear or a classroom of third-graders. This would be another easy fight for Slice as Tyson currently weighs about 500 pounds and gets gassed eating a ham sandwich.
The last fight is the way out for Shaw. Dana White agrees, for the first time ever, to let one of his fighters fight on another promotion’s card as Kimbo Slice takes on Chuck Liddell. Liddell, while not the fighter he used to be by any means, has a lot of star power and is the most recognizable MMA superstar. On top of that, he already has some heat with Slice as Liddell isn’t shy with his opinions on the YouTube king.
This fight would end conclusively in the first round and would be a more lopsided victory than the infamous “Brick v. Window” fight in 2001. Slice would get destroyed. The legions of new "MMA" fans would see what real fighters are about and move over to the UFC and other promotions. Slice would fade into the obscurity reserved for someone trying to become a professional athlete in their mid-30s and Gary Shaw would be gone from the MMA scene forever (hopefully) after cashing in on his lottery ticket.
This way, Slice and Shaw get paid, have their fun, maybe bring in a few new viewers ... and then get the hell out.