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  1. #1
    kfrost06's Avatar
    kfrost06 is offline Banned
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    Dec 2005

    Kimbo not the face of MMA

    Kimbo Slice, a one-time homeless man, one-time strip club bouncer, one-time backyard, back-alley brawler turned Internet sensation/big money mixed martial artist isnít a problem. Only in America, right?

    Heís said to be a great guy, a boot-strap success story who deserves everything coming to him. Iíve watched him maul ďAdryanĒ a half dozen times alone. You have, or will, too.

    Kimbo Slice being a street fighter, rather than a Brazilian jiu-jitsu or Muay Thai master, isnít a problem either.

    No, he isnít the best and brightest in MMA. Heíd probably get whipped in a second by the sportís elite, as Tito Ortiz predicted. The beauty of the MMA, though, is you bring what youíve got to the cage. Kimbo has those iron fists. Maybe itís enough. Maybe it isnít. Weíd all like to find out. The day an old-school scrapper doesnít have a place here will be a sad one.

    And CBS choosing to broadcast an MMA card in prime time Saturday, a historic moment for this once fledgling sport, isnít a problem.

    The sport has taken off in a way few others have Ė fueled purely by fan interest. It stands in stark contrast to all the network airtime spent on sports propped up on political correctness or obligation. MMA long ago deserved network attention.

    Individually, nothing is wrong with a shooting star such as Kimbo Slice fighting on Saturdayís EliteXC card on CBS.

    Together, plenty is. In fact, practically everything is.

    EliteXC is a desperate promotion thatís hemorrhaging money. Itís willing to sell anything, even a false portrait of its sport, to succeed.

    Kimbo is a guy with unexpected and most likely fleeting earning potential; understandably heís willing to cash in even if it means tomato-can opponents and an image so unfortunately stereotypical.

    CBS is so focused on quick television ratings, it will present a cheap trick, lowest common denominator show. This, rather than an introduction to a sport that if treated with respect and patience could grow into a powerful property.

    Everyone is using. Everyone is getting used. In the end, what will be left from this experiment?

    Will MMA on CBS just be a short-run, freak show discarded by all, left to return to its true roots and better promotions after the circus has left town?

    If this is, indeed, the most important card in the history of the sport, wouldnít it be nice if it actually had some of the best fighters and best representatives of mixed martial arts?

    Anderson Silva, B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre display what MMA is all about. Not menacing scowls and WWE-like personas, but unreal athletic ability, disciplined training and tremendous intelligence from fighters as multi-skilled as they are fearless.

    If one of them were on CBS, it would force America to realize what MMA really is. Kimbo, who taps into our primal instincts, plays to what many think the sport is. Let Kimbo cash every check he can Ė good for him Ė but he plays to MMAís difficult-to-shake reputation as ďhuman cockfighting,Ē as Sen. John McCain once branded it.

    Those days are, or should be, done, of course. Even McCain gives MMA his approval now. Thatís mostly because of the work of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), far and away the major league of the sport.

    CBS is about to show a minor league event with fancy production values. On the day the sport supposedly goes mainstream, itís the big network Ė not the smaller committed outlets Ė that are playing to the sportís worst instincts.

    The fact the lowly Versus cable network will broadcast a far superior, double main event World Extreme Cagefighting card on Sunday, tells you what CBS thinks of the sport. Quality doesnít matter. It doesnít even have the best event of the weekend.

    Hereís the troubling difference between rival organizations UFC and EliteXC.

    UFC has run the sport understanding that its popularity could be greater than the sum of its parts. EliteXC, especially with its biggest star, appears to be eschewing investment in the long term.

    Earlier this year the UFC welcomed former WWE and amateur wrestling star Brock Lesnar, who, in some ways, could be called its Kimbo. Lesnar, a former NCAA wrestling champ, is far more skilled, that isnít the comparison here. The similarity is that Lesnar arrived with great fanfare and curiosity. Everyone wanted to see what he could really do.

    The old way of thinking, the boxing way, would be to match him up against an overwhelmed opponent and cash in on some easy victories as he was brought along slowly.

    UFC president Dana White, however, stuck to his leagueís core belief that you either prove yourself or you go home. There are no padded records or kid glove scheduling in the UFC. If Lesnar was for real, he would have to prove it. If not, see ya. Itís what fight fans covet. Itís why the UFC has thrived.

    In February, White matched Lesnar up against the kind of fighter that could beat him, Frank Mir, an experienced former heavy weight champion and submission expert. The fight was thrilling, Lesnar almost knocked out Mir until Mirís superior skill earned him a submission.

    Lesnar lost. His second fight, against dangerous Heath Herring in August, could leave him 0-2 in the UFC and facing an unsure future. Thatís the deal with the UFC. Itís real. So real, White is willing to run one of his biggest stars right out of the game.

    Kimbo hasnít fought anyone nearly as good as Mir or Herring. Who knows if he ever will? EliteXC and CBS are running his career like a boxer, even if trumped up records and mismatch fights have severely damaged that sportsí popularity.

    Based on that mentality, you can understand why White was willing to walk away from the CBS exposure that, done properly, would have shot his league into the stratosphere. Obviously, he didnít feel it was going to be done properly.

    Saturdayís card is not set up to show the best of mixed martial arts and introduce America to a sport it would likely embrace.

    If CBS was trying to build serious interest in football, it wouldnít trot out an unproven pro team against a doomed high school squad and call the ensuing blowout the best the game offers.

    Itíd get the New England Patriots and the New York Giants and let people see the real deal.

    But neither the network nor EliteXC are treating the sport or Kimbo Slice as anything but disposable programming. And thatís the problem here.

  2. #2
    kfrost06's Avatar
    kfrost06 is offline Banned
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    Dec 2005
    You gotta love Kimbo, a former homeless guy that had everything going against him, took his talent(kickin' arse) from the lowest levels all the way to the big time and gaining a huge following in the process. I'd love to see him win some big time prize fights.

    Go Kimbo!

  3. #3
    SMCengineer is offline Anabolic Member
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    Mar 2003
    ^^Kimbo scares me. He definitely is talented though.

  4. #4
    KAEW44's Avatar
    KAEW44 is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2004
    I tried emailing his manager i wanted him to do some old school Suge Night stuff for me cause the guy sure does look intimidating. I told his manager i need him for a "guest appearance" in an mma event, once we get the ok i will fill Kimbo in on what really needs to be done.

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