June 01, 2009
Kimbo Slice really wants to be a fighter. His demise has been celebrated by many who simply wanted to be right about a dude that they really didn't know. Kimbo was forced to climb the MMA ladder at age 34 in front of millions with the added pressure of carrying an entire promotion, EliteXC. He had a moment of failure with his loss to Seth Petruzelli back in October but it didn't mean it was the end of the road.
Two weeks ago, it was entertaining reading blogs as they reveled in the fact that Kimbo was possibly quitting MMA to make the transition to boxing. He wasn't. It was simply a way for his manager Gary Shaw to throw people off the scent.
UPDATE: UFC president Dana White in comments to KHTK seemed to suggest Shaw knew nothing about this whole deal. We gave Shaw too much credit as some sort of PR genius.
It smells like the guy really wants to be a fighter by doing it right way and swallowing his pride. Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole broke the story that Kimbo has accepted a slot on The Ultimate Fighter 10. He is part of the cast of 16 heavyweight prospects. It's win-win situation for the UFC. If he flops, it's further proof that this is a real sport where it's very difficult to reach the highest level. If he does well, ratings go through the roof and we're probably destined for the greatest TUF season ever.
What a mix! Kimbo Slice in the middle of trash-talking Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson. One can only imagine that the UFC has also lined up some bad dudes with bad attitudes amongst its cast.
Kimbo means ratings and mainstream media attention. It might all be for the wrong reasons but the guy is a slam dunk. He drives more traffic on the internet than any fighter in MMA history. That's right, the casual fan or non-MMA fan could give a rat's keester about Fedor Emelianenko and they barely know Anderson Silva, but Kimbo Slice, most sports fans know who he is or at least know what he looks like. You can't get five minutes out of a Fedor conversation on sportstalk radio. Around the Kimbo-Petruzelli debacle, casual audiences were well aware of Slice and it drove some great conversation.
Best guess here is that this Kimbo-TUF 10 deal was finalized a few weeks back. While Dana White was on what was reported to be a "business retreat" in Miami back on May 11, sources say that White was crowing about a huge signing that would give MMA fans a [expletive]. The timing seems to mesh perfectly with the bogus boxng note given to the Miami Herald.
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