10.03.2008

The MMA Freakshow's Next Make or Break Moment

Tomorrow night, Kimbo Slice, the casual fight fan's superstar and YouTube sensation, will step into the octagon against 44 year old (and not in the same way Randy Couture is 44 or 45) Ken Shamrock, who hasn't won a fight in four years nor made it out of the first round under his own power.

Elite XC needs Kimbo to keep winning or the promotion company will likely fail. They've already lost $56 million in the last two years and produced just Kimbo and Gina Carrano (who's a good fighter but let's face it, people want to watch her because she's hot).

Dan Wetzel, of Yahoo Sports, has a good write up of the event from the perspective of a fight fan. He adroitly points out that Kimbo's star will likely get smashed up against any UFC heavyweight in his prime, his skills are not going to markedly improve because of his age and his freakshow appeal will fail when he does face a real fighter who's not 44 years old and was done years ago (like Ken Shamrock most obviously is).

Kimbo is not a top flight fighter in MMA, he isn't even close to it. Ken Shamrock used to be one of the best fighters in the world but that was a long time ago and he's now a fading name who helps sell pay-per-view buys so people can watch him get knocked out again and again. If Kimbo beats him, he should be done. If he beats Kimbo, then Kimbo should be done. Either way, somebody needs to hang them up.

And if Kimbo loses then expect Elite XC to fold pretty soon thereafter. They've built whatever MMA brand they have on the back of an amateur freakshow instead of an up and coming real MMA star (because they seem to prefer signing with the UFC).
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