It’s been a busy week for Elite XC’s Gary Shaw. Between hyping his organization’s live show on CBS and condescending to his female fighters, it’s a wonder he finds time for anything else. But Shaw bravely continued with his white-Don-King-in-a-track-suit act during yesterday’s conference call with Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith.
When talk turned to how strange it was that a title fight between Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler (who is frequently ranked in the top ten at middleweight) was playing second fiddle to the main event featuring Kimbo Slice and James Thompson (who is coming off two straight KO losses), Shaw tried to put things in perspective:
I want to address one other thing because somebody asked a question about ratings. I think all the ratings are flawed. I’ve gone on record as saying that. They’re basically ratings of the UFC fighters. The UFC has some very, very fine fighters and has put on some fine fights. EliteXC has some fine fighters and we’ve put on some great fights.
So, the rankings aren’t really what they should be because until the UFC is willing to put their fighters up against our fighters, then the rankings will always be flawed.
Let me see if I understand this: the rankings of guys like Lawler and Smith are flawed because they are essentially UFC rankings. Even though, depending on whose rankings you use, somewhere in the neighborhood of half the top ten middleweights (just to cite one weight class) fight outside the UFC. And the rankings will never be legitimate until the UFC allows their fighters to face Elite XC fighters.
That’s an interesting argument. For one, it’s a line of reasoning that clearly benefits Elite XC. For another, both Lawler and Smith are former UFC fighters, so in that sense the UFC has put their fighters up against Elite XC’s. Smith was shown the door after being submitted by Ed Herman last June, and Herman is nowhere near anyone’s top ten. So…how are the rankings flawed, exactly?
But Shaw didn’t stop at just rejecting the current rankings system. He also took aim at the crazy notion of evaluating talent based on the number and quality of past fights. Yeah, you see where this train is going. Straight to Kimbo-town.
I’m doing a big HBO show Saturday in Nevada. It’s called Rising Stars and its three kids that are some of the best fighters in the world, and one of them has only had nine fights.
So, I don’t think the number of fights determines how good a fighter is, or whether that fighter could be a star or superstar.
To recap: because Shaw is promoting a different show of inexperienced fighters, one of whom has three times as many fights as Kimbo, that makes number of fights meaningless. Everyone clear on that? Good, let’s move on.
Let me remind everyone on this call that nobody cared who Mike Tyson fought. If you asked someone what they were doing Saturday night, they would say they were going to see Tyson. They didn’t say Tyson against anybody. If he beat up on somebody that wasn’t as good as him, people would say he’s the baddest man on the planet. Some of the questions on this call are about an aging Tyson who got knocked out in his last fight. But it’s still the aura of Tyson.
That’s what Kimbo Slice brings. I’m proud to promote him and proud to know him. I’m proud to call him a friend. Everybody should be cheer-leading Kimbo because he is a reason, not the only reason, but a reason that CBS really looked up. The logo of CBS, that eye, they put that eye right on Kimbo Slice.
Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re trying to sell us on the legitimacy of Kimbo Slice as an MMA fighter, it might not be the best idea to talk about the disaster that Mike Tyson’s career has become and then follow it up with, “That’s what Kimbo Slice brings.”
Shaw does realize that all the attention Tyson has received in recent years has been negative, right? People look at Tyson the way they look at a dog running out into traffic: they’re pretty sure something terrible is about to happen and the only thing worse than seeing it would be not seeing it. Is that the type of celebrity that Shaw has in mind for Kimbo?
To stick with Shaw’s Mike Tyson comparison, let’s not forget that the biggest Tyson fights were against credible opponents like Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Tyson wasn’t a main event fighter at the beginning of his career. He worked his way up by fighting frequently on undercards during his first two years as a professional.
In other words, he established himself the way every other fighter does. By winning fights. What a crazy world.