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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Kimbo?

(Will brawl for food.)

Now that Strikeforce is getting its Pro Elite ducks in a row, we’re all wondering what, if anything, they’ll decide to do with Kimbo Slice.  He was an undeniable draw for EliteXC, but he also came with a hefty price tag that was maybe, just maybe, not justified by his performance in the cage, particularly in his last fight against Seth Petruzelli.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker seems sympathetic to the plight of the internet brawler, but perhaps not so much that he’s willing to keep paying him the six-figure salary Pro Elite did:

“I think that if you look back at the past, he could have been built up to have the fights that he needed to face the Seth Petruzellis of the world and be successful, but he wasn’t given the opportunity,” said Coker. “When I look at Kimbo, I don’t look at it as his fault. He was in a ‘no win’ situation.”

Kimbo’s manager, “Icey” Mike Imber, indicated that while he wasn’t enthusiastic about a pay-cut for his fighter, he’d consider it rather than keep him out of action indefinitely.  But one thing’s for sure, Bas Rutten will not be training Slice.  Ever.

Talking with MMA Fanhouse’s Michael David Smith, Rutten alluded to some problems outside of the gym that caused a split between the two men:

I know you’ve worked closely with Kimbo Slice. When do you think we’ll see Kimbo fight again, and will you be in his corner again when he does?
I stopped training Kimbo. I had him six weeks before the last fight (a loss to Seth Petruzelli on October 4), I talked to him about certain things that I didn’t like, and he promised never to do it again, and then he started doing it again. If people come to me and ask me to train them, I want them to do what I tell them to do, because that’s what they came for. … Once you start doing different things, you’re out. It’s not because he got knocked out. This was already in progress long before the fight.
So you basically don’t think Kimbo was preparing the right way?
I would rather just leave it like this: Let’s say that the Kimbo who came to me at the beginning of training, that wasn’t the Kimbo who was at my gym the last time. Six weeks before his last fight, I told him, I want that Kimbo back. Otherwise, you’re out. And you know, he started doing differently again. Let’s just leave it like that. I don’t want to go into all the details. I wish him nothing but the best. Really, I really do.
Do you have an opinion of how good a fighter Kimbo could be?
When Kimbo came in and did everything, he had huge potential. I said that in interviews. He was doing good, he did everything. He was doing good. He was doing really good. But he started to change. If he would have kept on training like he did in the beginning, yeah, I saw a really good future for him.

Well, that’s not a good sign.  Bas Rutten’s endorsement used to be the greatest thing Kimbo had going for him in the world of knowledgeable MMA fans.  Whatever you might think of his background or his public persona or the amount of money he was making that was in no way commensurate with his abilities, at least Bas liked him.  At least Bas saw something worth nurturing in him.  No more.  Now Bas says he wouldn’t train the guy for “a million dollars.”  

Whatever Kimbo did to bring about this change in attitude, it must have been bad.  Bas Rutten is the same guy who called Jerry Millen an “asshole” during the last Affliction broadcast (which he also discusses with MDS, saying only that he wishes he hadn’t said it live on the air, not that he doesn’t still believe it), so you know he’s a good judge of character, not to mention hairstyles.

Cagepotato Comments

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Danny- February 11, 2009 at 7:11 pm
Da Truth- February 11, 2009 at 12:16 am
Damn..Bas is basically saying Kimbo was doing drugs is what i got from that interivew... Bas has to word it carefully but im pretty sure thats what he was alluding to
Anonymous- February 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm
Bas is overrated as a trainer.
Kimbo's better off training elsewhere, how many champions has Bas trained?
Bas Rutten is more concerned with being Hollywood and a comedian than a mma trainer or serious commentator now.
Anonymous- February 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Bas got off the train because he is still seen in porn videos, Bas doesnt want to be associated with that!!
TPark- February 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm
Kimbo SLice = Next installment in the series called "Bum Wars"
Bunk- February 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm
Bas: "Don't dress up like a Cowboy and do the CMT awards"
Kimbo: "Dang dawg I'm going to do what i want...I'm going to make that chedder"
Bas: "I want the old Kimbo back, get out of my gym and don't come back"
M@TT- February 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm
I know Kimbo has hung out with many a talented "actress" in his previous career, but get serious. That guy doesn't have the acting chops to pretend to be taking down the ref after the fight is over and convinve us that it's real.

@no mma god

Dana's publicly said he'd let him in the ufc if he went through the tuf house. I'd watch it just for the clips from the house, but you know he'd be out of there as soon as he lost and you'd have to listen to Dana gloat, like we aren't already tired of that....
Anonymous- February 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm
Armfarmer Stupidity isn't exclusive to mma website comments it's universal stupid people post comments on YouTube or wherever there's a comments section.
They like too share their stupidity with everyone.
Now it's all up to you whether or not you are going to join them or just ignore their ignorance.
armfarmer- February 10, 2009 at 10:43 am
If you don't believe me just go on youtube and read the hundreds of comments posted on his elitexc fight videos. Just about every other comment says the fight was a fix.
no mma gods- February 10, 2009 at 10:41 am
armfarmer- February 10, 2009 at 10:39 am
You have no idea how many people I've personally had to explain to that there is no one that could have benefited from Kimbo throwing the fight. Elite XC went under, Kimbo went from making 500k for 10 minutes of work to being a joke, bla bla bla... they still think it was a fix. I even traveled to the other side of the country for xmas and my cousin was telling me that his friends that watch mma said it was a fix. Yes, people are that stupid.
Fedor a million ankles- February 10, 2009 at 10:35 am
^ No there aren't, even the untrained eye isn't that stupid.
armfarmer- February 10, 2009 at 10:31 am
I think he means in terms of biggest draw... because a retarded circus match up like this is sadly more appealing to the ignorant masses than most ufc main events. There are still a lot of people out there that think kimbo is good, threw the fight, seth got lucky ect.
Derly- February 10, 2009 at 10:30 am
Hey if Kimbo is so well like in the city of Japan, I'm sure they can set up some fights for him against some 135 lb ninjas or something.
Clozer- February 10, 2009 at 10:26 am
@ Matt

If it took you 15 minutes to type that, then you should get back to work. Your time management or typing is not up to par. Because you said "Kimbo ends here" I will make certain that I never utter another word about the "K" word or even think about it. Thanks for putting a halt to the subject.

@ TUF guy

Petruzelli vs. Kimbo 2 better than any UFC event in 2008???? I'm lost.
armfarmer- February 10, 2009 at 10:23 am
As opposed to the classy* crew he was rolling with before hand?

In response to Brad saying he may have started hanging out with the wrong people.
Fedor a million ankles- February 10, 2009 at 10:22 am
I have no doubt in my mind that Kimbo's downfall had something to do with cocaine, be it crack or the regular ol' white bitch.

This is not meant to be a joke. Once a crackhead, always a crackhead. No such thing as never doing it again.
Brad- February 10, 2009 at 10:22 am
@ Officer Farva

I think you should read and watch a bit more MMA before you come in here and saying stupid stuff like that. Let me guess you watched your first card sometime in january?
armfarmer- February 10, 2009 at 10:21 am
As opposed to the class crew he was rolling with before hand?
I don't like his jeans- February 10, 2009 at 10:21 am
CP also stands for child porn. Gross.
Brad- February 10, 2009 at 10:16 am
One thing you need to also consider is that I am sure Kimbo has a lot of old influences that came out of the wood work looking for handoouts once they saw how much skrilla he was making. He probably started hanging out with the wrong people.
mayhem420- February 10, 2009 at 10:16 am
He needs to fight on the undercard and work his way up just like everyone else not named Brock Lesnar. From what Bas said and everything we know it does seem like Kimbo might have been beliving his own hype to much and stopped trying to improve on area's he needed to. (Jits & Leg kicks)
Dunno but if Bas gave up on him then maybe, just maybe he should keep his job as security for Reality Kings (porn).
Joey- February 10, 2009 at 10:07 am
Maybe if Kimbo is lucky, Bas Jones will train him!

"Okay Kimbo, kick to the groin, now slash Ken Shamrock's anus."
TUF Guy- February 10, 2009 at 10:06 am
Bring him and that flamboyent homosexual to Affliction and give them a second fight. You know people wanna see it, fuck it, it will beat any event that the UFC has put on in 2008.
Old, Bald and Irish- February 10, 2009 at 10:03 am
I don't want to put words in Bas' mouth, but I would bet 10 bucks that money changed Kimbo's additude and he started to belive the hype around him.

And yes, I'm on of those MMA fans that thought "Well, if Bas likes him, there must be SOMETHING more to him."

Kimbo's not finished, but he needs to get serious about his sports career. Hopefully, losing the backing of Rutten will get him to re-focus his training.

I agree with Bas that Kimbo has potential. Sure, he's got a lot of "backyard brawls" in his history, but the guy is 3 and 1 in the cage. 2 of the 3 were cans, but he's got potential.

I think the hype and pressure got to be too much. How could Kimbo, or anyone, live up to the hype that the Shaws produced.

We'll see what happens. I'll watch him get in the cage again...


And work on yer jits and cardio, Fergie!