(Ferguson verbally agrees to fight Abbott after defeating Ray Mercer at Cage Fury FC in June 2007.)
According to Sam Caplan’s blog on ProElite.com, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson has been scheduled to headline EliteXC’s next card on February 16th against 42-year-old brawler Tank Abbott; the event will likely go down in Ferguson’s home city of Miami. Abbott and Ferguson had originally been scheduled to fight each other in October of last year for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships organization, but the event was canceled due to financial difficulties, after which Kimbo signed an exclusive deal with EliteXC that pays him more than six figures a fight.
Abbott has a career record of 10-13, has lost 7 of his last 9 matches, and placed #2 in our list of dudes who should quit. Putting Abbott against Ferguson may interest fans who followed Tank’s UFC glory days in the mid-’90s, but it’s insulting to Kimbo; it further ghettoizes him as a freak-show act, rather than validating him as a serious mixed martial artist. We’ve posted about this before, but we’ll repeat it: Kimbo deserves better. He’s been devoted to MMA training for the better part of a year and has an intimidation factor not seen since Mike Tyson in the ’80s. Yet EliteXC still seems unwilling to risk having him go up against a credible opponent and lose. In terms of his career, Ferguson needs a challenging fight more than anything else right now, to prove that his hype is justified. After February, there will still be detactors saying “Kimbo ain’t shit, just see what happens when you put him up against a real fighter.”
What makes this more infuriating is that Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and James “Colossus” Thompson are also scheduled to fight at the event, in separate bouts — both would have made perfect opponents for Ferguson, but EliteXC is instead searching for two other heavyweights to fight them. If you’ll remember, Gary Shaw once made a public plea for the world’s heavyweights to challenge Silva, ignoring the most marketable one in his organization. I guess Shaw wasn’t confident that Ferguson could handle a guy who’s knocked out Ruben Villareal and Wesley Correira.
Anyway, bullshit. We just hope Tank retires after this one…