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Now That Kimbo’s Been KO’d, Let the Spin Begin

(Just another day in the organization for Jared Shaw. Props: Steve Cofield.)

The Kimbo Slice fairy tale is over now. At least it ought to be. The “street certified” brawler got himself knocked out in fourteen seconds by a guy who calls himself a “part-time fighter.” A guy who isn’t in the same weight class and isn’t thought of as anything more than a mediocre also-ran in the weight class he normally calls home. To call this a worst case scenario for Elite XC is putting it too mildly. This is an absolute disaster. Which means, of course, that they will now try to convince us that it is not.

Announcer Mauro Ranallo got that ball rolling almost immediately after the fight by suggesting that this should be considered a “mulligan” for Kimbo, since he didn’t plan on fighting Petruzelli. Do we dare mention that Petruzelli also didn’t plan on fighting Kimbo, a heavyweight, in the main event? Apparently not. Instead we start playing up the predictable Rocky Balboa angle, forgetting for the moment that Rocky fought Apollo Creed, the world champion. Unlike Kimbo, the fictional Apollo was both style and substance, and he didn’t go down to a tentative jab.

This is the point where Elite XC makes excuses for Kimbo and tells us that a star is born in Petruzelli. Just watch Jared Shaw working from this script in his interview with Ariel Helwani and see if you don’t find yourself feeling a little sorry for him. His cringe-worthy performance includes transparent lies such as, “it’s just another day in the organization,” and “(Pertruzelli) is a very promotable guy; everybody in this sport is promotable,” and my personal favorite, “we’re gathering all our other nuts.”

This, from the same guy who could be seen having a total meltdown at cageside while Kimbo was getting pounded out on live network TV.

The person who seemed least bothered by last night’s events was Kimbo Slice himself. He hyped his after-party in the post-fight interview and showed up forty-five minutes late to the press conference, where he interrupted Elite XC Head of Operations Jeremy Lappen and made a very brief statement, laughing about his swollen eye, and then disappeared again.

Lappen came to his defense, saying,

“I think Kimbo’s a huge star. Again he’s been thrust onto the scene. People are interested in watching him. And I think people will continue to be interested in watching him. …He showed heart. And stepped up on an hour notice and backed up anyone, anyplace, anytime.”

It’s interesting that Lappen uses the passive voice there. Kimbo has “been thrust onto the scene.” That’s true. Lappen conveniently ignores who did the thrusting, though.

As for the “anyone, anytime” rhetoric, it flies in the face of rumors that Elite XC had to sweeten the financial pot just to get a reluctant Kimbo to accept the fight against the 205-pounder Petruzelli. The backstage CBS interview alone revealed a very unhappy fighter who exuded anything but confidence and enthusiasm before the fight.

Kimbo was exposed on Saturday night, sure. But he wasn’t exposed as anything other than what most of us already thought he was: an amateur fighter rushed into the spotlight by desperate, unscrupulous promoters. It was Elite XC who was truly exposed. They built their reputation on Kimbo’s curious brand of celebrity, and fate conspired to grind their cash cow into hamburger.

Their strategy was to only make fights that Kimbo could win, then shout his name from the rooftops when he did. Last night they got a lesson in the unpredictability of MMA. Now they’re left shouting excuses. They found out the hard way that you can only play the squash match shell game for so long before a former karate champ comes along and ruins it.

They can call it a mulligan for Kimbo and they can try and turn it into a big push for the very average Petruzelli. But the best thing they can do is learn from this catastrophe. Where they go from here, with respect to both Kimbo and Petruzelli, should tell us whether they have.

(-Ben Fowlkes)

Cagepotato Comments

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Dalton- October 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm
So what, kimbos a punk. Everyone just keeps giving him easy fights to build him up. I mean come on, i really like Tank Abbot, but hes and old man, and has never been in shape. Hes gonna be lucky if Bas can make him something worth while
SOLO- October 11, 2008 at 1:51 am
Me Says:

October 5th, 2008 at 12:28 pm
I think that Elite XC should not be hated on this much. They are trying to get their name up by promoting big events with big names just to call people’s attention. If we allow the UFC to grow by itself while shitting on the other ones for their attempts to grow, what will happen will be that the UFC will monopolize the sport and do whatever the fuck they want with it. Sure, Kimbo is not the best representation of MMA out there, but if that is what it takes for little Elite XC to get its name going, then I agree with them doing it, and after that concentrating more on the reality of this sport. I am all for Affliction, Elite XC, Dream and all the other small ones. UFC is the best no doubt about it, but I don’t want to see them take over the whole sport.
shiznit- October 10, 2008 at 2:00 am
Kimbo suck
shutupandfight- October 9, 2008 at 12:26 am
i just lost 10 iq points by reading those last two
the streets can suck my juicy fat knackers c u in the cage- October 9, 2008 at 12:16 am
fuck the streets u scaby bastard he got beatdown by a tranny. so what he got power but what good is it if u get shit kicked outa of u in 5 seconds by a lady boy.he would be safer on the streets beating up some smackhead windowlickers.he never gona be pro i bet yr from his hood or sum ballaks.spit his sweetcorn off yr tongue and wake the fuck up.suck my fat ballacks and stop talking pure shhhhhhiiiiiiiite
Michael REPIN THAT M.I.A 305- October 8, 2008 at 12:54 am
Hurricane- October 6, 2008 at 4:49 am
A few comments:

1.) Anyone else roll their eyes when the announcer called the fight "The greatest upset in MMA history"? Yeah, a guy who learned to fight by beating up guys with no previous fighting experience (Afropuff, Rasta, et al) losing to a guy who started training for organized fighting when he was nine. For another shocking upset, the Bears beat the Lions on Sunday...(I really hope my sarcasm is evident)

2.) It's been rumored that Butterbean challenged Kimbo, but Elite XC wouldn't allow it. After this, NO SHIT! For one, anyone with any respect for the sport would never watch that. And with hindsight being 20/20, how much would that have sucked for Kimbo to lose to a hack like Butterbean?

3.) Then again, since the general public recognizes Butterbean as "that fat guy from Wrestlemania/that videogame/Jackass the Movie", they'd view him as legit, allowing Kimbo to save face while losing (Something Elite XC needs desperately). Since Jared Shaw is undoubtedly trying to get the last few drops of milk out of his cash cow, I bet he's making reservations to Butterbean's favorite buffet as we speak.
Dirtier in Vegas- October 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm
Kimbo is not a MMA fighter - he's just a bare knuckle bruiser. There is nothing "mixed" about that. He needs to consider other training camps that focus on ju-jitsu and wrestling -or- start entering "tough man" competitions. Enough said.
master of all men when it comes to fanny- October 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm
i carnt belive alot of people think kimbo could beat mike tyson he could not beat a 50 year old tyson but he took the loss like a man and i respect him for that.but its not right how he has so much hype just for beating up some spaztics in his garden and an mma organisation make him a main event.all he has got is punching power he is not a good striker he has no ground game i think if tank was younger tank would hav beat him remember when tank fought kimbo he was old as fuck and probably drunk. people like kimbo belong in ufc 10 or below.i even think ken would beat him if he avoid the punches and when kimbo talks about fighting tyson i piss myself.tyson was kicking the fuck out of people better than kimbo when he was like 17.and u get people saying to kimbo would u like fedor next or tyson.thier are streetfighters that could beat kimbo we have had some in england like lenny mclain or some travling men cos those guys kimbo beat were fucking useless they just wanted their crack money
JTho- October 5, 2008 at 3:02 pm
That anonymous comment was posted by me.
Anonymous- October 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm
Jackson has mental health issues, that's beyond dispute. Personally, I like Jackson because he goes for broke as a fighter. Win or lose, Jackson has me on the edge of my seat. It's exciting. What more does a fan want?

There's a world of difference between paranoid schizophrenics and no-talent thugs. But if you think that makes me a hypocrite, I can live with that.
UFC fan- October 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm
You almost had me till you pulled the " I like Jackson" comment out your ass.
I was with you till then, NOW you are just a bitter fucker with a hate-on for slice, and your opinion is no longer valid or supportable.
jackson is a crazy ass fool who thinks hes a GOD, and a criminal....that makes you a hypocrite.
I hate slice the fighter cause I don't condone that shit, but the man under the mask whos name is Ferguson, could have been, and should have been a very good football player, and then you would have had him on your fantasy team, cause that's what preppy asses like you do.
JTho- October 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm
Despite being a long-time cagepotato reader I have never been want to post in the comment section. However, Kimbo and his inarticulate zealots have gotten the better of me.

Admittedly, it would be a gross hyperbole to say I dislike Kimbo -- I hate him. And quite frankly, I don't see how any legitimate fan of the sport could harbor anything but disdain for Kevin Ferguson.

Kimbo is a large, scary, black man. That's it. Still, he has become the public face of MMA, and he has distracted legitimate sites, such as this one, for the better part of a year. It takes my breath away when I think about how much this man has done to illegitimize and discredit this sport in one short year.

"Street certified." Give me a break. Anyone who knows anything about MMA has been telling whoever-will-listen that Kimbo is a sub par fighter. Kimbo, literally, has the worst ground game I've ever seen in a professional fighter. The few times he has gone to the mat I wonder if he actually trains wrestling at all. His cardio is atrocious; after the Thompson fought I thought he was going to go into cardiac arrest and the fight didn't even go three full rounds. And finally, his stand up -- technically average at best. More importantly, look at his efficacy. Kimbo couldn't even knock out James Thompson. The same James Thompson who was knocked out by five of his last eight no-name opponents. (Note: Brett Rogers being the only exception.)

This whole thing is a farce. A ploy to make money. I don't lose any sleep knowing CBS is making money off the masses. Hell, I watched the fight, too. But I lose my patience reading these inane comments defending him. It's so apparent that Kimbo slice is a joke that his defenders have only two responses to those who discredit him: (1) It's not Kimbo's fault that he had a meteoric rise to stardom; and (2) You're a racist. I'll address each of them in turn.

It isn't relevant how or why Kimbo is famous. The unfortunate fact remains, he is. I don't hate Kimbo for taking advantage of the opportunity - I hate Kimbo for being a bad fighter, a thug, and for wearing a disgusting beard. I'm not jealous Kimbo is making money. There are plenty of folks in the world with a lot more money than Mr. Slice - I don't have the energy to hate them all.

The race card is always a solid argument, easy to use and difficult to respond. But hating a black fighter doesn't make me racist. I hate Kimbo because he is trasth -- all the same reasons I hate Junie Browning. (Besides, Jackson is one of my favorite fighters.)

I've been giddy ever since I watched Kimbo get knocked out. but that smile is beginning to wane. I thought after he was exposed MMA would be rid of Kimbo Slice forever; but the outpour of support for this specious "street certified" thug has me worried. Please, can we divorce our Bob Sapp of the West already?
KIMBO- October 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm
Man i'm gonna show you crazy fools just what i'm about in da rematch!!
gnome- October 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm
josh Says:

October 6th, 2008 at 3:07 am
Ben Fowlkes, i think your articale was a little hard on Kimbo. For a Start….im 70kg and i belive i could KO Kimbo or any UFC champ with one punch.
wow what a retard...
skull- October 5, 2008 at 12:42 pm
Hey, Fatsquad, nice pic! One thing that bothers me about Kimbo, besides being able to see what he has eaten for the last week in his beard... is that creepy bellybutton!!! He has one gross out navel.... but, I bet there are Kimbo worshippers out there who would pay big bucks to suck on it!!!!!
Chubby Blubber- October 5, 2008 at 12:28 pm
Kimbo sucks. It was not a fluke. I watched it and recorded it. Rewinded like 30+ times and took it all in. I examined it over and over. My conclusion..Kimbo sucks. A jab took him out. A jab that was thrown while Petrazelli had one foot in the air and was kinda hopping backwards. Kimbo went down and Petrazelli punished his face.

WHen it was over Kimbos face looked like it was hit by a Mac truck. Finally that Kimbo fraud is over. Thank God.
The Fatsquad- October 5, 2008 at 12:04 pm
This made me scream with laughter.
Anonymous- October 5, 2008 at 11:18 am
Wow. I have never seen a sweatier, more backpedalling, BS spouting, fail of a attempt to spin a crash as that interview with Jered "Nepotism" Shaw. This is the lesson that Elite XC needed to learn. Build your promotion on as shakey a foundation as an internet star, and you are doomed to crash. They might as well have had the "Star Wars Kid" in there beating up the biggest nobodies they could find.

Hopefully they learn from this and start putting the people that deserve the fights in the spotlight and grow them. Rogers beating Kimbo would have been a better, more promotable result.
Boink- October 5, 2008 at 9:49 am
back to the whiteboard for new plans. win some you lose some. I hope he learned his lessons, though the hard way.
josh- October 5, 2008 at 9:07 am
Ben Fowlkes, i think your articale was a little hard on Kimbo. For a 70kg and i belive i could KO Kimbo or any UFC champ with one punch. A fight is 90% skill and technic cardeo ect all releated to training ect....10% is luck. you just need that one lucky punch to put any champ down! sure you need speed and power and to hit the right spot....but even the best drop there defence....and thats your chance! I think Kimbo will make a come back.
In my opnion if Brock lesner goes down in his next fight...there should be a kimbo v brock fight! i know that will not happen..... but it would make a heap of pay per view cash! and we all know Dana loves that!
And it would be an even match up.....
realmotherf*cker- October 5, 2008 at 7:48 am
i want to start off by saying i have seen pretty much all of kimbos fights on the web and in the ring. Second, i have been in plenty of fights and i can say everyone on here who runs there mouth about kimbo has never even been in a fight cause you clearly dont know what your talking about. I know this because if you have fought before you know that punch isnt goin to knock anyone out. What im tryin to say is that kimbo would whip all ya'lls a$$'s. The only exception to this would be if you havent seen some of the hits kimbo has taken. Kimbo does not have a glass chin!!
And oh yea, that shit was FIXXED!!!!!
Alex- October 5, 2008 at 6:41 am
I agree that the UFC shouldn't dominate MMA but that doesn't mean I'm not laughing my ass off that a shitty promotion like Elite XC just caught for being frauds who put on really really bad shows. I want there to be a ton of competition between promotions because they have great skilled fighters not because they have cheap WWF style gimmicks that give them marketability, the street fighter thing was always lame. As long as there is money to be new promotions will continue to crop up.
As for Kimbo, he's not good. His striking was never great and he's got no wrestling/gnp/submissions, he wasn't just an incomplete fighter he was non-existent. Maybe he'll be able to develop some skills but he had his card punched pretty badly by Pertruzelli.
DROP DEAD JACK- October 5, 2008 at 6:09 am that interview piece was just painful to watch!! potato was right about feeling a little sorry for that guy! lol btw seriously...HOW COKED OUT WAS JARED SHAW??? i could have sworn he looked like he pulled some blow like 2 minutes before that interview...or maybe thats how you react when your company is about to sink
cr_trinity- October 5, 2008 at 4:52 am
And to Jugger: you seem like the pubeless, brainless sort of moron who EliteXc used to justify this foisting of Kimbo on us all. Fucking moron. Wake up. People only wanted to see him lose. They don't wanna see the fuck again.