Note to Kimbo: If you "win" your first match, Antonio Inoki may want to slap the shit out of you in front of everybody. I know, if that happened on a street-corner in Perrine, he would be as dead as yesterday’s chicken. (That’s something that people say, right?) As it turns out, the slapping is actually a sign of respect and well-wishing. Please inform your crew.
(We’re just glad that our t-shirt isn’t to blame for Kimbo’s death. We will take credit for this one cursing Gus Johnson’s Strikeforce commentating gig.)
If a mediocre backyard brawler-turned mixed martial artist dies, does anyone in the MMA media notice?
It seemed that only the mainstream media outlets yesterday picked up on a story of the demise of Miami, Florida resident Kevin Ferguson — which is the legal name of Kimbo Slice. Maybe it was because it wasn’t Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson who had passed away, unless of course he had wifi access in the morgue.
(Shaq has always been a sucker for a guy in a Santa suit. PicProps: MMA Digest)
It was with bated breath a few months back that we brought you news that sleazebag promoter and World’s Greatest Dad Gary Shaw would soon be exploring new and interesting ways to get Kimbo Slice knocked the fuck out by transitioning the internet legend/UFC washout to professional boxing. Obviously, that has not happened yet and this week ESPN’s Dan Rafael got tired of waiting. Rafael reached out to Shaw with a courtesy “WTF” call this week and learned that The Sliceman’s pro punching debut has been pushed back to “the beginning of next year” because Kimbo is, uh, on vacation. Also, (and we hope we’re not reading too much into this) it sounds like Shaw is just a little bit pissed off about it.
"Right now he’s vacationing in Florida. He went home for Thanksgiving. His pro debut will be put off until at least the beginning of next year," Shaw says. "He needs more work and more sparring … I had him in California sparring and in real training … He was given all the tools, but he continues to get offers from MMA and offers to be in movies and it’s hard to keep him focused on training camp. That’s the story more than anything else."
Speaking of "locked down," Takeya Mizugaki got LOCKED, THE EFF, DOWNlast night at WEC 52 when Urijah Faber caught him in a rear-naked choke, putting him to sleep for an uncomfortably long period of time. A killer photo from the stoppage is after the jump, courtesy of AllElbows/Versus. Come up with a clever caption to the photo, and post it in the comments section below by Sunday night at midnight ET. We’ll post our four favorites on Monday; the winners will receive a Locked Down DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack. Props to LionsGate for making this possible, and good luck to all of you…
(“Tapping out is for bitches. Getting *knocked* out is more my speed.” PicProps: ESPN)
So, it takes Roy Jones Jr. all of like five seconds to offer to fight Kimbo Slice during this interview with FightHype.com, after the website calls the former multi-divisional boxing champion this to get “his quick thoughts” on the street fighter/UFC washout making the fulltime switch to pugilism. At least, we think Jones is talking about boxing when he keeps saying he might “give it” to Kimbo. To his credit, Jones seems politely hesitant to fight Slice in the same way a chubby kid says “Oh, I really couldn’t” when you offer him the last slice of pie. Dig it:
“I think it’s a beautiful thing for him to try the sweet science,” Jones says in response to FightHype’s first question where, for the record, they don’t mention anything about him actually fighting Kimbo. “I’d have to see what he’s weighing if he wants me to come in there and give him a try at it. But if he wants it that bad, I might give it to Kimbo. It’s a great opportunity for him. It’s a great fight for Florida.”
I don’t know if it’s just coincidence, but most of the people involved with mixed martial arts who I can’t stand are either named Gary or Shaw. There’s the obvious Gary Shaw, his son Jared "$kala" Shaw and then there’s Jerry Millen, who changed his name from his given name of Gary because he thought Jer or Jerdog sounded cooler. Seriously.
When James Toney meets Randy Couture at UFC 118 next Saturday, he’ll be attempting to prove the dominance of the "sweet science" over that weird stuff that gay skinheads do. Of course, he won’t be the first pugilist to try to beat an MMA fighter at their own game — boxing vs. martial arts challenge matches have been around since before "Lights Out" was born. Join us as we take a look back at the brave boxers who preceded Toney…and what became of them.
MILO SAVAGE vs. "JUDO" GENE LeBELL December 2, 1963
Arguably the first sanctioned MMA match in American history, Savage vs. LeBell came together when legendary judoka/actor Gene LeBell answered a challenge from boxer Jim Beck, who claimed that a professional boxer could beat any martial artist. (Yep, they’ve been making the same boast for almost 50 years.) According to LeBell, he was expecting to fight Beck himself in the televised match, but his opponent was switched at the last minute to Milo Savage, a top-5-ranked light-heavyweight who was allegedly wearing brass knuckles under his fingerless speed-bag gloves, and was greased from head to toe. Despite the disadvantages, Gene sunk a lapel choke in the 4th round and put Savage to sleep. But as with most stories involving Judo Gene, the details are somewhat debatable; this Jonathan Snowden article debunks several aspects of LeBell’s version. Still, LeBell vs. Savage deserves credit as the first MMA-style fight on television, and set up a rivalry between boxing and martial arts that’s somehow still relevant today.
MUHAMMAD ALI vs. ANTONIO INOKI June 26, 1976
It sounded like good, harmless fun — the greatest boxer of all time taking on Japanese pro-wrestling kingpin Antonio Inoki in an exhibition match in Tokyo. But in the days leading up to the show, bizarre rules were added that restricted certain attacks. Most notably, Inoki could only kick if he had one knee on the ground. So, he scooted around the ring kicking Ali’s legs for the entire 15-round duration. Ali only landed six punches the entire fight and went home with two blood clots and an infection. The bout was ruled a draw, and has garnered a reputation as one of the ugliest fiascos in the history of combat sports. Fun fact: The referee of this match? None other than mixed-fighting pioneer Gene LeBell.
Well it appears that contrary to popular belief, Moosin MMA may not go the way of the Yamma, just yet.
MMAFighting is reporting that the promotion, which is co-owned and promoted by Eric"Butterbean" Esch and Corey Fischer is planning a second card tentatively scheduled for October 9 in Chicago, Illinois.
According to Fischer, the promotion is in the process of securing a number of main event fights for the card that could potentially include UFC cast-off Kimbo Slice squaring off against "World’s Strongest Man" Mariusz Pudzianowski as well as a battle of awkward gangly brawlers Tim Sylvia and Hong Man Choi.
Steve Cofield from Yahoo! Sports caught up with Seth "The Promotion Killer" Petruzelli in Las Vegas last week ahead of his UFC 116 return bout with Ricardo Romero and discussed a variety of topics including his sexual leanings, his planned entrance for the show (which will include a midget) and the fact that beating Kimbo hurt his career more so than it helped it.
Happy Memorial Day, Potato Nation! As promised, we are proud to present the finalists of our FLO-TV t-shirt design contest, which brought in nearly 100 brilliant entries over the last two weeks. Please study all 16 (!) of the nominated designs after the jump, then vote for your favorite in the poll over on the right. (It’s a little bit down the page, under the "Most Recent Comments" box and the Power Rankings link.) Get your votes in by Thursday night at midnight ET; we’ll announce the winner on Friday, who will score their own FLO TV Personal Television, with access to the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 115. Überprops to everybody who entered, and to FLO TV for making this happen!