MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Yes, People Are Talking. No, It Isn’t Good.


(CNBC’s sports business readers aren’t an optimistic bunch.)

As the Kimbo Slice backlash pendulum swings to and fro in the days following his defeat, we find ourselves asking what lingering affect Slice’s fourteen-second performance might have on the MMA landscape. The good news, some MMA pundits tell us, is that people are talking. They’re covering Kimbo Slice on ESPN. They’re talking about him in the mainstream news media. There is a buzz, in other words, thanks to Elite XC and Kimbo Slice.

And that’s nice, except for when you stop to listen to what these people are actually saying. CNBC’s sports business guru Darren Rovell, put it thusly:

…[T]his will turn out to be a great case study in sports marketing.

You have a really marketable asset in a guy like Kimbo Slice. The problem is, he’s a good street fighter against normal guys. He’s just not that good of an MMA fighter. So you know that he has to continue to win, but there aren’t enough weak guys for him to fight. In fact, as was proven in Petruzelli, a decent guy can beat him. The other problem is that you can only fix the results if the guy makes it to three rounds, which you’re never guaranteed. Slice couldn’t have won on Saturday night. He was getting pounded. Mike Tyson was Mike Tyson because he really was a talented fighter, along with all the weird baggage that we loved.

An astute analysis, even if we were sick of the Kimbo Slice/Mike Tyson comparisons months ago. But Gravell, who wrote about how drawn he was to Kimbo’s persona and backstory when he fought on the first CBS show, seems to have come to the realization that it was all hype. Which should be encouraging, because it means that maybe the people who were drawn to the sport because of the Kimbo buzz will not abandon it now that they realize he’s far from the best MMA has to offer.

NBC Sports’ resident MMA expert Mike Chiapetta says Kimbo’s loss is no good for anybody in MMA, no matter what we might say to the contrary:

The crazy thing is, nobody is truly guilty in this mess, and nobody is 100 percent innocent, either, which makes the glee with which some are celebrating Kimbo’s downfall downright ridiculous. Around the web, the feeling is that this is a victory for MMA, that Kimbo’s loss somehow helps the sport or brings credibility to the “real” fighters, whoever those are.

The real truth is that Kimbo’s fate affects the sport more than perhaps any other fighter alive, and losing in such decisive fashion will cause ripple effects that many will feel.

While it’s hard for me to get on board with the idea that no one is “truly guilty” — the most generous thing we could say about Kimbo, to quote Hemingway, is that he seems to have been caught “in a trap that he had only helped a little to set” — but Chiapetta makes a good point.

Chuck Liddell has to nearly walk on water to get the kind of broad media coverage that Kimbo and Elite XC have gotten. They created tremendous buzz that reached outside the normal boundaries of the sport.

It was the kind of thing that could have helped propel the sport and its fighters to a new level of public awareness. And just look at what they did with it.

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raisin bran- October 6, 2008 at 9:43 pm
Fire trucks are blue!
Oatmeal- October 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm
obviously kimbo is very marketable..... look how much buzz is going on around the world about him
knightrida- October 6, 2008 at 6:32 pm
John. Dvorak read my mind. Why is NBC getting involved and asked them? Since when are they allowed to have an opinion on MMA?
Kevbo- October 6, 2008 at 6:29 pm
Kimbo's loss is so much better for MMA than a win. Why? you ask? Well... All of the casual MMA fans watched Kimbo get beat by a real MMA fighter. It would hit the casual fan like a ton of bricks when they reallize that a higher class of fighters fight for other organizations. Word will spread that Seth, while pretty tough, is not the toughest and most exciting out there. The UFC will get a big deal and other orgs will grow. Then we will all eventually see weekly events.
ClownBaby- October 6, 2008 at 6:04 pm
Mike Chiapetta what a fruit! http://www.aerojockey.com/images/chia1.jpg
lul- October 6, 2008 at 5:57 pm
I bet Kimbo people put a bunch of money on him losing and then threw the fight. Yea he got 500k from EliteXC but quite a bit more from taking a dive "a la Snatch"
John C. Dvorak- October 6, 2008 at 5:48 pm
So the readers of the moribund CNBC and a reporter who never saw an MMA fight before Kimbo are telling us what we should think?
I can barely digest what the douchebags who come around her have to say and many of them have actually seen MMA before.

Its like going to Jersey and asking the Guidos what they think of homos.


>Then some GnP for good measure.

I DARE you to find one punch that connected on the ground. No, the hardest punch Kimbo took was the short jab where Petrozelli was hoping on ONE LEG going backwards.
The only way that punch could have been weaker is if Mini-me threw it.

Stop hating on dwarf-fighting in dog-cages. A fight is a fight. Pancrase, Shooto, same thing with different rules. Just because their midgets doesnt mean they should beat the snot ouf of each other. The dog cages are demeaning. I would have went with the Fisher Price Little People Merry-Go-Round Park. You can google it, its as if it was meant for midget fighting.
Hurricane- October 6, 2008 at 5:46 pm
^^ I'm glad we've established that Kimbo took this fight with less than 24 hours notice.

Because obviously, Petruzelli knew about this fight for months in advance, and was training for Kimbo the entire time, right?
Armbreaker- October 6, 2008 at 5:42 pm
Why should we feel sorry for Kimbo? He made a whole lot more money than his limited skills merit. Perhaps EliteXC should merge, or co-promote again, with Affliction and put more fights with guys like Arlovski/Barnett/Fedor on CBS and Showtime. I would much rather see those guys fight than Tito Ortiz, the freak show that Elite XC is thinking of signing.
Billy Bad Ass- October 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm
@Willum

"youre all a bunch of whiney assholes. kimbo took that fight less than 24 hrs notice with a guy he nothing about. kimbo got screwed because of shamrock,and if there was a rematch kimbo would destroy seth. He would have literally killed shamrock in the ring if that fight happened.

and whats with everyone hatin on EliteXC? they put on a great show."


You're a moron. A real fighter, again A REAL FIGHTER, would have circled for a couple of minutes and felt Seth out. Listen Kimbo/EliteXC Nuthugger, remember when your boy Kimbo always spouted out, "anytime, any place, anyone?" Yeah, asshole, he got that, he fought like this guy was "Afropuff" running in like Seth should be intimidated and he got his clock-cleaned by a fucking jab. A FUCKING JAB! Then some GnP for good measure. Kimbo was to true fans of MMA a joke and completely undeserving of his hype.

Shamrock would have likely taken the same approach, push kick and catch his chin. Kimbo can't go back to fighting grotesquely out-of-shape ex-HW champs, Tank Abbott, and "Glass-Jaw" Thompson anymore. EliteXC made his bed up real nice for him, he lied in it, became exposed for the joke he was.

Best of luck on him coming back. I feel bad for the man, he wasn't a cash cow for only himself, but for all the leeches like $kala Shaw, Icey Mike & Co. and unfortunately Bas.

That fight should not have been a main event fight, but if it wasn't morons who are looking for the grotesque freak show and know NOTHING about the sport wouldn't have tuned in for the whole show and people would have left the venue.
Anonymous- October 6, 2008 at 5:19 pm
I will be a conspiracy theorist here and add some doubt to this whole Kimbo issue. You have to ask yourself, does Kimbo want to become a fighter or a money maker? I mean, Elite was marketing Kimbo as unbeatable/unstoppable but he got knocked out by a single punch from a 'weak' opponent. Now what? Well, we all will tune in to watch the rematch to see Kimbo either beat the crap out of petruzelli or to see Kimbo be humiliated again. Then, we will continue to watch just to see talented fighters beat the shit out of Kimbo.

It's like an accident, you just can't help but watch...and all the while Kimbo is getting paid. Can't hate on him for that.
Tomato- October 6, 2008 at 5:14 pm
im gonna put a potato in my pants and declare myself a dictator!
That entire fight card was boring as hell except for gina th- October 6, 2008 at 5:12 pm
that was an awesome fight card
Say- October 6, 2008 at 5:10 pm
kimbo suks
Tomass- October 6, 2008 at 5:09 pm
FUCK KIMBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Shawn- October 6, 2008 at 4:55 pm
Eh. I think the hardcores are blowing this out of proportion. The casual fans will tune into EliteXC again. Whether it be to see Kimbo's redemption, Gina Carano's pretty face, or just a night of free fights on network TV, all is not lost. It wasn't good; that's for sure. But it ain't over.

The best possible rebound for this would be for EliteXC to re-evaluate themselves and realize that presenting fighters, especially at the main event level, as something they are not does no good for anyone in the long run. When it comes down to it, people watch to see fights. With that in mind Elite XC should use the opportunity given to them as the first MMA company on network TV and focus on presenting the best possible fights they can.

Saturday Night Fights IV should look something like this, assuming they do the smart thing and strike a real partnership with Affliction:

Fedor Emelainenko vs Andrei Arlovski (Championship Fight)
Gina Carano vs 'Cyborg' Santos (Championship Fight)
Nick Diaz vs Eddie Alvarez (Championship Fight)
Kimbo Slice vs Sean Gannon

We would get three title fights that would not only display quality MMA to the masses but turn Fedor into the household name he can be (or potentially hand that title over to Arlovski). In addition Kimbo could start working his way back up with a back story that would surely appeal to the casual fan. Kimbo could once again be used to draw in viewers only this time we would actual hook them with quality MMA.
Mr.Whitefolks- October 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm
Kimbo Slice has made it clear that he is down to build on his skill, and while for now they are limited. He took the opportunity to better his financial situation. KS is a under card caliber fighter that was marketed as a main event level fighter and he lost to an under card fighter on national TV.
The US just finished coming off an Olympic summer how many US gold medalist can you name other then Phelps? The one thing I find troubling is that the informed MMA fans expected it and in some cases just threw in a shot of racism for taste. Its disheartening that after one lost and all the facts were proven true, that MMA fans are running with this as hard as they are.
I have to say that $kala Shaw maybe on to something when he said that CP is Biased.
willum- October 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm
this loss will only make kimbo wake up and become a better fighter. he will be back.
willum- October 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm
youre all a bunch of whiney assholes. kimbo took that fight less than 24 hrs notice with a guy he nothing about. kimbo got screwed because of shamrock,and if there was a rematch kimbo would destroy seth. He would have literally killed shamrock in the ring if that fight happened.

and whats with everyone hatin on EliteXC? they put on a great show.
Geriatric Peon- October 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm
For Hebrew Hammerfist: It's not that he can't recover it is the organization that relies on him as a headline that can't recover. He was only useful to them as a main card draw and now he can't fulfill that duty so he is more or less useless to them because they are idiots and didn't use him the right way to begin with so now he won't have the opportunity to recover and improve.
J- October 6, 2008 at 4:21 pm
Hey lay off the dwarfs. They deserve to fight in mma if only for the handstand double heel kick that I don't expect to ever see a normal mma fighter pull off even once much less the 12 or 13 times that lil guy pulled off
Forge- October 6, 2008 at 4:09 pm
I've never thougth that Kimbo couldn't "fight". 10 minutes on YouTube and you can see that. What I doubted was Kimbo's ability to "fight in the cage", with rules, techniques, and tactics that make little sense in the Taco John's parking lot. This loss only casts further doubt on whether Kimbo truly belongs in the cage. It depends on how he deals with this. A little humility and some better opponents and Kimbo could be an MMA fighter. Emphasis on 'could'.

As for what this fight will/won't do, I think it will help true MMA in general. This loss shows that this "human cockfighting" is not the same as a street brawl. Just because you can hold your own at your local dive-bar doesn't mean you have much right to call yourself an MMA fighter and step into that cage.

I chalk this up to the process of refining the sport. In the early days, the UFC was a collection of bar brawlers stuck in one room. Over time, it became clear that you needed skill to compete in that cage. MMA is still refining itself. Over time, we will see fewer and fewer street brawlers, and, hopefully, fewer dwarf-fighting in dog-cages (as posted a few days ago). Kimbo's loss, IMHO, was a good thing for all of us.
Hebrew Hammerfist- October 6, 2008 at 3:56 pm
All those charts tell me is....

This country loves misery.

Since when does one loss define a fighter, even given the massive hype? Yes, it was to a practical no-name (to 99% of the country) but that doesn't mean Kimbo isn't a dangerous fighter.

Now, if strings together 3-4 losses, then he should go away for a while. I am willing to bet that a Kimbo/Shamrock fight would still be a big money draw.
Armbutt- October 6, 2008 at 3:53 pm
"Elite XC needs to put Kimbo up against a top quality fighter"

Why?

He just lost to a guy from a lower weight class. I dont need any more proof that he is a paper tiger. You should stop believing the hype.

I hope we can all move on from this and look to good fights between MMA fighters in the future.
Slimbo Kice- October 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm
Elite XC needs to put Kimbo up against a top quality fighter to either get him back at the 'top of their game', or finally put him down to undercard status. If they try match him up against another 'has been' like Tank or Ken, it will show they know he can't win...
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