(And now that anonymous bald man in the sweat pants is landing magazine covers and headlining a show on CBS. God bless America.)
Fightline.com is passing along the rumor that EliteXC is working to get Kimbo Slice in the cage with Sean Gannon, the Boston police officer and former Golden Gloves champion who put Kimbo down for the 30-count during an unregulated basement brawl in 2004. As Slice has said, “I would literally give my left nut — but I wouldn’t tell anybody — to fight him again.” Slice’s fight with Gannon was a chaotic mess, hampered by a lack of clarity on the rules; Kimbo thought it would be bare-knuckle boxing like his previous fights, and was thrown off when Gannon began throwing knees and attempting choke-holds. Gannon’s subsequent notoriety landed him a shot in the UFC, where he got his ass kicked by Branden Lee Hinkle at UFC 55. Jesus Christ, did those guys tie their wagon to the wrong Internet fighter or what?
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time I saw Gannon’s name today. He was actually name-checked today in a Wall Street Journal article (!) about police officers who moonlight as MMA fighters:
Some of the biggest names in this sport, whose main league is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, are police officers. Sean “the Cannon” Gannon, a Boston police officer, achieved notoriety when he defeated street fighter Kimbo Slice in a bare-knuckles, backyard brawl. “Big John” McCarthy is the most well-known referee; he just retired from his day job as defensive-tactics instructor for the Los Angeles Police Department…
Forrest Griffin, who ranks among the top six light heavyweights in the world, quit his job as an officer in Augusta, Ga., four years ago to become a professional fighter. He first became interested in fighting in 1999, when he trained at the police academy. Though Mr. Griffin, 29, misses some things about being a police officer — like high-speed chases — he says quitting was an easy decision. “It was like, do you want to play in the NBA or do you want to be a cop?” he says. “Everyone wants to make lots of money to be on TV.”
Although naming Gannon as one of “the biggest names in this sport” is laughable, the article does contain one very compelling bit of info regarding the relationship between law enforcement and MMA:
Part of the reason officers are becoming contenders is that they’re more skilled in fighting. Police departments are training their ranks in aggressive martial arts, like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to combat crime, boost morale and cut down on the use of weapons. In Utah, most law-enforcement agencies still teach techniques based on Aikido, a defensive Japanese martial art that doesn’t address hand-to-hand combat on the ground. But last year, the West Valley City police department in Utah enlisted professional fighters to teach moves from a range of martial arts, including punches and submission holds. Since launching the new program, the department says it has cut the use of Tasers by about one-third and the use of pepper spray by half.
In other words, prepare to see less of the standard bulldog-tackle in future episodes of Cops, and more Shinya Aoki-style guard-pulls. Hey, if it saves me from getting tazed, I’m in.
(Big ups to Steve at WallStreetFighter for the WSJ link.)