Earlier today, site writer Ben Fowlkes wrote a piece concerning whether or not anyone really wants to watch or spend money on a fight between Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott. I, for one, am in the camp that would love to see this fight take place.
Ben called it a “sideshow fight.” I call it a logical step up in competition. Who do you want Kimbo Slice to face? He’s not at the point to where he could step up and fight great heavyweight fighters yet. Ray Mercer was a joke and that’s a given. But it was also Kimbo’s first foray into MMA and he conquered the challenge sucessfully. Now that he’s got one exhibition fight under his belt, I feel that Tank Abbott is the perfect opponent for Kimbo. He’s got plenty of experience, he’s been in great fights, he likes to let his hands go, and in reality, he’s just another stepping stone for Slice.
Once Kimbo runs through Tank, I’m sure he will continue to move his way up the ladder to better competition. Why rush the guy? Does he need to be thrown to the wolves? No. He’s got a hardcore fan base, a charismatic personality, and he’s a beast of a man. He’s a promoter’s dream. Why not bring him along slowly? Isn’t this the same thing EliteXC is doing with Gina Carano?
Ben said the fighters may get paid in unmarked cash and cheeseburgers. I know Kimbo wants his “bread,” Ben, but let’s be serious. What about this makes it a sideshow fight?
Kimbo is training hard to be the best MMA fighter he can be. He’s given up street fighting and devoted himself full time to MMA. That, in itself, is commendable. Bas Rutten and Shawn Tompkins have nothing but glowing things to say about the guy. If Bas Rutten puts his stamp of approval on the guy, what more do you need?
But where Kimbo lost me was when he immediately challenged Tank Abbott to be his next opponent. That’s when it started to look like he had no interest in becoming a real MMA fighter. He just wants to make some quick cash thumping on very beatable has-beens.
It may have looked like Kimbo challenged Tank after his CFFC 5 victory, but don’t think for a second that this wasn’t a pre-orchestrated work on the part of the promoter. Of course Tank v. Kimbo is a big money fight for anyone. Tank is well known and so is Kimbo and they both have a “street fighter” label. To say that Kimbo wants to make quick cash by beating has-beens, however, may be taking it a little far. I doubt he would be training as hard as he is and taking the sport as seriously as he is if he didn’t plan on turning himself into a real MMA fighter. Do you really think he hand-picked Abbott? Most likely not. Most likely someone with some brains at CFFC did.
While I respect Ben’s opinions and ideas, the piece came off as more of a bash against Kimbo and Tank than a real argument as to why they shouldn’t be fighting one another. In reality, the fight makes a whole lot of sense if you take a good look at it. Will it be an exciting fight? Probably not. Will it tell us how far Kimbo Slice has come and how far he has to go? Very much so.
Once he beats Tank, you can clamor all you want for him to fight someone who’s considered a “real MMA fighter.” By that time, Kimbo will be one too.