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Dana White interested in match between Chuck Liddell and Kimbo Slice

dana-white.jpgThe mother of all sports blogs, Deadspin, recently conducted a phone interview with UFC president Dana White.

One of the topics Deadspin discussed with White was Chuck Liddell’s recent comments that attempted to downplay Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson’s stature in the MMA world.

White, who has been bearish on Slice as an MMA fighter in the past, is actually open to the idea of a match between the Internet street fighting legend and the former UFC light heavyweight champion, Liddell.

“If he [Kimbo] fought anybody that mattered, I would book that tomorrow,” White is quoted as saying by Deadspin.

While White said he might book the fight “tomorrow,” he would eventually temper the statement. White expressed his belief that Kimbo needs to get better before he can step up to fight Liddell.

“The fact is, Kimbo’s not there yet,” White told Deadspin. “He would get destroyed. I heard he just got knocked out by Forrest Griffin last week in a sparring match after a kick to the head,” he said.

The reference to Griffin rocking Slice while sparring is notable because the rumor has been circulating since last week. Guys rock each other all the time in sparring, so it’s usually not really a big deal. However, considering the nature of Slice’s mystique, I’m sure there are people out there who won’t be happy with White’s comments.

While Slice won some people over during his first round knockout of Tank Abbott during “Street Certified” in February, many critics were hardly impressed. I think it’s safe to include White in the latter category.

“Tank Abbott?! I mean, come on,” Deadspin quotes White as saying. “That guy was a bad UFC fighter. A friend of mine said he was out at a bar the week before that fight and he saw Tank there drinking beers. He went up to him and was like ‘Aren’t you supposed to be fighting Kimbo soon?”

Reading White acknowledge Slice in print is always interesting. Slice reportedly signed a four fight contract when he originally joined EliteXC. White sounds like he might be open to the idea of adding him to the UFC’s roster. To date, I have heard nothing concrete about Slice having signed an extension with EliteXC. Based on his value to the promotion, you’ve got to think that’s a pretty high priority. But if I was in Slice’s shoes, I wouldn’t sign anything until hitting the open market. If he is able to defeat James Thompson in impressive fashion on CBS in May, one would think his stock would increase significantly.

In order to read the article in its entirety, just click here. However, you should already be going to Deadspin anyway.

30 COMMENTS
  • GoofyMonkey says:

    Ahh Crap. I agree with Dana.

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  • Johnny Rev says:

    Soooo…let me get this right ….. Chuck can fight Kimbo ..but Randy cannot fight Fedor ??? or is White just trying to get Kimbo in the UFC for a fight in the future … I wish the Interviewer would have been more specific and asked about a cross promotion !

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    If I were White, I’d make comments suggesting potential interest in Slice after his contract with Elite is completed. It’s a win/win proposition for UFC. If Slice is a proven commodity at the end of his Elite contract, why not sign him? If he isn’t, White can at least take pleasure in watching Elite pay Slice more money than it would have for fear of losing him to UFC.

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  • The Legend says:

    The link isn’t working to read the whole interview with Dana

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  • Rich S. says:

    Chuck/Kimbo will NEVER happen… NEVER… it’s just impossible..

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  • […] promotion — White no longer cross promotes. That day might not be too far away. Sam Caplan reminds us that Slice inked a four-fight deal and his next bout against James Thompson in May will be the […]

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  • jjdnb says:

    this fight wont happen but if it did, i’d pay to see it

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  • Mikey Gilz says:

    My main problem with this interview has nothing to do with Liddell vs. Kimbo.

    When he says that Kimbo got KTFO by Forrest Griffin. It sort of sounds like he’s downplaying Forrest Griffin. As if to say that “If forrest can knock him out, imagine what chuck could do……” I dont think that’s a good idea to say for a guy who’s about to fight for the title. And currently the 2nd biggest star in your organization.

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  • slimm says:

    i would like to see Forrest ko Kimbo that would be great, is Forrest the 2nd biggest star in the UFC, really? hey Forrest is an awesome fighter ive always enjoyed his fights but with soooo many stars in the UFC the is Forrest the second biggest hey just a question…cheers

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  • Kelvin says:

    Dana is very smart.

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  • Mikey Gilz says:

    To slimm….

    I would agree that he is in no way the 2nd best fighter, but you can definitely make a case that Forrest is the 2nd biggest star behind Chuck Liddell. Forrest is the winner of the first TUF show, winner of what many people consider to be the most important fight in MMA history. He’s transitioned to TV shows outside of the UFC. It’s impossible to not like the guy. He’s been featured on the All Access shows. He is headliner material and one of the biggest draws the UFC has.

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  • slimm says:

    Mikey, very nicely done i will agree with your points, ive enjoyed Forrest he is very talented and his outside exposure (acting, ect.) is wonderful, plus as u stated its very difficult not to like the guy, hell he has one of the greatest fights in MMA history as well the fact that he did beat Shogun, he deserves this oppritunity for the title…. thx and cheers…..

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  • OddTom says:

    Kimbo’s “mystique?” Nothing particularly mysterious about EliteXC feeding a protected asset cans while proclaiming him the next coming of Fedor. Don’t get me wrong: the guy is doing just fine with just two professional fights. Lord knows he’s dealing with more publicity pressure than any other 2-0 fighter. But the hype simply doesn’t match the level of skill. That blame lies squarely on a particular slimeball in a tracksuit.

    I feel somewhat bad for Slice. If he continues fighting opponents with equal experience, the hype surrounding him will just land him the reputation of a can opener. But place him in there with someone of equal hype and the experience to go with it, and I don’t doubt EliteXC will drop Kimbo like yesterday’s trash when he understandably loses.

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  • glock says:

    “While Slice won some people over during his first round knockout of Tank Abbott during “Street Certified” in February, many critics were hardly impressed. I think it’s safe to include White in the latter category.”

    What fu@%ing morons exactly, do you think got won over ?? People in a comedy club?
    This guy is a money tree with no ring cred AT ALL that they are gonna grow as big as big as they can by careful feeding,nurturing and shelter from storms, till he gets harvested by a real PRIME TIME MMA fighter.
    To his credit Kimbo acknowledges he is far from ready for any real UFC caliber competition – at least last time I heard him speak.

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  • Jersey Tomato says:

    Kimbo is nothing more than a heavyweight version of Houston Alexander. He appears to possess formidable standup skills (by virtue of punching power) but, put him in against a experienced mixed martial artist, and he will surely get exposed. Houston Alexander looked dominant against Jardine but it did not take long for his all-round fight game to bestested. He was easily taken down by Thiago Silva and pounded out and, in his most recent fight, he was owned by James Irvin, to say the least.

    Kimbo better stay over there at EliteXC where the competition is not nearly so fierce and he can fight to the level of his competition.

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  • Fight Fan says:

    Who knows who would win…we havn’t seen Kimbo fight yet!.
    You can’t call those first 2 Kimbo promotions fights.

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  • keenan says:

    if i was dana and i was goig to put kimbo in against a ufc fighter wouldnt rampage be a better fit? or even a sho gun? or u could just have him get dominated by the future champ machida

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  • mike wolfe says:

    It’s all hypothetical now because Kimbo signed another contract with Elite. But even UFC would carefully choose his first couple fights in the UFC. If they matched him up against the champ for his first fight and Kimbo lost, his drawing power would evaporate. UFC would work him up the food chain before throwing him in with Rampage or even one of the top contenders.

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  • Chuck says:

    excuse me but why all the mention of Kimbo and possible opponents WHO ARE LIGHThw’s ???? Isn’t Kimbo a full 240+ lbs ??? he won’t/can’t cut to 205 and I DOUBT any of these guys(Chuck, Rampage,shogun, machida) are gonna want to “go up” to HW to fight him.

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  • Evan says:

    “excuse me but why all the mention of Kimbo and possible opponents WHO ARE LIGHThw’s ”

    See thats kind of the point…”even a light weight can do it”

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  • Jiu-Jitsu Guy says:

    Kimbo is a fraud until proven otherwise.

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  • NoRegrets says:

    Why are there even 21 comments on a 2-0 fighter who hasnt even been tested?FUCK KIMBO SLICE the guy is an over rated thug who was made popular by street fighting.To my knowledge there has never been this much hype about a street thug made by illegal fighting.And this is the guy that fat piece of shit Shaw wants to be the face of his company?What about Lawler,Rua and Baroni all guys with more experience in there pinky finger than the street thug Kimbo Slice.If i were those guys id be pissed off they have spent all there careers making the sport what it is and then have to take a backseat for the mainevent for to guys who arent even top 20 fighters.

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  • JacRabbit says:

    Its ridiculous to me the beef people have with Kimbo. Do you honestly think he conspired to pull a fast one on the MMA community years ago when he was taking street fights for money? He did what he was good at for cash, and now that he wants to turn fighting into a legit career you hate? Do you honestly think he selects his opponents? Lets use our brains for a moment… If you severely need someone to be mad at for not upholding your desire to see the “best” fight the “best”, then get mad at Shaw. These fights are his concoctions…but in the end businesses have an obligation to their stakeholders. They are REQUIRED to find ways to be profitable.

    …and if that doesn’t make any sense to you, heres a great idea–start a promotion and purchase all the top fighters you want, and put on fights for free! This way we can all benefit from your Utopian MMA ideal.

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  • seth b says:

    UFC already has their own version of Kimbo, his name is Brock.

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  • Evan says:

    “UFC already has their own version of Kimbo, his name is Brock.”

    Brock has legit credentials from the NCAA. Kimbo has street fights. How you compare the two is beyond me.

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  • Mikey Gilz says:

    On the Brock vs. Kimbo tip………. Brock Lesnar would maul Kimbo like he was a child. In 2 years, Brock will be heavyweight champion in the UFC. His size, speed, strength, agility, and work ethic are unparalleled. Brock will someday be the real deal. He was within inches of beating a top heavyweight in the world. Kimbo wouldn’t have gotten anywhere close to that.

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  • Fight Fan says:

    #23 Jacrabbit is asking for legit fighters in main event MMA utopian?, because it isn’t in any other sport.
    Look, nobody said anything about conspiracies, just that the whole Kimbo thing is fraud and, until he proves otherwise, that is what he will be known as…a fake MMA fighter. It’s not his fault he is just making a dollar.
    If you can’t understand why people are pissed about this, I’ll explain it. MMA fans feel like their sport is somehow under attack by this crap. That it’s threatened by this BS hype and money grabbing, and it’ll be turned into something that lots of us worried that it would one day …a farce.

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  • Zantetzuken says:

    “# 26 Mikey Gilz Says:

    On the Brock vs. Kimbo tip………. Brock Lesnar would maul Kimbo like he was a child. In 2 years, Brock will be heavyweight champion in the UFC. His size, speed, strength, agility, and work ethic are unparalleled. Brock will someday be the real deal. He was within inches of beating a top heavyweight in the world. Kimbo wouldn’t have gotten anywhere close to that.”

    Quoted for truth.

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  • seth b says:

    I compare the two because they are both bull rush one dimensional fighters. What happened when Mir withstood Brocks ferocious initial GNP? He got submitted quickly and easily. The same thing would happen to Kimbo if he ever faced a true Mixed Martial Artist that was able to withstand his initial onslaught.

    Neither has Jits training and that makes them both very one dimensional (regardless of Brock’s wrestling creds). I agree that Brock can and probably will put in the work to improve, but Kimbo could also. It all depends on the pressure they receive from their respective organizations to improve as an overall well rounded fighter. As of right now though they are both big draws only because of name recognition from things other than being an accomplished MMA fighter.

    Just my two cents, and I am no expert by any means.

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  • ctownhood says:

    Didn’t Dana recently state that Tank would “absolutely” end up in the UFC Hall Of Fame?

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