Now that the smoke has cleared, the dust has settled and the fallout from EliteXC “Heat” this past Saturday has almost subsided (with the exception of the Petruzelli “bribe” situation) I wanted to take a look back at the hate that has been spewed at one Kimbo Slice. Ever since Saturday night, numerous outlets have taken huge shots at Kimbo Slice, going so far as to call him “the ultimate fraud” to saying that he he simply “sucks” and that he has “no place in MMA.”
All I have to say to that is chill, donkey. Chill.
There are plenty of people out there, myself included, that knew that if Kimbo faced a legitimate opponent that he would most likely lose. So why is everyone so up in arms? And why are they up in arms and spewing hatred towards Kimbo Slice? The man has been more than happy to admit that he’s a youngster in the game of MMA. He has readily admitted that on numerous occasions. So who should the finger pointing be directed at?
EliteXC, plain and simple.
If there’s anyone to blame for the hype surrounding Kimbo, it’s EliteXC. If there’s anyone to blame for booking Kimbo as a main event, it’s EliteXC. If there’s anyone to blame for billing Kimbo as something we all knew he wasn’t, it’s EliteXC. Well, I take that back. The only people who maybe didn’t know were the talking heads at ESPN and these other mainstream outlets who are more suited to talking about stick and ball sports than they are anything resembling combat sports. But the point still stands. EliteXC is to blame for the “Kimbo hype.”
If it was Kimbo who was out there billing himself as one of the “champions of MMA” and one of the best fighters in MMA then I could understand where the hate is coming from. But Kimbo wasn’t out there talking any smack about the fight even when Ken Shamrock was his opponent. Nor has he ever championed himself as anything more than he actually is which is a 3-1 fighter. On Saturday he showed just that. He’s an inexperienced fighter who’s 3-1. Period. No more, no less. And he’s never claimed to be more than that. EliteXC is to blame for feeding him the Tank Abbotts of the world, not Kimbo.
Could Kimbo and his camp have objected to the way Slice was being portrayed in the advertisements and in the media? Sure. They could have told EliteXC not to put him in main events. But they’re thinking about what’s monetarily best for their fighter. I’m sure the pressure on Slice was enormous to main event nationally televised cards when he’s so inexperienced. But he was being paid handsomely for it. This is America and if you can make that much money by doing so little then so be it. Good for Kimbo that he was paid handsomely based purely on the fact that he had won some street fights. If he can parlay that into a big payday then so be it. That’s the American dream, right? Who are we to shit on him?
Kimbo Slice could have packed his stuff up and went home on Saturday instead of fighting Seth Petruzelli. He knew he was facing a much more dangerous opponent. He knew that it was a risk. But instead of calling it a night because he wasn’t facing who he had prepared for he stepped into the cage anyways to give the fans what they paid for. Granted it didn’t turn out in Kimbo’s favor but you have to at least commend the guy for going out there and doing what was right.
To call Kimbo Slice “the ultimate fraud” and to say that “he sucks” is taking it too far. Does he need work? Yes. Lots of it. His chin is now in question along with his power and his ground game. But what do you expect? He’s 3-1. There’s lots of 3-1 fighters out there with lots of holes in their game. But to say that he doesn’t belong in the sport and that he sucks is out of line. If you know anything about MMA you know that Kimbo Slice was going to fall from grace at some point or another. But remember that the “grace” was built by EliteXC, not by Kimbo Slice. Hate the way he was built up. Hate the house of cards that EliteXC built on the back of a fighter who was so unproven. But don’t hate Kimbo Slice for getting his slice of the pie and taking things as they came. He’s never claimed to be anything more than what he is: a 3-1 fighter with 3-1 skills.