In an interview conducted with AOL’s MMA Fanhouse this past Monday, Bas Rutten revealed that Slice is no longer under his tutelage.
Rutten who was the only credible association that Slice had with true MMA fans said that he no longer would train Slice because of certain things that he had asked Slice to avoid. Rutten would not go into detail into what those issues were but he made it perfectly clear to Kimbo even before his last bout with EliteXC.
Rutten states that he talked to Slice about certain things that he did not like and Kimbo had made a promise that he would not repeat the same mistakes again. Rutten warned him that if he did he would be out and apparently Slice was unable to keep his word and has now lost what was once a huge supporter and great man to have in his corner.
Bas said that Kimbo showed great potential when he first started to train him and he saw a good future for the famed YouTube street brawler. Rutten went on to say that he has not spoken to Slice since his upset loss to Seth Petruzelli back in October of last year. Rutten said he put a lot of time and effort into training Kimbo and has a message for all of those who said he only did it for the money: he lost money training Kimbo.
With all the time he dedicated to getting Kimbo ready for his fights he was forced to turn down commentating jobs. He said he was paid $5,000 to train him and the training was done over several weeks with another trainer. He made it clear it was never about the money, so much so that he would not train him again even for a million dollars.
He still has contact with Kimbo’s manager who he said he had high regard for. Rutten stated that he wished he had a dedicated manager like that back when he was fighting. He claims that once something is broke he can’t go back to it and has closed the door on his relationship with Kimbo for good.
As far as Kimbo fighting for Strikeforce is concerned that door was left open by Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker who said that Kimbo’s contract was one of 42 that was purchased by his organization last week. Although there has not been any communication between Kimbo’s camp and Strikeforce management Kimbo’s manager “Icy” Mike Imber said they’d be willing to work something out.
Kimbo was paid a disclosed $500,000 (rumor has it that he received as much as $750,000) in his 14 second knockout loss to Petrezulli and would be forced to take a pretty severe pay cut if he wants to fight with Strikeforce. Strikeforce hasn’t gotten this far by spending hordes of many on any single fighter.
Coker said this about Kimbo in an interview on Sherdog Radio: “Picture a guy that has some street fighting capabilities that seems like he can punch pretty good, but put him in an MMA situation,” said Coker. “He’s not a journeyman fighter, he’s not a superstar in MMA –- he’s just learning. He got thrown into the spotlight at a high level where there’s a lot of pressure to perform, but he probably needed 10 to 12 fights under his belt before he took that leap.”
Coker put the fault on Kimbo’s downfall on the EliteXC executives who promoted him as the next big thing. He went on to say that Kimbo should not be blamed for being put in a ‘no win’ situation.
Ferguson had significant drawing power as he helped deliver some outstanding ratings when CBS made him the face of their Saturday Night Fights fight series. In fact, his fight with James Thompson which aired on May 31 drew nearly 7.3 million viewers to the network.
What happens with Kimbo next is probably up to him. If he decides that he can deal with a pay cut and being relegated to the preliminary portion of Strikeforce’s cards then there will certainly be a home for him. And if not, there’s always Japan.