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Kimbo Slice vs. Chuck Liddell Just Makes Sense

A dream match between Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin? Why the heck not? It's UFC 100 for crying out loud!

Something tells me that deep down Chuck Liddell wants that one last fight. Liddell is the most popular fighter on the planet and a proud former champion to boot, there’s no way a fighter with his mentality is going to walk away on a sour note like his most recent TKO loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. I just don’t see that sitting very well with Chuck during his many years of life that will follow his retirement from the sport.

It’s fairly safe to say that there are very few fans of the sport that have any type of desire to watch Liddell catching another beatdown on live television. This is the number one reason behind Dana White and many others desire to see the former light heavyweight champ walk away from the sport while he still can.

With that being said, I don’t feel like there would be much if any interest in watching Liddell face off against another top contender in his next fight.

Has Liddell lost his ability to win in the Octagon? Hardly. There are still a handful of fights that the San Luis Obispo slugger still win in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

If anything Chuck should, if he already hasn’t, accept the fact that another title run at this point is just not going to happen. To justify another title shot for “The Iceman” anytime in the future he would need to avenge at least two of his most recent four losses at the very minimum in my estimation. While he has a decent chance of figuring out Keith Jardine in a rematch, I feel like the chances of Chuck obtaining revenge against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans or Shogun are slim to none. Not to say it couldn’t happen, just trying to be as realistic as possible.

So who do you give the legend in his farewell fight? We’ve already established that there is no real point in giving him a legitimate contender to the throne like Luiz Cane or Rich Franklin. I would even be extremely hesitant to sign him up with the likes of Thiago Silva, Brandon Vera or even Ryan Bader. I’m just not so positive that Chuck wins all of those fights, and we want Liddell to leave on a high note in this one.

Who then? Do you announce that Liddell will be squaring off with Houston Alexander, Mark Coleman or Brian Stann. I don’t know of anyone that would be interested in watching those fights, whether “The Iceman” is involved or not.

Enter Kevin Ferguson, aka Kimbo Slice. Kimbo comes into the UFC with his own set of problems. What do you do with him? He’s never going to win the title and I’d be shocked if he gets a second win at the TUF house during season ten. On the other side of the token, there’s a great deal of money to be made with Kimbo, a blind man can see that. So you have to market the man correctly just long enough to make that money from him.

So what do you do with him then? Well let’s just say I’m the UFC. If I was the UFC I would speak with both coaches of The Ultimate Fighter when the cameras were off and guarantee that Kimbo faces someone he can beat in his first fight in the house. I mean someone he can absolutely, without a doubt beat. Kimbo losing in his first fight in the house following his embarrassment to Seth Petruzelli in October would leave the former porn star bodyguard almost completely unmarketable. A loss in his first fight in the house would result in a huge loss of money for all involved.

Let’s skip ahead assuming that Slice gets that all important first victory in the house, does anyone truly believe the former YouTube brawler has a remote chance of defeating Roy “Big Country” Nelson, or even former NFL superstar Marcus Jones? There aren’t many people outside Team Kimbo that will be giving the Bahamian born brawler a realistic chance.

Even worse, what do you do with the cash cow following his stint in the most watched season of The Ultimate Fighter in the shows history? Kimbo will be in the same boat with Liddell in one respect. You can’t give him a legit contender because the chances are very good that he loses the bout handily and I’m not sure if anyone wants to see Kimbo face Cain Velasquez or Gabriel Gonzaga to be quite honest. Is there any question as to who wins those fights? Also much like Liddell, a fight between Kimbo and anyone without a big name just doesn’t sell. It’s not a money maker and isn’t making money the true name of the game as far as the UFC is concerned?

So how do you sell a fight between Chuck and Kimbo? It’s simple, a fight between Chuck and Kimbo sells itself on name power alone. The fight poster with the bearded former street thug staring directly into the eyes of the mohawked legend with the trademark “Pit” tattoo would be among the most popular in the organization’s history.

Then you sell the grudge match factor like crazy. People will eat it up. This is a fight that will have the casual fight fan foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog.

You don’t have to look very hard to track down the brief war of words between Liddell and Slice prior to Kimbo’s dismantling at the hands of Petruzelli at EliteXC: Heat

Liddell struck the first blow in a report that came from The Sun saying,””Kimbo’s one of those guys who doesn’t have any ground game. He’s training and he’s learning but he’s been built up as such a big star, and that’s the thing that bothers me.

“People talk about him like he’s the next great thing when he really hasn’t done anything. He’s been built up because of the Internet and him beating a bunch of guys on the street… I could make some impressive knockout videos too if you let me walk outside and just punch people and knock them out.”

Of course, it didn’t take long for Kimbo to fire back at the comments made by Liddell, reminding Chuck that he is from the streets.

“We can always take it back to old-school; that’ll work for me,” said Kimbo in a YouTube video response. “But I still got love for all the MMA fighters, but if you keep on rapping man, I’m going to have to zip it close, baby, because I’m getting tired of the talk.

“The next one that has something to say, just see me [directly]. I’ll come to your camp, and that’s real talk.”

Liddell grasped the opportunity to counter Kimbo’s statement shortly after the much talked about video response from Slice by making his feelings on the Internet fighting sensation quite clear during an episode of Rear Naked Radio.

“All I said is fight someone real,” Liddell was quoted as saying during the radio broadcast. “The only guy he lost to in his street-fight things came into the UFC and lost. Fight a guy that is real and fight a guy… who has a few wins in MMA, and then talk about it.

“Before he talks about fighting me, he might want to think about beating somebody that has a winning record. He’s an Internet sensation who beat up guys at Taco Bell. Come on. How hard is that to do?”

Surprisingly, Even UFC President Dana White himself wouldn’t say that a future bout between the two is something that he would completely rule out.

“If he [Kimbo] fought anybody that mattered, I would book that tomorrow,” said White in an April 2008 interview with Deadspin.com.

“The fact is, Kimbo’s not there yet,” continued the outspoken face of the UFC. “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

“I’d take him [Kimbo] absolutely seriously — but, again, he hasn’t beat anybody. In this sport, it’s all about ‘Who have you beat right now?’, and he hasn’t beat anybody.”

Being completely honest for a moment, I highly doubt that there is any type of real animosity on either fighters end but that doesn’t change the fact that grudge matches sell tickets, and I would fully expect for both of these showmen to play the bill to a tee.

Interest will also be peaked when it is announced that Liddell will be making the move up to heavyweight for the first time in his career.

As filthy rich as the UFC, White, Liddell and Kimbo already are, you’re kidding yourself if you think that everyone involved isn’t interested in making a little more dough. This fight makes everyone very happy financially.

Let’s throw the money factor right out the window. Let’s just say that Chuck doesn’t care about the money, he’s just in it for the hunger of the competition, he still wants to go out on a win. That’s why this fight makes so much sense for Liddell, he makes one last gigantic payday and leaves the sport with a highlight reel victory. It’s not going to get much better than that for “The Iceman” at this point.

Now that I’ve had a chance to outline all of the reasons why I feel that this fight makes sense, it’s time to take a good hard look at the bout’s two possible conclusions.

The first and by far most likely is that Liddell flattens Kimbo with a trademark right hand, does his symbolic “Pit X” all over the ring and announces his retirement on a good note. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to see that.

The other and less likely scenario is that Kimbo catches Chuck and puts him to sleep…..I don’t know anyone that would want to see that outside of Team Kimbo, but what are you going to do.

Kimbo vs. Chuck in 2010, it just makes sense.

28 COMMENTS
  • cocoonofhorror says:

    no, it doesnt.

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  • Cory Brady says:

    HaHa, wow cocoon, your argument just completely made me reevaluate the way I was looking at this prospective match up. Would you mind elaborating on why it doesn’t make sense according to you?

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  • Rich S. says:

    “Who then? Do you announce that Liddell will be squaring off with Houston Alexander, Mark Coleman or Brian Stann. I don’t know of anyone that would be interested in watching those fights, whether “The Iceman” is involved or not.”

    Call me crazy, but when reading that, I actually thought all of those matchups sounded pretty good.. Coleman and Stann anyway..

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  • mma-owns says:

    It would be interesting but it’ll never happen.

    Kimbo doesn’t deserve to fight Chuck. Chuck is a legend in the sport and has earned every bit of hype surrounding himself. Kimbo has not. Chuck also did not simply forget how to fight, if he gets another fight it should be against someone near the middle rank of the division, not the bottom. So that if he wins, there is reason to justify him continueing his career, and if he loses, it would be clear that he needs to retire without making Chuck a running joke and a higlight reel for someone who is likely to dissapear from the scene soon anyways. Chuck is an opponent that must be earned. Even tho he is on his way out, any fighter would give thier left nut to fight Chuck right now, so why not give him to a rising star in the division? Rather than someone who is a huge question mark.

    If Kimbo wins that fight he embarrasses Chuck and Dana would have proved he is no better than Elete XC in giving Kimbo opportunities he has not earned and putting him on a stage that he isnt qualified to be on. You can feed Kimbo tomato cans and past-prime fighters all day but it wont prove he is a legitamate MMA contender, and thats the whole point of him being on TUF, he has to work his way up like anyone else. Sure his contract will be different than other TUF alumni, but the UFC wont be sell outs like Elete XC and just go for a nice poster.

    Also the whole concept of fixing the show so Kimbo can make it to the big show is a terrible idea as it would discredit TUF immediately. It would be a running joke in the world of MMA. At this stage, the show is seen as a legit try-out for the UFC. But when you start tampering with matchups in order to promote someone who would otherwise fade into ubscurity, you end up discrediting the fighters who you put him up against (guys who have earned their spot in the UFC the old fashioned way), and you spawn a dark cloud over the organization that will stay with the company forever. That being said, a win will always be a win.

    If he does what Lesnar did, and beat a legitimate contendar like Heath Herring, then you can match him with anyone you like. But for Kimbo to come in and take on a UFC legend who is on his way out in his first fight, it would be dishonourable and laughable.

    Dana White would lose a lot of credibility especially since he had spent a lot of his spare time ripping Elete XC for doing that exact same thing.

    Would this be a fun fight to watch? Sure. If you are sitting at home playing matchmaker, sure, it sounds appealing. But from a business standpoint, it just makes NO sence.

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  • edub says:

    Hey Cory interesting look at the situation. And I prolly would shell out some dough for the Kimbo and possibly an Alexander fight.But Ithink ur missing the one draw that makes the most since….

    Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture 4

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  • mma-owns says:

    I agree with Rich S. However, I’d love to see him up against Luiz Cane. Cane has great skills and is a banger so it should give Chuck a chance to start working his knockout game again.

    Also if Chuck loses, he loses to a guy who has a lot of respect in the UFC already but is on his way up the ladder. Coleman and Stann are a little too low in the division for my liking because if Chuck loses to Mark Coleman, he should be ashamed. These guys are so old they might have to stop the fight halfway so they can have naps.

    I’m more interested in seeing him fight a guy who is a few wins away from a title shot. If you beat Chuck Liddell, you should be pretty close to a title shot in my opinion. Fuck the fact that Chuck has lost so many fights lately. He’s still crazy tough and skilled and shouldn’t be too far away from a title shot. If Chuck gets the chance to put like 3 wins together, I say he gets a title shot. So for him to be fighting guys at the bottom of the division, I dont agree…….

    Yo Caplan…….give me a chance to write here and answer my god damn emails lol.

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  • Clay The Caveman Guida says:

    Am I the only one who thinks a fight with Rich Franklin would be good? Rich doesn’t have KO power which any future opponent for Chuck can’t have. He would keep it standing much like the Silva fight this last weekend. Rich isn’t too much for Chuck for hang with. I also don’t see how Franklin is a “contender to the throne.” He lost to hendo, and BARELY beat an irrellevant Wanderlei. Just my opinion.

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  • mma-owns says:

    Fair opinion….I think Wanderlei’s style plays right to the hands of Anderson……He’s wide open, sure he has knockout power but he’s wide open all the time. I don’t see a title in Wanderlei’s future that’s for sure. So irrellivant could be fair to say. I just think he’s relevant cause he’s fun to watch but I think his hands get worse with each fight lol.

    I think Franklin/Liddell would be a great fight. I’m actually suprised none of us thought of that, maybe just cause the division is so stacked. I think that would be a fantastic fight and it’s very interesting to think about.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I would really like to see chuck take a year or so off like Randy did to recharge his desire to compete, you know guys like that will never be happy with a desk job so let him sit and really build his mind and rest the body so when the time is right he can come out of retirement for a huge fight and hopefully shock the world like Randy did a few years ago against Sylvia.

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  • munche says:

    That fight insults Chuck Liddell in saying that all he’s worth fighting anymore is off the street nobodies who lose to TUF castoffs. Plus it implies that guys like Kimbo are worthy of fighting top level UFC champions. Losing skid or not, Liddell is still A level. That fight devalues Liddell and the entire UFC, for a one off payday.

    It’s exactly this kind of logic that ran Elite XC into the ground. $kala, is that you?

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  • Cory Brady says:

    @ClayTheCaveman – The Rich fight is a great idea, I just don’t see Chuck winning that fight right now and I really think people would rather see him step down than lose again. As far as Rich being a contender goes, a TKO over Matt Hamill, a razor thin decision loss to Dan Henderson and a win over an always dangerous Wanderlei have Franklin right in the mix of things in my opinion.

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  • mma-owns says:

    Well at the end of the day Chuck is a fighter and this isn’t about putting people in the Octagon to just get hurt. That is not a sport. If one fighter is not capable of winning the fight, then the fight should not be made. This isn’t Tee-Ball.

    Also I seem to remember not too long ago Chuck won a close fight against Wanderlei Silva as well in a fight that was just as brutal if not more so. Chuck took it to Silva more than Franklin did as a matter of fact. So I don’t see that fight as far fetched at all.

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  • TerribleT says:

    I’m not a Kimbo fan in any way but I still think he hits way harder than the average MMA fighter so to underestimate him I think could be very dangerous.I’m still baffled to how a guy who dropped his hands and let huge men hit him in the face as hard as they could was knocked down and out with a pee shooter left jab.I just don’t see how his jaw could really be that fragile.Hopefully we’ll all get some answers soon.Now doesn’t Kimbo have to win a fight just to get into the TUF house and to be a fixture on the show like all the other recent TUF seasons? Maybe as far as we know he’s already lost!!!! LOL :-)

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  • mma-owns says:

    Nah this season had guaranteed spots…..and that may be due to the fact that Dana was scared that Kimbo wouldn’t win the try-out fight. But he told Kimbo he could join TUF so it makes sence to guarantee spots to everybody since he guaranteed one to Kimbo.

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  • RoadsideGraphix says:

    “He’s never going to win the title and I’d be shocked if he gets a second win at the TUF house during season ten.”

    Funny because everyone has a 50/50 chance of winning anytime they get in the cage. I didnt think Rashad would ever get out of the tuf house alive but he did. Just goes to show that your crystal ball may be made out of plastic

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  • Cory Brady says:

    I don’t feel that everyone has a 50/50 chance every time they enter a cage. To say that Kimbo Slice or even Tim Sylvia would have a 50/50 chance with Fedor or Brock every time they enter the cage just seems silly. Skill and training is the difference 9 out of 10 times.

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  • kenonbass says:

    This is so stupid. Dana White should be reluctant to have Slice on TUF because of the people who actually think Liddell fighting Slice makes any sense at all.

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  • aimres says:

    Does it make sense? Yes. Well, about as much sense as the Franklin vs Silva at a catchweight.

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  • mma-owns says:

    It’s wierd that the reason they had to fight at a catchweight is cause Silva didn’t wanna do 205, and wanted to do middleweight. Yet rumour has it he still had a tough time making 195. He had to cut 12 pounds on the day of the weighins.

    Wouldn’t have been pretty for him if he needed to drop another 10 pounds.

    But generally, I think that was a great fight and I’m glad it happened. It also helped add fuel to the fire between Anderson and Wanderlei.

    Franklin and Silva are clearly superstars in the sport and purely because of thier storied careers. Chuck Liddell as well, however, Kimbo is the only one who doesn’t fit into that group. The two fights are completely different. Kimbo doesn’t yet belong in that catagory, if he ever will….

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  • doknotfal says:

    i think kimbo vs houston alexander on the undercard of jackson vs rashad, maybe bring in jay heiron to fight rumble johnson, bring in Melvin Manhoef to fight jon johns, & have Koshcheck vs. melvin guillard @ a catch weight of 160-165lbs.

    black on black on black on black on black on black on black on what ever the @#$@ Koscheck is!

    i’d drink a 40oz to that fight card

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  • Kamakosmo says:

    “black on black on black on black on black on black on black on what ever the @#$@ Koscheck is!”

    F’n Hilarious!!!!

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    “I’m not a Kimbo fan in any way but I still think he hits way harder than the average MMA fighter”

    I guess Fujita, Butterbean, Neil Grove, and Bret Rogers are INSANELY better than your average MMA fighter because each of those guys KOed James Thompson a lot faster than it took Kimbo to get a gift TKO.

    “Funny because everyone has a 50/50 chance of winning anytime they get in the cage.”

    If by 50/50 chance, you mean there will be a winner and a loser, yes. If you mean that Kimbo has a 50% chance at beating Fedor, then no. Good God, no.

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  • kenonbass says:

    Sergio is absolutely right. Kimbo couldn’t even knockout James Thompson! And if James Thompson had any sort of ground game, that fight would have ended in the second round. Not to mention that Kimbo got knocked out by a punch that grazed him, by a light heavyweight who threw it standing on one leg!

    It blows my mind that this is a lead article on this website and that people out there actually think that Kimbo would even have a shot against Chuck, let alone anyone w/ a winning record.

    Let’s see how far he makes it on TUF.

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  • shotnonny says:

    Chuck needs to quit. He’s done it all and needs to take care of his health. I saw him at a party recently and believe me there’s something wrong. He asked twice where he was.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Wow a lot of interest, maybe it does make sense.

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  • mma-owns says:

    Chuck would own if the fight happened but it never will.

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  • mma-owns says:

    Chuck!

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  • Patrickk says:

    I have high hopes for Kimbo. I want him to get a UFC contract and fight on the fight nights when they air on Spike TV. I really think he will be offered a contract on there; simply because he would always attract MILLIONS of people to the tube on those nights.

    If Dana White lets Kimbo go after TUF; believe me, he will be in King of the Cage or somewhere, or probably more realistically in Japan fighting Hong Man Choi or Bob Sapp.

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