Bellator continues to be reshaped under the direction of the Scott Coker, as according to multiple reports, Kimbo Slice has signed a new deal to fight for the promotion.
Since Coker took over the reigns of Bellator, the promotion’s president has talked of the need to bring “fringe fans” back to MMA, and has promoted bouts like Tito Ortiz vs. Stephan Bonnar. Many MMA purists scoffed at the match-up, but in the end, it pulled over 2 million viewers for Spike.
Coker may not expect Slice to do the same for Bellator, but he understands that a lot of folks will likely tune in to see the UFC vet throw down. At least for his first couple of fights any ways. It’s also worth noting that if Bellator was still running on its tournament format, this deal likely would never have happened.
News of the deal was reported first by Combat Press.com, and several other sites have also confirmed the signing.
The 40 year-old Slice (4-2) hasn’t competed in MMA since 2010, when he was stopped by Matt Mitrione at UFC 113. After the loss, Slice moved into pro-boxing, where he went 7-0.
As you’re likely aware of, Slice became an internet star several years back, due to a series of bare knuckle, boxing fights he participated in that went viral. Lookng to cash in on his fame, Elite XC promoted several MMA fights with Slice,and drew big ratings, but the company eventually went belly up.
Slice went on to compete on the 10th Season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, and proceeded to go 1-1 with the UFC in official fights.
Slice’s singing is expected to be announced during tonight’s Bellator 132 broadcast on Spike. That card will feature featherweight champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire taking on former champ Daniel Straus, which is a very compelling fight. “Pitbull” is one of the best fighters not currently under the UFC umbrella, but Straus is a huge test for any 145ér. The two fought in 2011 and Freire won the bout via UD.
Tonight’s event will take place at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.