Hating on Kimbo

Playa Hata Mark Davies of MMA Madness shows us how it's done: Despite the wealth of evidence that is now at our disposal, thousands…

By: Nate Wilcox | 15 years ago
Hating on Kimbo
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Playa Hata Mark Davies of MMA Madness shows us how it’s done:

Despite the wealth of evidence that is now at our disposal, thousands of fans and easily-led MMA journalists believe that Kimbo Slice is a legitimate prospect in MMA’s heavyweight division. Instead, I believe that Kimbo Slice is not a contender, has almost no potential, and anyone who says otherwise is lying, stupid, or in the throes of a hyperbolic fever.

Impressively gruesome though these fights may be, has anyone ever considered why Kimbo never made a run at professional boxing? Do you know what you call a marginal heavyweight boxer? A millionaire.

I’ll tell you why Kimbo never pursued a boxing career. It’s because there are 150 heavyweight boxers in the world that would eat Kimbo for lunch and a beating like the one that most experts, and Kimbo himself, know he would have received, would have injured his street fighting credibility and taken money out of his pocket.

Why is Kimbo any more legit as a prospect than one of those heavyweights, not to mention the Cruiserweights and Light Heavys who would have their way with our bearded buddy? He isn’t. Any of hundreds of top boxers, kickboxers, wrestlers, BJJ players, and even a few NFL stars would be better prospects than Kimbo, and almost all of them would be younger and more athletic.

If his striking skills aren’t what make him such a fantastic prospect, then what is it? The first thing analysts point to, after the street fights, is his one year of training with Bas Rutten. One whole year. Oh God. Let me retract the previous ten paragraphs.

Is training with the seventh best coach in the MMA world for one year really something exceptional? Lesnar trained with Militech for two years, had a better background, and lost in one minute to a heavyweight that is barely top 20.

The last attribute that supposedly makes Kimbo a real prospect is his “amazing athleticism.” That has come from Bas Rutten as well as Elite XC’s hype machine but the trouble is that we have all seen Kimbo move and fight. Does he remind you of a young Kevin Randleman when you see him in the ring?

The fact is, and the facts indicate, that what Kimbo is, is a 34-year-old street brawler with a decent right hand, who hit the YouTube jackpot. Has there been a fighter since Dan Severn that started MMA at a later age than Kimbo and enjoyed any real success? Randy Couture was 33 when he debuted and he entered a different MMA world, not to mention the near decade of international level wrestling experience he had.

There is no evidence, other than the word of his own trainer, a man who once labeled Akira Shoji a future champion, that he has any skills that should be rated as above average, and by his own admission, he has only been training in ground fighting for a year.

A final word about Kimbo’s supposed marketability. If he is such a drawing card anywhere (not just his home in Miami) then why wasn’t this fight on PPV? Slice may be the South Florida Cung Le in terms of local appeal, but until the ratings come in, lets take a break on the “most marketable fighter in MMA” hype.

I cut that up a little so be sure and click the link to read the whole thing. While I disagree with much of it, (especially with the last bit about marketability), Davies does put together a fiercely argued and well-thought out case against Kimbo. He’s too hard on Tank and Bas, but the Akira Shoji line is a good one.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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