I hope you had a chance to witness the first network television broadcast of mixed martial arts held on CBS Saturday night. I’m by no means a big MMA fan, but it certainly has piqued my interest as of recently. The featured bout was a showdown between Kimbo Slice, who I relate to as a bigger, but quiet Clubber Lang, and underdog James Thompson, who resembled more Elephant Man than MMA fighter: more on that in second.
But really all eyes were on the man who won the fight, Mr. Slice.
Kimbo is one bad-ass looking man. He has a beard that covers the majority of his face and gold teeth that fill his mouth. He IS the “Dirty South.” You know whoever steps into the ring with him is about to get his ass kicked. He’s 6’2” and about 240, but its all solid muscle, the kind of physique that can’t be broken. Likewise, the problem Kimbo’s beard presents his opponents is it masks any damage he incurs to his face. I watched Kimbo take plenty of power shots to his chin and I found myself doubting if they had any effect.
But really, if they were any other fighter, you’d see swelling and possibly cuts. This is what goes into the KIMBO image. His image already gives him the advantage over his opponent. When an opponent looks at him across the ring, the fear of PAIN immediately radiates through his psyche. Unless, you’re as insane as the Brit that fought him on Saturday night.
Now, I’m not insinuating that James Thompson wasn’t afraid when he got into the ring, but he sure was juiced up on enough adrenaline to overcome that fear. This gave him a chance. On first glance, I immediately noticed Thompson’s swollen left ear. The thing looked like it belonged to Dumbo. The commentators mentioned that he had “cauliflower ear.” It was his downfall, but I was surprised how long it took Kimbo to take advantage of this condition. In fact, it was Thompson, the underdog, who controlled the second round, consistently dropping Kimbo to the ground. At one point, it looked as though the fight was going to be stopped short, after Thompson’s repeated elbows to Kimbo’s head. But, like I said, it’s like you can’t break Kimbo…Slice survived the second round beating and any chance Thompson had of winning was thrown out the window. In the third round, Kimbo’s fists connected with Thompson’s ear and it ruptured with blood everywhere. The fight was over. Kimbo dazed Thompson and if the REF had let the fight continue, he could have inflicted some serious long term damage on Elephant Man.
Kimbo Slice is definitely here to stay. The guy is THE attraction as he gets the ratings and puts the asses in the seats. He’s going to make Elite XC a lot of money. The only question I have is if he struggles with James Thompson, who by no means is an elite fighter, how would he do against some of MMA’s best? He’s going to need to develop a TON more skill to be on the level of guys like Chuck Liddel and Rampage Jackson. But in the mean time, I’m still going to be locked into every one of his fights to witness the next BIG THING in all of sports.