The Ultimate Fighter’s Next Big Thing – Kimbo Slice
With little more than a series of YouTube street fighting experiences, bare-knuckles brawler Kimbo Slice waded through a crowd of want-to-be practitioners of fisticuffs to become a genuine Internet sensation. But his urban legend proved to be no match for a real professional and with just a quick jab to the chin, Slice went down within 14 seconds of the first round and took the entire Elite XC league with him. Now he wants to prove his worth in the UFC.
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Kimbo Slice is an intimidating person when he’s battling some bruiser on the street but put him in a situation where people fight for a living and the results are less than stellar. Be that as it may even when his true colors were shown during the first round demise of his bout in the now defunct Elite XC, Kimbo Slice took the defeat like a real man, never making excuses and willing to come back for more.
That chance is now being offered to him by of all people, Dan White of the UFC. Mr. White, who was highly critical of Kimbo as well as any and all other MMA league challengers to his domain, has not so much taken the high road on his proposition to allow the infamous concrete scraper into his kingdom but has once again realized the marketing value this Internet sensation has, no matter which way his tenure in the octagon goes. Dan White has always been one to capitalize on whatever opportunities lay before him and while some may consider his aggressive style and lack of genuine concern for his stable of fighters off-putting; the man knows what works and goes after it. White’s tenaciousness paid off in his gamble to turn the once sinking UFC into the mega million dollar venture it is now and he did so by understanding what the people want and when to give it to them.
Kimbo Slice is a self-made man. An urban jungle warrior who would take on all-comers and dispatched them just as easily. But back yard boxing matches are hardly the stuff of real fights when compared to a professional bout or even a true street fight where kicks, knees, elbows, throws as well as punches are all part of the formula. Slice was a formidable opponent when it came to your basic yahoo in the hood but as he quickly found out, you can’t bring that sh*t into the ring and expect to be victorious. The kind of garden variety bare handed boxing that Kimbo was used to soon found to be extremely limited and his real lessons on the sweet science began when he stepped into the world of MMA.
True to the heart of a competitor, Kimbo Slice gamely worked the Mixed Martial Arts training sessions and gained considerable skills in a short time but unfortunately the power brokers who were paying the bills needed his stardom to shine its light as quickly as possible on their fledgling MMA league, a tactic that proved disastrous for both parties. As much as Slice may have shown promise with wins in earlier fights his MMA prowess was still raw and unpolished and as displayed in his big Elite XC debut – very untested. He may have had the physical gifts but at this level of the sport a huge portion of winning is all about your mental toughness. When a last minute replacement for Ken Shamrock was thrown in, your average pro would take it in stride and adjust to the new combatant. Kimbo it seemed could not get a grip on the shift and went down like a ton of bricks. The result of a jab of all things.
To give credit where it is due, many top athletes, when finding themselves in a similar predicament, would have had a melt down (sic) LeBron James or Tiger Woods of late come to mind, but The Slice would have none of that. You don’t survive on the streets by complaining and you certainly don’t show your weakness by walking away. So when the opportunity to get back into the game presented itself it’s no small wonder this back street battler would jump at the chance. But true to the urban legend’s nature of desiring real respect and doing what it takes to earn it, Kimbo Slice is going back to the beginning, as such, and taking part in the next Ultimate Fighter elimination reality show.
Though some may say Slice has a bit of an edge over the other contestants because of his popularity and reputation that really has little bearing on whether or not he will be able to make the cut. Unlike other so called “reality” shows where just about everything is scripted, The Ultimate Fighter is one where if you step inside the cage you don’t come out unless you’re broken, beaten or a winner. That’s about as real as it gets.
So in the end Dan White gets his revenge on the failed upstart MMA league by extracting on of their top draws and putting him to the test. Kimbo gets to be where he should have been all along, in an environment that will sharpen his skills, harden his mind and allow him to prove to the world that he can be the next Ultimate Fighter.