Street brawler turned MMA fighter Kimbo Slice made his official pro debut at last night’s Elite XC event, and it was over faster than the porn clips his former employers made their livings from. Nineteen seconds into the first round Slice (aka Kevin Ferguson) defeated professional jobber Bo Cantrell via TKO.
But wait, that’s not quite accurate. That implies that Slice actually did something to render Cantrell incapable of continuing, and that isn’t true. I’m not going to say that Cantrell took a dive. That would be insulting to the Olympic sport of diving, which is more dignified and interesting than last night’s fight.
Think I’m overreacting? Let’s ask Kimbo, who had this to say after the fight:
“I guess I landed the uppercut,” Slice told Bill Goldberg, in a post-fight interview.
You guess? Does that sound like a description of a knockout blow? And honestly, hasn’t Kimbo landed enough of them to know the difference between a punch that just clips somebody and one that drops them?
Cantrell looked intimidated from the get-go. He was ready to drop down and cover up before the fight ever started. It almost looked as if he was in hurry to get his check and get to the bank before it closed. While I realize this isn’t anything you can blame Kimbo or Elite XC for, it’s disappointing nonetheless.
I think the best summation of what this fight meant for the career of Slice and the promotion that’s trying to build on his existing fame came from Bas Rutten, who helped train Slice for this fight and who also has a reputation as a straight-talker in the MMA business.
“I am happy for Kimbo, but he needs an opponent that is going to push him a little,” Rutten said. “I think he can handle it, but I want to see how he does when he has to face some adversity and go a full round or two. Really, Kimbo got nothing out of this fight tonight — except for a nice payday.”
That’s the truth. Kimbo got his bread, but he didn’t get a chance to really show us what he’s got, which is a shame. I realize that Kimbo is not a seasoned fighter at this point, but does that mean we can’t see him fight a serious opponent?
Because Kimbo already comes with the specious reputation of an internet brawler — which, admittedly, has its pros and cons — Elite XC is jeopardizing his credibility by putting him in these non fights.
Hopefully they decide to challenge him his next time out, and if they do I think they’ll find that it’s not only better for them, but it will be better for Kimbo’s long-term drawing power as well.