Kimbo-Tank Bout Promises To Be…Something

It’s a done deal. On February 16 Elite XC comes to Miami, Fla. with a main event bout between internet brawler Kimbo Slice and the man who captured the zeitgeist of early 90’s MMA, “Tank” Abbott. In other words, it’s a fight between a guy who might turn out to be a legitimate competitor and a guy who never really was. It’s also the main event, which tells you something about the path to success Elite XC plans on taking.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am not particularly excited about watching Kimbo and Tank duke it out. Mainly I object because I think it demeans Kimbo’s claim to be pursuing a serious career, and also because it allows Tank to continue truthfully telling underage girls in bars that he is a professional fighter.

There are plenty of people out there who disagree with me. For whatever reason, they can’t wait to see this fight. The fact that it will almost certainly be over in less than sixty seconds does nothing to dampen their enthusiasm, apparently. Some people just love to see a schoolyard beating, and that’s about the level of entertainment and competition they’ll get out of it.

For me, the fact that this fight is Elite XC’s main event is the most baffling. As a sideshow attraction, I could almost understand this athletically meaningless bout. Sure, Kimbo’s going to pound on an overweight, out of shape, and over-the-hill Tank, and no, that won’t change anything but Kimbo’s bank account and Tank’s facial structure, but I can see how it sounds appealing to get a few more butts in the seats.

But the main event? The main event is supposed to be your best matchup with the most compelling implications. It’s the fight you put on your posters to tell fans, This is the best we can do. If the best you can do is a blatant mismatch that serves to prove nothing, Elite XC, you might as well add a mud wrestling tournament while you’re at it.

Kimbo has, essentially, two MMA matches to his credit and less than two minutes of total action. Tank has lost seven of his last eight fights, and should long ago have been cast out of serious MMA competitions. In fact, I might even argue that Tank has already been cast out of serious competitions, and by bringing him back in — for the main freaking event — Elite XC is telling us that they do not want so much to be taken seriously as they do to turn a quick buck.

That’s fine, I suppose. They got into this business to make money, not just to make meaningful athletic competitions. But the real loser in all this is Kimbo. We keep hearing what great potential he has, but that doesn’t matter if we don’t see him tested in the ring. As Bas Rutten pointed out after his microwave bout with Cantrell, he didn’t get anything other than a paycheck out of that fight. He didn’t learn anything, he wasn’t tested or pushed — he just got paid.

And that’s fine if your goal as a fighter is to make some quick money and then bail out. Just like it’s fine to have this as your main event if that’s your goal as a promotional organization. It’s just too bad when you consider the talent Elite XC could bring to bear, if only they were serious about putting on some real fights.

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11 Comments

Filed under Elite XC, Kimbo Slice, MMA, Sports, Tank Abbott

11 responses to “Kimbo-Tank Bout Promises To Be…Something

  1. BOMBER

    I can understand how you can be frustrated with Tanks attitude towards how a professional athlete is suppose to act in public, sure he is loud, abrupt, rude, but to say he was never a feared competitor in the MMA world in the beginning or today shows your lack of knowledge of the sport. I wont bore you of the details of his knockout capabilities because you are obviously aware of that. If you pay close attention of his earlier fight and how may people have actually submitted Tank Abbott, you would see that is only 2. He continually showed a great grappling back ground, i.e. The Russian Bear and Tank in Dever’s UFC Titleship fight. The guy on the front of the coffee can, Juan Valdez, a world renown fighter. He escaped Arm Bar, Rear Naked Choke, and proceeded to beat Juan back to picking coffee beans again, all in a minute and some. He showed that ability through out his career. I would like to see Kimbo and Tank fight in strickly a grappling event. I would put my bottom dollar on Tank. So point being, Tank has a very extensive ground game, excellent sprawl, and is a icon in the sport. He shows tenacity of a early Don Fry and the heart of a fierce competitor. Now in the up coming fight between Tank and Kimbo, I give Kimbo the nod. But to go as far to say he was never a legitimate competitor, my friend, I really think you should evaluate your knowledge of the fight game in all aspects of it.
    ps. have you ever been in a real fight? Ever
    Long Live Tank Abbot

  2. The Fighting Life

    All right, Bomber, your awkward prose style and unfounded claims tell me I shouldn’t take you seriously, but even so, here’s where I set you straight.

    You say Tank has “a very extensive ground game” and has only been submitted twice? You’re wrong on both counts.

    Six of his thirteen losses are by way of submission. One of those was a submission due to strikes (against Maurice Smith), the other five were legit submissions. Tank does not have a good ground game. If he did, he might have been able to pull off a sub of his own that wasn’t a neck crank. But he has never done so.

    Also, I don’t know/care how Tank acts in public. I’m talking about how he acts in the ring, which, if the fight has been going on for longer than a minute, is tired. It’s hard for me to take the guy seriously when, every time he has a fight, it becomes apparent that he didn’t take his training seriously.

    You really want to defend Tank? Really? Then start by looking at his (losing) record. I suggest Sherdog’s fight finder. Look at who he’s beat, and you’ll find it an uninspiring list.

    P.S. Yes, I’ve been in some real fights. In fact, I’d match my ground game up against Tank’s any day. All I have to do is not get neck cranked, which is something that hasn’t happened to me since my first month of jiu-jitsu.

  3. Christian

    Ben,

    Is it you on the picture at the top of your blog ? (on the left of course)

  4. The Fighting Life

    No, Christian. That’s Fabio Leopoldo, looking none too happy about getting clocked by Gerald Harris.

  5. seaswell

    Wow, Bomber just got it handed to him.

    …and I’ll add that no one who has ever actually SEEN Ben has accused him of never being in a real fight (or asked him to reevaluate his knowledge of the fight game, whatever that means).

  6. Christian

    I read that you do MMA and you kinda sorta slightly resemble the guy on the picture.

  7. coachfowlkes

    Yeah but have you been in a “juke joint” fight. I hope not, last place you want to be in one of those is on the ground. Remember stick and move.

  8. Po

    The only way for tank to win this is by taking the monster down and pounding him like his pounding the face of a lion that wants to eat a baby… and dont stop until the ref pushes him as hard as he can.

    that would be the best fight EVER in the history of MMA… but tank insists in fighting which he long forgot how to do.

  9. terron barnes

    Slice and tank are not legit they both are a waist of promotion and mma fans and fighters time.That match up is like a kitten and a pitbull that’s the best they can do glad its not the ufc where the real talents at

  10. lee barnes

    Why tank why not a recent up and comer or an contender slice deserve what they think he can handle. That tells you where gary shaw promotions is headed……QUICK BUCK HIGHWAY- NOT EXCITING TO EVEN TUNE IN p.s. I thought the were just starting to compete with the other organizations guess I was wrong

  11. terron barnes

    Who else they {gary shaw} have in that heavyweight division?

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