Friend of our site


MMA Headlines


UFC HP


Bleacher Report


MMA Fighting


MMA Torch


MMA Weekly


Sherdog (News)


Sherdog (Articles)


Liver Kick


MMA Junkie


MMA Mania


Bloody Elbow


MMA Ratings


Rating Fights


Yahoo MMA Blog


Search this site



Latest Articles


News Corner


MMA Rising


Audio Corner


Oddscast


Sherdog Radio


Video Corner


Fight Hub


Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index


To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site


Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback


Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

UFC finds a reason for you to watch TUF and his name is Kimbo Slice

By Zach Arnold | June 1, 2009

Print Friendly and PDF

From CBS headliner to reality show scrub, Dana White gets his biggest coup of all. If Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans end up as the coaches for the season that Kimbo is competing on, you will have the three highest-profile African American MMA fighters on an important cable television program. Kimbo will be the face for next season’s all-heavyweight show.

So much for Gary Shaw pushing Kimbo as his newest boxing sensation… which begs the question, why didn’t Kimbo Slice take K-1’s big money offer for New Year’s Eve last year? It’s not as if losing there would have damaged his stock any more if he was going to end up doing The Ultimate Fighter.

Now… one important issue to note. Steve Cofield says Gary Shaw is Kimbo’s manager. If true, that means Dana White is working with Gary Shaw… which brings us to Dana’s infamous promo on Shaw when the whole Kimbo/Petruzelli incident went down in Florida.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 75 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

75 Responses to “UFC finds a reason for you to watch TUF and his name is Kimbo Slice”

  1. Peter H. says:

    Were there any figures on how much it would have cost Strikeforce IF they were interested in signing Kimbo? I imagine it would have been high enough that Strikeforce would have passed anyway.

    You have to hand it to UFC though. They basically got one of the most popular MMA fighters for nothing and are using him to help boost their own product. Will Kimbo be used and thrown away in the end or wind up with a deal regardless of how well he does on TUF?

    It’s hard to not mention Lesnar. He had one fight under his belt when he signed with the UFC. He’s popular and brings in a lot of fans. I’m still not sold on Lesnar being a great fighter, but he sure as hell brings in a lot of money for the UFC. Kimbo very well could do the same.

    Is anybody even interested in a Lesnar Vs. Kimbo fight?

  2. Chuck says:

    “All 16 fighters – Spike and the UFC are keeping names of the others a closely guarded secret – will automatically move into the house.”

    Going by this comment, I am calling it now……Ricco Rodriguez, Oleg Taktarov, Mark Kerr, George Bush III, and…………………….JOSE CANSECO!!!!!!!

  3. Pierre-Luc Allie says:

    Steve Bossé?

  4. The Citizen says:

    I love mma more and more everyday.

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    All Kimbo needs is a 1-1 UFC record and a 2-1 overall MMA record, and he’ll be ready for a title shot! (sarcasm intended)

  6. robthom says:

    Black is beautiful!

  7. Zack says:

    I’d love to know how much more Kimbo is getting paid than your average contestant, and also if the contract structure is the same.

  8. klown says:

    All they need now is Bobby Lashley

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    Kimbo on TUF is comical. I guess he is now no different then all the other TUF guys. Has to work his way up.

    The UFC’s Heavyweight Division is an interesting one. They refused to play the money game with Affliction for guys like Sylvia and Arlovski. Instead, they decided to build from the bottom up with prospects like Velasquez, Carwin, Chris T, and now signing Mike Russow.

    I think with this upcoming season of TUF, they will be able to produce 3 or 4 more named HW fighters for their division and really be stacked with newer talent. And lets be honest, the number of big name fights for Heavyweights outside of the UFC isn’t very big once Fedor/Barnett happens.

    A few side opinions:

    1. It’s becoming obvious that the number of options for fighters is quickly closing. It seems like over the last two months, the UFC has picked up a lot of guys who use to be able to float around MMA without having to sign an exclusive deals. Frank Trigg is an example of this. I think it’s a combination of Affliction ending its run, Strikeforce not being stupid with their money, and the Japanese scene really hurting.

    2. Really, the Heavyweight Division always had an inflated price tag compared to their return value. Affliction is finding this out. Where paying guys like Sylvia & Arlovski near $1 Million a fight is just wasted money. Not saying these guys don’t deserve to get paid, but their real value is probably closer to the $250,000 value, and perhaps a percentage of PPV buys. Kimbo signing on for TUF just further shows this.

  10. William Holmes says:

    My gut instinct is telling that either Gary Shaw only manages kimbo in relation to boxing (which would be moot with the signing of TUF contract) or he is trying to keep himself relevant as a promoter by attaching it to Kimbo Slice as much as possible.

    (side note: I am a little biased against Gary Shaw, a Filipino boxer named nonito donaire knocked out one of his top fighters in Vic Darchinyan, yet continues to ridicule donaire and won’t offer him a big payday rematch. Hopefully he’ll stay out of MMA)

    I have to admit, I just gained a lot of respect for Kimbo. If he loses in the first round his career may be finished.

    I wonder if he is getting paid the same as the other contestants

  11. IceMuncher says:

    I’m really interested in how Dana pulled this one off. I know that last year he offered to put Kimbo on TUF so he could fight his way into the UFC, but I didn’t think it’d ever actually happen.

  12. Alan Conceicao says:

    I have a hard time believing that Kimbo is doing TUF for free. Really hard time, actually. But, you know what? It doesn’t matter. Its about getting the ratings way up for TUF, and so I fully expect a bunch of the ex-football players to be on the show too, along with (at this point) a Kurt Angle or Dan Severn or something. Will it be a freakshow? Sure. But at least it’ll be more fun than the last couple of scrub filled seasons.

  13. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    It’s not like Kimbo either needs the money or is doing anything else.

    I’m not sure that I’ll be watching the show, but I’ll at least be reading the annoyed blog posts about it.

  14. Alan Conceicao says:

    Kimbo officially got a little over a million and unofficially probably twice that, but its not like $2 million set you for life after paying trainers, promoters, and the tax man. The idea that he didn’t take the money being offered elsewhere to fight for free and “legitimacy” is absurd. Either he’s getting a guarantee of a big money fight after TUF win or lose (horribly) or he’s being paid a large amount upfront by Zuffa and/or Spike.

  15. […] Kimbo Slice. Mas rápido cae un hablador, que un ciego. El ex-brawler callejero, Kimbo Slice, es anunciado como uno de los 16 contendientes para la décima temporada de “The Ultimate Fighter” en […]

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    Yeah I heard Dana White on the radio show saying he didn’t get any extra money for being on TUF. Stupid radio guy didn’t ask the real follow up question, which is: “What will his contract look like after the show?”. He is obviously getting a good deal out of this.

    We hardcore fans make a huge deal out of certain things that really don’t matter in the scope of the sport. Kimbo being on TUF matters a lot. Kimbo was only 1 of 3 major free agents that would impact the UFC. The other two being Tito Ortiz and Fedor Emelianenko. Both Kimbo & Ortiz have mass audience appeal. Fedor really doesn’t, but he would make the hardcore fans happy.

    What this Kimbo story also makes apparent to me is that Tito Ortiz is going to be signing back with the UFC. He has already said Affliction isn’t an option. And Strikeforce does not seem to want to pay big money contracts to fighters (can’t blame them). Not to mention their no elbow rules on the ground.

    And I wouldn’t be shocked to see Fedor end up in the UFC by the end of the year. The writing is on the wall. The options for fighters is shrinking.

  17. Alan Conceicao says:

    You know, there’s a lot of comedy about this:

    -MMA Blawgers were up in arms with Kimbo for a long time about how he was a joke and freakshow. Now they can’t fawn over how briliant this was for Dana to bring in Kimbo or how he may be technically impovibing.

    -Remember when the net said Kimbo “couldn’t draw money”? Now everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off proclaiming just how many millions he’ll make the UFC. HILARIOUS.

    -The UFC doesn’t run freakshows because the UFC doesn’t run freakshows. Kimbo vs. Tank Abbott? Freakshow. Kimbo vs. some ex-NFL linebacker on a reality show where dudes have eaten semen coated sushi? Totally not a freakshow at all.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    Alan,

    I think you are missing the point. There is a MAJOR difference between the way he is being promoted.

    EliteXC = Promote him as the headliner on CBS, and talk about him like he is the best fighter in the world.

    UFC = Don’t even put him in the UFC at first. Make him “earn it” on TUF first. They probably won’t have him as a main event, and they probably won’t be talking about him like he is the best ever.

    And I wouldn’t call this a freakshow. He is competing against other Heavyweights his same size and experience level. It’s apples & oranges.

  19. You give a guy a blog (Ivan) and he thinks he’s a legit journalist. (sarcasm intended)

    The whole beating the crap outta Couture thing didn’t do it for ya?

  20. Alan Conceicao says:

    You don’t need to promote the guy as a world beater to have a freakshow. As for the item about experience, hah! I guess Brock/Herring was one by that definition.

  21. Fluyid says:

    Big coup for the UFC. Lots of easy publicity. Kimbo got to where he is on another promotion’s tab.

    This is a total positive for the UFC.

  22. Mr. Dream says:

    Alan, you are a joke.

  23. Mr. Dream says:

    Update on Cagewriter is that Shaw is not involved – Kimbo’s manager is “Icey” Mike Imber.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Is-Dana-White-a-hypocrite-for-changing-his-tune-?urn=mma,167385

  24. Alan Conceicao says:

    The only joke here are the “journalists” who have taken a break from begging for free tickets that would, by their own admission, not change their coverage of the sport, to do a 180 on Kimbo Slice.

    And like I said, if people really believe Kimbo’s not getting any guaranteed money from somewhere, they are beyond gullible. They probably believed Dana when he said he would never want anything to do with him.

  25. Dave says:

    My big thing is; I want to know who else is on this show, because even anybody with mild skills should be able to take out Kimbo. Kimbo is taking a pretty giant risk in this. Basically, if Kimbo doesn’t make the finals his career is either over or reset to making 5k/5k on UFC undercards.

  26. Mr. Dream says:

    Viewing Kimbo as a participant in a 16 man tournament is different than viewing him as a main-event worthy competitor.

  27. Alan Conceicao says:

    Viewing Kimbo as a participant in a 16 man tournament is different than viewing him as a main-event worthy competitor.

    Jose Canseco: Participant in a 8 man tournament. Not part of a freakshow!

  28. Dave says:

    Seriously, so if Kimbo gets subbed in the first by a no name guy from Cage Rage or some Midwestern gym he’ll still be a main eventer?

  29. Grape Knee High says:

    I’m sure Kimbo will be given a nice, fat sponsorship deal for wearing Tapout in the show. Not to mention the “*nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink* private bonus” that Zuffa seems so proud of.

    I am shocked that anyone doesn’t think this is freakshow. While it might be interesting TV, it is absolutely freakshow. We’re talking about an over-the-hill street brawler with no semblance of a ground game that just got KO’ed by a friggin’ JAB. I’m not sure how much more freak show you can get. At least Tank Abbott could take a punch.

  30. The Gaijin says:

    Making the guy actually fight to prove himself along with a bunch of other journeymen, up-and-comers or regional stars is a freakshow?

    At worst, he loses his first fight – and if they’re “smart” they’ll somehow work it so that he’s the last of the round of 16 fights, thus more TV time.

    At best, they take advantage of his “marquee” name, he puts on a good showing and either wins the season or helps make someone else’s name bigger.

  31. Mr. Dream says:

    RE: #27

    Refer to #22.

  32. The Gaijin says:

    Any idea on who any of the other guys on the show are going to be? The only other name I recall hearing is Rex Richards…wasn’t Bobby Lashley rumoured as well?

  33. Mr. Dream says:

    I doubt Lashley is in it since he is fighting Sapp during/soon after the tapings.

  34. Alan Conceicao says:

    Making the guy actually fight to prove himself along with a bunch of other journeymen, up-and-comers or regional stars is a freakshow?/i>

    Wait, wasn’t that who he was fighting in EXC? Journeymen? Regional stars?

  35. The Gaijin says:

    I think you and I can both agree that there’s a difference between fighting those type of fighters on a feeder system “reality show” and in the main event of a promotions network television card.

    I’ve got nothing against Kimbo and have many times said that I don’t fault him for making the money and fame off of his “internet phenomenon”, but did see fault in the greedy promoters at EXC pushing him as a main eventer in order to line their own pockets. It was very short-sighted and set up to hit its ceiling, sooner rather than later.

  36. 45 Huddle says:

    Comparing Jose to Kimbo? Now that is just comical.

    What isn’t comical is Affliction 3. I have been very vocal that their previous cards were not worth some of the hype they had been getting. They had lots of big names, but a lot of one sided fights on paper. This last of the trilogy is actually very good on paper.

    Fedor/Barnett
    Mousasi/Babalu
    Belfort/Santiago
    Sylvia/Buentello

    Looks like the T-Shirt guys are going to be putting on their best fight card in a blaze of glory out of the fight promotion business. No way this event makes money, but at least it will be fun to watch.

  37. Alan Conceicao says:

    I think you and I can both agree that there’s a difference between fighting those type of fighters on a feeder system “reality show” and in the main event of a promotions network television card.

    Why? Because one is live and the other isn’t? TUF isn’t some legitimate developmental league. Its a reality show spectacle that is used to create stars for the UFC. I mean, wasn’t that the defense for Junie Browning getting to stay in the house? Kimbo is there (and probably getting paid by someone) to fight on TUF to bolster the ratings against guys who will be hyped because of their pasts in the NFL and god knows what other Kaplan types that are dragged out. Supposedly Wes Sims is on the show. I mean, what more do you need at this point? Kurt Angle or Sean O’Haire? LOL

  38. 45 Huddle says:

    Last time I checked, out of the 16 for a season, typically only 3 or 4 tops last beyond a year or two with the organization. In fact, a few of the last seasons started with 32.

    It would be one thing if everybody basically got in like Season 1. But the UFC doesn’t really do that anymore. You have to have talent to stick with it. Kimbo might still get his shot on prime time live show, but he still needs to prove himself, or will be out within 2 to 3 fights.

  39. Mr. Dream says:

    God forbid they manage to find another Florian, Sanchez, Griffin, Koscheck, Swick, Stevenson, Jardine, Evans, Serra, Maynard, Bisping, Hamill, Bader.

    And there are more legit veterans and prospects like Diaz, Southworth, Bonnar, Quarry, Leben, Lauzon, Guillard, Davis, Whitehead, Hill, Miller, Wiman, Saunders, Danzig, Sadollah, Escudero, Nover, Dollaway, Brown, Riddle, Soszynski.

    There have also been quite a few notable alternates who were an injury away from making it onto the show.

    But if you had to provide two cast members who exemplify the value of the show to MMA, you come up with Junie Browning and Dave Kaplan.

  40. Ivan Trembow says:

    This sentence by Dan Wetzel is hilarious: “No one was more troubled at the [Kimbo] farce than UFC president Dana White, who painstakingly built up the sport from its dark ages and saw Kimbo as an affront to his life’s work.”

    Really? Is that why he signed Sean Gannon in 2005 stemming from the notoriety that Gannon gained from beating Kimbo in an unsanctioned, YouTube street fight?

  41. Alan Conceicao says:

    It would be one thing if everybody basically got in like Season 1. But the UFC doesn’t really do that anymore.

    What does this have to do with anything? If Kimbo’s there to raise the profile of TUF Season 10, what does it matter if he “sticks with it”? He already failed, miserably might I add, on national TV in front of one of the largest audiences for the sport in US history after endless speculation of thrown fights and followed by discussion of corruption that killed a deal to have his contract and that of the promotion he was working for to be bought by CBS.

    He’s there to draw eyes to TUF and ad money to Spike. The end result is that he probably got a lot of money from someone to do it, the UFC gets a lot of eyes on Rampage/Rashad as a feud, and maybe a heavyweight gets elevated by beating Kimbo Slice. All of that happens by getting people to turn on a car wreck, starring Mr. Internet Fighting Sensation himself.

  42. Alan Conceicao says:

    But if you had to provide two cast members who exemplify the value of the show to MMA, you come up with Junie Browning and Dave Kaplan.

    If they find a Matt Brown in a field of NFL washouts, MMA scrubs, and Kimbo Slice, I’ll be stunned.

  43. Ivan Trembow says:

    http://mmaopinion.com/2009/06/02/the-winner-of-bisping-vs-henderson-to-be-top-contender/

    Surprise, surprise: The winner of the Bisping-Henderson fight will be given the next shot at the UFC Middleweight Title. Not Demian Maia, not Nathan Marquardt, and certainly not Yushin Okami with his 7-1 UFC record.

  44. Michaelthebox says:

    Alan, you’re conflating freakshows outside the ring with freakshows inside the ring.

    Dream and the other big Japanese shows have always been happy to do freakshows inside the ring-Choi vs. Canseco, Choi vs. Fedor for example. Both fights in which the experience, , talent, skill differentials, and difference in place in the sport meant that the fights had no purpose except to give people something to watch.

    The UFC is very willing to do freakshows outside of the cage, but they do extrememly few freakshows inside the cage: Tito/Ken 3 is the only one within the past few years. Kimbo vs. random inexperienced HW prospect is not a freakshow inside the cage. Lesnar vs. whoever was not a freakshow, given he’s gone 2-1 against top 20 competition.

  45. 45 Huddle says:

    Ivan,

    I don’t see the problem with the winner of Bisping/Henderson getting the title shot.

    1. If Bisping wins, he will be 8-1, which is one more win the Okami. And with a better set of wins. And with a HUGE Silva/Bisping fight in Manchester, England. For them to pass that up with be the stupidest decision the UFC would have made in 2009.

    After that, it is really a 4 way tie between Henderson, Maia, Marquardt, & Okami. So whoever got the shot would deserve it. And I don’t see how Okami could be given an immediate shot coming back from injury, in which he would have then had 1 fight in 18 months. Makes no sense.

  46. Alan Conceicao says:

    Kimbo vs. random inexperienced HW prospect is not a freakshow inside the cage.

    Wait, what? So if Kimbo fought Kurt Angle, hey, not a “freakshow” because Kurt has a legit wrestling background and little experience, or am I misunderstanding? Meanwhile, somehow Kimbo/Thompson and Kimbo/Tank were freakshows intended to draw on the worst aspects of humanity, right? You guys are too much.

  47. Fan Futbol says:

    TUF’s entertainment. Seeing Kimbo in the house will be entertaining, I think. I’ll definitely watch. I’m not sure it’s a freakshow; TUF almost always involves a bunch of guys with only a handful of fights (if any).

    FF

  48. Alan Conceicao says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it being a freakshow. Hell, I’ll watch it. It’ll be like I Love Money with a cage fight at the end. I just think its hilarious to watch people who often droned endlessly about the evils of hyping MMA on the back of Kimbo Slice openly cheering the brilliance of the UFC to bring him in while using the most sad of logic to try and make themselves feel better about their absurdist moral stands.

    Also, as far as Henderson is concerned – Good. He’s the second best 185lb fighter in the UFC.

  49. Mr. Dream says:

    “Wait, what? So if Kimbo fought Kurt Angle, hey, not a “freakshow” because Kurt has a legit wrestling background and little experience, or am I misunderstanding?”

    – If you take Kimbo/Angle and create a prime-time network TV main event for that fight, you’re probably doing it for reasons other than their ability.

    “Meanwhile, somehow Kimbo/Thompson and Kimbo/Tank were freakshows intended to draw on the worst aspects of humanity, right? You guys are too much.”

    – Any broadcast that dares bill Kimbo as one of the world’s greatest strikers (and equates Petruzelli with Rocky who took out a world champion) certainly intended to draw some quite poorly-informed viewers.

    random CBS viewer < TUF n00b

  50. Alan Conceicao says:

    If you take Kimbo/Angle and create a prime-time network TV main event for that fight, you’re probably doing it for reasons other than their ability.

    So Kimbo vs., I dunno, Wes Sims, Rex Richards, Big John York, or Michael Westbrook are credible fights because…they’re on prime time cable TV?

    Any broadcast that dares bill Kimbo as one of the world’s greatest strikers (and equates Petruzelli with Rocky who took out a world champion) certainly intended to draw some quite poorly-informed viewers.

    Promoters lying to their fans! A travesty! Certainly we can expect Joe Rogan to rise up and talk about what a travesty the UFC heavyweight title fight is, and how its purely for meaningless straps while the recognized champion refuses to sign over contractual issues.

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image