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


MMA Dude Bro


Sherdog Radio


Eddie Goldman


Liver Kick 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 | »

Will Kimbo Slice replace Marcus Jones on The Ultimate Fighter?

By Zach Arnold | September 30, 2009

Print Friendly and PDF

Sneak Peek: Is Kimbo Back? | UFC | SPIKE.com

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports:

What’s most amazing isn’t that Kimbo will return. It’s that the show – either through the magic of reality television or by brilliantly showing what was legitimately real – has turned Kimbo into a likeable, humble and easy-to-root-for guy.

Dana White had changed the expectations game.

Suddenly Kimbo was being hailed for putting up a decent fight against Nelson, a former International Fight League heavyweight champion with far more experience.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 88 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

88 Responses to “Will Kimbo Slice replace Marcus Jones on The Ultimate Fighter?”

  1. Alan Conceicao says:

    I wonder whether Kimbo is being paid just to be on the show. i.e. is he being paid for his “exhibition” fights?

    Of course he is. Is he being paid under the table or did he recieve a signing bonus as that compensation? Probably. We do, after all, “never know what fighters really make.”

    You can burn up a three fight deal pretty fast with two losses on a reality show and one fight on the Finale.

    Do you really believe they’re getting rid of Kimbo after the Finale? After all this hype?

  2. Kyle says:

    Dana has said in an interview that Kimbo isn’t being paid to be on the show.

    Despite being initially tentative, Kimbo was beating Nelson on the feet. I’m not sure if that’s a testament to how heavy his hands are or if Nelson is just a weaker striker than I’d expected. On the other hand, despite two years of training in MMA, once he was on his back Kimbo looked like a guy at his very first beginner BJJ class.

    Hype factor aside, I’m not sure Kimbo is out of place on the show. He seemed like he could have beaten Abe Wagner or Wes Shivers. Certainly he’s more deserving of being brought back than they are after their performances in the Octagon. If Kimbo loses again and the UFC signs him to a contract anyway, that’ll be pretty ridiculous. But hopefully the producers will use him to build up some of the other more deserving fighters in the house in the meantime.

  3. Jonathan Snowden says:

    Dana said the UFC isn’t paying him. Semantics are important.

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    Dana “10 Seconds Left!” White re-affirmed in an interview just this week that his original statement about Kimbo Slice was that he would have to WIN The Ultimate Fighter (not just “go through it”) in order to be in the UFC.

    URL: http://mma.fanhouse.com/2009/09/29/dana-white-delivers-for-nyc-fans-talks-tuf-superfight-and-res/

    quote: “People would ask me if he was going to get into the UFC, and I said the only way this guy will get in the UFC is if he went on The Ultimate Fighter and won it.”

  5. The Gaijin says:

    “Leben was one of the strongest prospects in the sport. Why is that being questioned? Most of the guys on the first two seasons were well known and travelled guys. Leben was among the best. Furthermore, he wasn’t being promoted as the face of the show. Nor was Davis. Both men fought off TV on the finale, where Kimbo won’t be.”

    You’re asking someone who is almost clearly a TUF-era UFC fan how they didn’t know Leben was a big prospect? LOL to you Alan.

  6. Wolverine says:

    I clearly heard Rampage screaming “10 seconds”, could you tell me the exact second before the bell when Dana also screams. Or did you just make it up?

  7. Zack says:

    I love how people say “it’s only TUF” as if that’s not the UFC’s flagship show and what their entire product is based around. It’s so important that they’ll ice title fights and entire divisions for it. More people watch it consistently than PPVs.

  8. Alan Conceicao says:

    Hype factor aside, I’m not sure Kimbo is out of place on the show. He seemed like he could have beaten Abe Wagner or Wes Shivers. Certainly he’s more deserving of being brought back than they are after their performances in the Octagon.

    I don’t think he can beat either and I’ve seen nothing to make me believe he’s more worthy. Wagner’s a trained striker and actually has a submission game. Shivers, lousy as he may be, actually did damage to his opponent at numerous points and can do something other than be swept off his feet in the clinch. I think *less* of Kimbo now even.

  9. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Alan, it depends what they wanted the hype for. Ratings for TUF have been anemic according to the internet pundits.

    If you need some ammunition going into a negotiation period, then the hype machine is exactly what you need to bring those ratings up and set you up with a nicer contract (or maybe it brings you to a spot where you can take a network deal).

    Meanwhile, White’s vindictive side gets its excercise watching Kimbo lose, potentially multiple times, ruining his national reputation. Either that or he comes out with four straight wins and he’s a genuine prospect.

    Given how stacked this group is with big wrestler type guys…Kimbo would have problems with at least half of them if they could get him to the ground (and he’s not particularly adept at stuffing the takedown).

  10. Alan Conceicao says:

    If Dana was planning on slamming the hell out of Kimbo, why not do it already? Kimbo is staying, win/lose/draw.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    TUF S10 E01 = 4.1 Million Viewers
    TUF S10 E02 = 2.9 Million Viewers
    TUF S10 E03 = 5.3 Million Viewers

    6.1 Million for the 15 minute time block that Nelson vs. Kimbo fought. By comparison, The Jay Leno Show got 5.99 Million viewers in the same time slot on NBC.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    About the above numbers I posted….

    It is obvious that most of EliteXC’s success on CBS was due to Kimbo. The show without him got bad ratings. And now on TUF he is getting huge numbers with the UFC Hype Machine behind him. This does a few things:

    1) Sets a really high bar for Strikeforce. If they don’t come close to 6.1 Million viewers for their show, it is going to look like a disaster for the Network Executives. Especially when a show on freakin SpikeTV can draw that high of a number.

    2) Unlike the EliteXC numbers, this show had competition with Jay Leno, CSI, and a few other shows. This wasn’t a random Saturday were nothing was on.

    3) Probably gives the UFC more leverage for a Network Deal themselves. If they can bring in 6 Million viewers on SpikeTV with Kimbo…. Could they do 8 or 9 Million with Kimbo on the undercard or even a Tito Ortiz as the main event?

    And what will the live Finale numbers be? It’s over 3 hours, so I doubt it will get 5.3 Million. My guess is that it will average close to 4.5 Million for the entire show, which will be huge….

  13. Alan Conceicao says:

    Kimbo’s the biggest star MMA ever produced in this country. The UFC better be able to do something with that and they have. Now will they be able to repeat those kind of numbers? Probably not.

    Should be interesting to see how TUF goes if Kimbo comes back.

  14. Mark says:

    The actual rating isn’t out yet, this is coming from the same writers (Meltzer and Iole) nobody wants to believe about PPV numbers, but it’s estimated between a 3.5 and a 4.0 in ratings points. So the show ties usual Monday Night Raw episodes basically. But that’s a blockbuster number for TUF, which usually does between a 0.8 for dead seasons like The Comeback and a 1.2 for better received seasons like the one with Junie’s antics.

  15. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    6.1 on cable?

    Seriously?

  16. Ivan Trembow says:

    From a Kevin Iole press release:

    “White wouldn’t say whether Slice will fight in December on either the show’s live finale on Dec. 5 in Las Vegas or at UFC 107 a week later in Memphis, Tenn. Slice alluded to such a bout during a promotional conference call on Monday.”

    That’s nice, but it doesn’t change the fact that White told the L.A. Times Blog last week, “Are you going to see Kimbo Slice fight again in the UFC? Yes,” White said. Asked if that was a decision based on the first episode’s ratings, White said: “No, never. The ratings do not influence our decision. The guy can either fight or not.”

    In the same L.A. Times Blog post, Lorenzo Fertitta said, “We’ve been very impressed with Kimbo’s performance.”

  17. Ivan Trembow says:

    From the same Kevin Iole press release:

    The Nelson-Kimbo fight “drew 6.8 million viewers”

    then three paragraphs later, “Overall, the fight itself had 6.1 million viewers.”

    Which is it? Either number is a huge rating, but which is it?

  18. Mark says:

    The number is entirely believable. Monday Night Raw at its 1999 peak got 5.8 ratings numbers which broke down to nearly 11 million viewers. The Kimbo allure has been promoted very well so its entirely believable.

    Now imagine if he didn’t suck so bad and was put against Brock Lesnar on PPV. That would shatter all kinds of records. But, he’s a terrible fighter but a great gimmick so using him is a double edged sword. Maybe WWE will sign him after he washes out. That’s the career path he should have taken anyway.

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    My prediction…. If Brock Lesnar loses to Shane Carwin and Kimbo Slice wins his 1st official UFC fight…. We will see that fight happen.

    It will get 2 Million PPV Buys. Unless they decide to put it on Network TV, in which it will do 10 Million Viewers.

    It will be a horrible mismatch. Lesnar would destroy him. It shouldn’t even be put together as a fight. It would make Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock look competitive by comparison. But it will happen.

    ****Pukes at the thought of such a horrible fight****

  20. Rob Maysey says:

    Out of curiousity, is the Kimbo phenomenon, or the Carano phenomenon, or INSERT NAME here, (i) media initiated and driven, or (ii) is the media simply responding to the public’s demonstrated interest in a given personality?

    It appears to me, especially in the sporting context, it is more (i) than I would have believed several years ago.

  21. 45 Huddle says:

    Since I’m on a roll today…. And even admitting what fights I wouldn’t want to see in the UFC…. Here is one for all the boxing lovers out there:

    http://www.maxboxing.com/news/sub-lead/hbo-and-boxing—at-a-crossroads

    Looks like there is trouble in paradise for boxing on HBO. More proof that boxing is dying off? I think the answer is YES!! It’s a very long but great read. Two of the most interesting parts of the article is:

    ““HBO’s economic model is all wrong,” another industry insider says. “Right now, HBO, and HBO alone, determines the value of fighters and fights, and they’re way off-target a lot of the time. HBO decided that Dawson-Tarver II was worth $3,200,000 and Dawson-Johnson II is worth $2,000,000. But if you look at ratings and ticket sales, those numbers are ridiculous. The public, not HBO, should create the value.””

    And

    “One thing HBO should NOT do is key its entire boxing program for 2010 to a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. First, it might never happen. Second, constant references to it will diminish other good fights. And third, one big pay-per-view extravaganza isn’t the solution to what ails HBO Sports. De La Hoya vs. Mayweather was styled as “the fight to save boxing.” It did remarkable pay-per-view numbers and made a lot of money for those involved. But the status of boxing in the United States and the fortunes of HBO Sports have continued to decline since then.”

  22. smoogy says:

    So, UFC and Spike take the unusual step of marketing TUF10 as The Kimbo Slice Show, complete with having Kimbo (and nobody else) doing a marathon press junket before the show starts.

    Every step of the way, Kimbo is clearly depicted as the one and only star of the show, and a massive amount of hype is built up around his debut fight, to the point that they are staging conference calls for a taped match that happened months ago.

    When Kimbo predictably gets dominated and loses, Mr. McWhite trashes the fighter that beat him, and heaps praise on Kimbo for his “impressive” performance before getting TKO’d. This is immediately followed up with non-stop hype about Kimbo making a comeback on the next episode, in a desperate attempt to retain the early ratings Kimbo has brought to the show.

    Regardless of what happens during the rest of TUF10, everyone accepts that Kimbo will be brought back, presumably in a showcase fight, and make far more money than veteran UFC fighters.

    Yeah, 45 is right. This is just business as usual for The Ultimate Fighter!

    As far as this mega rating affecting their network TV chances… they’d probably have to promise Kimbo, in prominent fights, as part of the package if they really want to capitalize. At that point, the faux-distinctions between how UFC and EliteXC dealt with Kimbo will be even more entertaining to read.

  23. Alan Conceicao says:

    I admit; its funny to see people talk about how Kimbo headlining would be a great way to get the UFC on network TV after all the negativity of last year. Only difference is now he’s on the wrong side of the mismatch in any of those situations (though watch Ken Shamrock/Kimbo happen in the Octagon LOL).

  24. Fluyid says:

    “…they’d probably have to promise Kimbo, in prominent fights, as part of the package if they really want to capitalize…”

    Is there any doubt whatsoever that they’d do just that?

  25. 45 Huddle says:

    smoogy,

    So they have marketed it differently. And your point is?

    The stuff that is happening ON the show is still the same as the previous 9 seasons. Guys losing and coming back. Certain fighters getting better treatment…. Can you CB Dollaway or Junie Browning?

    “This is immediately followed up with non-stop hype about Kimbo making a comeback on the next episode, in a desperate attempt to retain the early ratings Kimbo has brought to the show.”

    You do realize that Episode 4 was probably already cut and ready to go before any ratings happened, right?

  26. […] In our comments section, Rob Maysey talked about just how much the media influences the numbers in American MMA and how media-initiated the business is as opposed to the media simply responding to what fans want. […]

  27. sammy says:

    Kimbo vs. Houston Alexander

    No one really cares who Kimbo fights. They just want to see him beat the shit out of somebody. The masses didnt watch his youtube videos because of the quality of his opponents and thats not why theyre watching him now.

  28. Chuck says:

    “You do realize that Episode 4 was probably already cut and ready to go before any ratings happened, right?”

    Doesn’t matter. They were banking on Kimbo doing monstrous ratings so of course they were doing their damndest to get him back in the mix. You’re right. they have brought guys back after losing, but there was usually a pattern, a method to their madness if you will. season one they brought back Chris Leben, and it was pretty much solidified that he would be one of the UFC’s favorites. Same deal with Junie Browning.

    So when they bring back Slice, we can all ask ourselves; “Why didn’t they, instead, bring back Wes Shivers?”. Not bringing Abe Wagner back was a given (the gash on his hairline) but why not Shivers? I can’t imagine your answer would be anything other than ratings/money/ad revenue/press, etc. then I don’t know what to tell you.

  29. Mark says:

    They wouldn’t be stupid enough to do Lesnar-Kimbo with Kimbo getting a win over a can and somehow being worthy of fighting the ex-champion. That would be the point of no return for them where they might as well start running overseas shows so they can do away with weight classes so they can make the biggest starpower fights possible, and bring in Minowaman to fight Butterbean.

    They got away with selling lame matches like Hughes-Gracie and Ortiz-Shamrock because the uneducated fans far outweighed the educated fans in 2006. But 3 years later all of those uneducated fans know Slice would get killed in 90 seconds. It’s fine to sell Kimbo, basically the human version of an empty box with cool looking decorations on the outside in the undercard. But when you start giving him competitive fights over guys who deserve his spot (which is everybody but Kimbo), that’s when you’re no better than all of those competitors you endlessly bashed for bad fights (and every single one of Kimbo’s fights got ripped to shreds by Dana.) And is killing your credibility worth just one big PPV buyrate?

    BIZ BIZ BIZ is great and all. But if they build the company around Kimbo they’re going to appeal to a bunch of stupid 13 year olds dependent on their parents permission to order a show and the adults who love the sport over some empty-gimmick left alienated. And it will turn into pure buyrate chasing if that happens, trust me.

  30. Phil says:

    Chuck,

    You really expect them to bring back Wes Shivers over Kimbo? The guy who was standing hunched over trying to catch his breath before the end of the first round?

    And I really can’t believe how upset people are getting. This is TUF, you know, the reason half the internet uses to insult Rashad and Forrest despite the fact that they both won the UFC title in the most competitive division they have.

    Kimbo is ratings gold. It doesn’t matter how good he is at fighting, the producers of the show and the UFC would be absolutely stupid to not focus on him and would be absolutely stupid to not remind everyone that he’s still going to be on TV.

  31. Mark says:

    And I really can’t believe how upset people are getting. This is TUF, you know, the reason half the internet uses to insult Rashad and Forrest despite the fact that they both won the UFC title in the most competitive division they have.

    People stopped bashing Rashad for being boring after the Jason Lambert fight. He gets trashed for being an asshole still, but that has nothing to do with TUF. And they’re not using TUF to bash Forrest. They’re using the fact that he continues to fight recklessly to bash him.

    So yeah, FLAGSHIP SHOW USED TO SELL PPVS~! one minute. Unimportant drivel the next.

  32. Chuck says:

    Phil;

    That’s exactly my point. No I don’t think they should bring back Shivers, but I was just making the point. Why bring back Kimbo? Why not Shivers specifically? Because, as you said in your last paragraph, Kimbo is ratings gold. Shivers is not.

  33. King Famous says:

    When you are a promoter with a money train on the roster, you make sure the money trains runs until it runs off a cliff. That is all this is.

  34. Chuck says:

    “When you are a promoter with a money train on the roster, you make sure the money trains runs until it runs off a cliff. That is all this is.”

    KImbo all ready ran off the cliff. When he lost to Seth Petruzelli in such quick and embarrassing fashion.

  35. Michaelthebox says:

    “but why not Shivers? I can’t imagine your answer would be anything other than ratings/money/ad revenue/press, etc. then I don’t know what to tell you.”

    Get real. Shivers is a non-prospect, a guy who I believe was a last-minute replacement for the injured Rex Richards. Believe it or not, Kimbo is the best prospect of those who have lost thus far.

    If Kimbo somehow makes it back on after Schoonover, Nelson, Schaub, Wren, or Rogers lose, then they’re clearly favoring Kimbo. But making a big deal because Kimbo got favored over a guy who is 0-1 as a pro?

    There comes a time when “realism” becomes “anti-Kimbo fantasy”.

  36. Chuck says:

    I never said Shivers should have been brought back in favor of Kimbo. Actually, if I HAD to choose between the two, I would choose Kimbo. But you know Kimbo would get brought back over ANYONE if push came to shove. My point is that they would have brought back Kimbo not because he’s the better fighter (he might be over Shivers) but because he is the money train and ratings draw. It is just convenient that he might be a better fighter over Wes Shivers. Mere coincidence and convenience.

  37. deltaco20 says:

    Did you guys get mad when Hogan came back as Hollywood Hogan? Relax. I like 45’s stance.

  38. “Did you guys get mad when Hogan came back as Hollywood Hogan? Relax. I like 45’s stance.”

    Lol, pretty funny dude

Comments

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