The Legend Of Kimbo Coles Grows

This clip, courtesy of the great Awful Announcing, is from a TNT broadcast of the Lakers-Nuggets playoff game where sideline reporter, Craig Sager, tells the story of Nugs’ coach, George Karl, showing his squad a video of Kimbo Slice to hype them up before the game. Only problem is he refers to Slice as “Kimbo Coles.” Naturally, he confused the EXC star with former NBA journeyman, Bimbo Coles.

By the way, anyone else find it a little weird that Karl was showing his team footage of Slice in the first place? Clearly, they are the underdog in this series which would not be the best way to describe Slice’s role in MMA right now. I can understand showing a Randy Couture or even Rampage Jackson video but Kimbo?

Pollock’s POV: Investigating Dana White’s Stance On Kimbo Slice

 

The UFC descended upon Canada this past weekend and president Dana White was sure to make all of the media rounds in preparation for the event.

In a number of interviews, Dana stated that Kimbo Slice was just a “thug” and a “street fighter” and that the UFC would never promote such a freak show.

This week, Pollock takes a look at this statement of hypocrisy.


Pollock’s POV – 04/24/08

You can hear much more from John Pollock weekdays at 3 p.m. ET on Fight Network Radio on Sirius channel 186 or via Hardcoresportsradio.com not to mention every Sunday evening at 11 p.m. ET on Live Audio Wrestling.

What’s Next For Kimbo & Kelly?

The big winners this weekend (other than Pretty Boy Floyd of course) were Kimbo Slice and Kelly Pavlik. Both men cemented the fact that they are legitimate stars in their sports. So, the question remains, where do they go from here?

It seems as though there are three options being presented to both fighters: a logical, longshot and a stupid choice. Let’s break it down:

Logical:
* Kimbo Slice vs. Sean Gannon (1-1) ; Kelly Pavlik vs. John Duddy (23-0)

Gannon gained a lot of notoriety when he became the first man to defeat Kimbo in a bare-knuckle fight in 2004. Some might say that victory landed him a spot in the UFC (he lost his debut to Brandon Lee Hinkle in 2005). Slice has been wanting a rematch ever since and continues to ask for it. Gannon hasn’t competed (legally) since his loss to Hinkle but I am sure that a nice payday would bring him back.

Duddy first has to defeat Walide Smichet this weekend but no one is expecting him to lose. His style is a perfect match for Pavlik. Much like “The Ghost,” he also has a very loyal following. After a soon-to-be 24 straight victories he deserves a shot at the title.

Longshot:
Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson (14-8); Kelly Pavlik vs. Lucien Bute (21-0)

Let’s start with Bute. The Montreal(!)-based fighter would have to move down a weight class because Pavlik’s camp has said he has no interest in moving up to Super Middleweight. Plus, the only way I see Pavlik moving up is to fight Joe Calzaghe. Bute has a 2/29 bout against the always game William Joppy but, much like Duddy, no one expects him to lose. While I think this would make for a more intriguing bout I don’t think Bute has a big enough name to get the shot…yet.

As for Thompson, if he would have defeated Brett Rogers this weekend I would have moved him up to “logical” status. Given his experience, the former Pride veteran would not be viewed as another tomato can but the fact that he lost to Rogers doesn’t make him worthy of a shot at Slice. If he does pick up a couple of victories in a row I would love to see this matchup.

Stupid:
Kimbo Slice v. Ken Shamrock (26-12-2); Kelly Pavlik vs. Felix Trinidad (42-3-0)

Forget the fact that I think it’s idiotic for Shamrock to be fighting Buzz Berry prior to his huge showdown against his brother Frank. If the brother vs. brother fight is really going to happen why risk putting him out there for no reason? More to that point, why would you risk his career even more by pairing him up with Kimbo? Makes no sense. After the Frank fight – totally. But not now.

Don’t even get me started on Tito-Pavlik. What has Trinidad done in the last five years to deserve a shot at the champ? Sure, he guarantees a least 500,000 PPV buys but, still, Pavlik would gain nothing by defeating him. In fact, he has more to lose than to gain. Case closed.

Mornin’ Muesli: 15 Random Thoughts From An Amazing Saturday Night

img_8304-slice-vs-abbott-01.jpg

1. Kelly Pavlik is no flash in the pan

2. Miami sure does love them some Kimbo. What an amazing crowd

3. Even in defeat, that was Jermain Taylor’s best fight as a pro

4. Tank Abbott must be a Ric Flair fan

5. Other than the fact that there were no knock downs, I enjoyed the second Pavlk-Taylor fight better than the first

6. Ok, we’ve seen Kimbo fight two tomato cans. Now it’s time for him to fight some stiffer competition. Sean Gannon, anyone?

7. Nice to see a solid undercard on a boxing PPV

8. For Yves Edwards to be truly “back” he needs to fight a top-20 contender. Until then, I just don’t buy it

9. James Thompson needs to rethink the way he starts fights

10. Brett Rogers and Scott Smith should share KO of the night honors. Still not sure which one was better but both men looked great.

11. Very disapointed in Antonio Silva’s performance. In fact, props to Ricco Rodriguez. Hopefully this helps him get his life back in order

12. Bill Goldberg needs to take it down a notch. He is way too aggressive and I hate the fact that he is so visible in the cage after the fights. When the fighters are giving each other props he shouldn’t be jumping in there too.

13. Enough with the DJ after fights. And while we’re at it, enough with making the fighters wear EliteXC hats too. It’s so weak.

14. What’s with all the Shamrock vs. Kimbo talk? Aren’t we in agreement that if Shamrock defeats Buzz Berry next month that he should then fight his brother, Frank?

15. If Pavlik really does fight Trinidad next I will truly fall into a deep depression.

Saturday In The Park: Must See Multiple TVs

img_4565-kimbo-234-shaw-and-abbott-263.jpgHow the heck am I supposed to watch all the great stuff on television tonight?!?! Obviously, there’s Pavlik-Taylor II which Large did a tremendous job (as always) of previewing yesterday. Then, over on Showtime, there’s EliteXC: Street Certified. We haven’t talked about this one yet but it’s actually a pretty solid card highlighted by the eventual beatdown of Tank Abbott by some guy named Kevin Ferguson. There’s also Antonio Silva-Ricco Rodriguez, Edson (don’t call me Andre) Berto-Yves Edwards, James Thompson-Brett Rogers and Scott Smith-Kyle Noke. Not bad, eh?

Buuuut that’s not all. Tonight also is NBA All-Star Saturday night, which believe it or not, is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. Come to think of it, some of my favorite childhood memories have come on All-Star Saturday night. MJ-‘Nique, Bird, Craig Hodges, Baby Jordan, Vincanity (back when he was cool). Great moments, indeed.

So, my dilemma is what to watch live and what to watch on DVR. As of this morning I am leaning towards NBA until the PPV, then watch the rest of the NBA after the PPV, then watch EliteXC. Got it? Do you even care? Didn’t think so.

Or I could just follow Large’s PPV live-blogging debut over at The Sporting Blog (you go Large!) and then switch between the NBA and the MMA. So many options…

Anyhow, to get everyone jazzed up about tonight’s festivities I offer you these three vids:

First up, it’s Manny Steward cussing out Jermain Taylor in between rounds during the Cory Spinks fight. This was actually back when they were friends. My favorite part is when he says “I wish you would have fought Miranda instead of this.” Classic.

Next up, is an insane clip involving some Latino guy trying to convince innocent bystanders to get tackled by Kimbo Slice. If you ask me, the whole thing seems a little staged but, what the hell, it’s quite entertaining and offers an insane payoff at the end.

Finally, in honor of the NBA All-Star festivities, here’s a clip of second-year Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap talking about his off-season boxing training regimen. At first glance it’s pretty boring but things actually get interesting when he spars against his brother. The best part is the local Utah station airing this has their sportscaster do some play-by-play coupled with some fake crowd noises. Mr. T and Roddy Piper would be proud of this one if you know what I mean. (I couldn’t stray too far away from the combat sports theme of this site so this was really the best I could come up with.)

Enjoy the action tonight my friends. I am confident you will make the right programming choice.

El Guapo Grades Kimbo’s Elite XC Debut

I’m still a little surprised that more people aren’t questioning Bo Cantrell’s performance against Kimbo Slice this weekend.

I hate to ever question a fighter’s heart or ability but, gosh, that certainly looked like a tank job to me. That said, take nothing away from Kimbo. He looked like a beast in the cage and most experts, including myself (although I’m certainly no expert), are starting to take the former street-fighting legend seriously.

The next logical bout appears to be against Tank Abbott. Tank has even entered the Frank Shamrock school of marketing by creating a YouTube video mocking Kimbo (although he desperately needs to up the production value of his clips…that was beyond weak).

I spoke to Kimbo’s trainer, Bas Rutten, about Saturday’s fight, whether he thought Cantrell took a dive, and what is next for Mr. Slice.

Also, El Guapo and I discussed the IFL’s announcement of a new Featherweight Division, the IFL World Grand Prix in general and where he thinks Ben Rothwell will be fighting in ’08 (hint: some guy named Fedor just signed with them).

As always, great to have Rutten back at The Park.

(NOTE: In our interview, I said M-1 holds their fights in a cage when the correct answer is actually a ring. My apologies to Monte Cox, Marc Ecko, Vadim Finklestein and maybe Mark Cuban…still not sure about that one.)


Bas Rutten – 11/13/07

(photo credit: Michael Zamora)

To The Victors Go The Spoils

I’m still all worked up over last night’s festivities in the world of boxing and MMA so allow me to open the mental flood gates.

Let’s begin with the sweet the science. The Park was actually live and inside Madison Square Garden to witness a great night of boxing. Surprisingly, I had only seen one live boxing fight before in my life – Gatti vs. Hutchinson in 2000 – and while that bout certainly had its fair share of fireworks (and blood) last night’s experience was on a whole different level.

Firstly, the crowd was off the charts. Walk to the bathroom or concession stand and you would instantly find yourself in the midst of an impromptu mini-Puerto Rican Day Parade. Gotta love how passionate those PR fans are when it comes to local talent.

I never thought I would see the day when sweet ol’ “Sugar” Shane Mosley would get booed like he did last night but the pro wrestling fan in me loved the clear-cut heel vs. babyface battle last night’s bout represented.

Speaking of Mosley…wow. That’s really all I can say. I walked away from that fight way more impressed with the “aging” superstar than the rising star Cotto. Truth be told, I actually scored the fight a draw and while I am aware a fight can look a lot different from the nose bleeds than on TV I really thought Mosley had as much of a right to win that bout as Cotto did. We all expected Mosley to be quick but few (including myself) expected to see Cotto back pedal from an oncoming Mosley assault as many times as he did.

That said, I had no problem with Cotto winning. He proved his worth and should definitely be next in line for Mayweather. That fight easily makes the most sense. The loud-mouth (and older) Mayweather against the quiet brahma bull. The phenom looking to shut the self-centered champ for good. Beautiful. Thrown in the extra storyline line of Cotto looking to finish the job fellow Puerto Rican, Oscar De La Hoya, couldn’t finish and you have an instant 2008 Fight of the year on your hands.

Here’s hoping SI.com’s Chris Mannix isn’t right when he says Cotto vs. De La Hoya may be up next. I fail to see what can be proven from that match-up. Plus, didn’t De La Hoya once say he had no interest in ever fighting another Puerto Rican?

One more note about last night: The undercards, as expected, were great. Margarito and Ortiz came out guns blazing. For a minute I thought I was watching a UFC card with all those first round KOs. The other rumeur du jour appears to be Margarito vs. Cotto but, at this point, that fight would clearly be a step down for Cotto. Margarito is a tremendous boxer but there’s a hell of a lot more money to be made in a bout against Mayweather or De La Hoya.

Once Cotto’s hand was raised, I rushed home from MSG to watch Elite XC: Renegade and all things considered, I came away thoroughly pleased. Sure, most of the fights ended early but I enjoyed each one of them including the much-anticipated debut of Kimbo Slice.

img_5502-slice-vs-cantrell-01.jpgDespite the fact that his first official MMA fight lasted only 19 seconds the spectacle of seeing this larger-than-life fellow step into the cage was something to remember. I never thought I would see Bo Cantrell, who looks quite intimidating in his own-right, appear as scared as he did before the fight. Rumor has it Cantrell was throwing up in his locker room before the bout and, really, who can blame him? Kimbo looked downright vicious in the cage and it appears as though Tank Abbott may be next on his hit list. Good luck, Tank.

The only negative coming out of the fight was that I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated by Cantrell’s performance. The cage looked like it was the last place he wanted to be and after two so-so punches he tapped out due to strikes. Weak. Sure, he took the fight on very short notice but he showed no intention of ever putting up a fight. Watching his performance brought back memories of Brock Lesnar’s MMA debut in June in which Lesnar’s opponent, Min-Soo Kim (also a late replacement), submitted due to strikes 69 seconds into the first round.

Elsehwere, friend of Jarry Park, KJ Noons, shocked the MMA world by defeating Nick Diaz to become the first-ever 160-pound EXC Lightweight champ in a controversial ref stoppage due to a couple of large gashes on Diaz. This decision was particularly disappointing because the first round was exceptional (I had Noons winning the round 10-9). Who would have ever thought we would see the inexperienced KJ Noons dominate Nick Diaz in all facets of the fight? Needless to say, I think a Noons vs. Diaz rematch should be signed right away.

img_6139-noons-vs-diaz-victory-04.jpgJake Shields and Antonio Silva continued to enjoy success in Elite XC with Shields really making a statement. Mike Pyle can complain all he wants about EXC not promoting him enough but the fact of the matter is he turned down a shot at the Welterweight title and had a chance to beat a top-10 Welterweight on his way out of the promotion and did nothing to prove he deserves a big money contract from any other rival organization. On the other hand, Shields, as he said in our interview last week, continues to prove he is one of the top Welterweights in the world and certainly one of the best on the ground. Question is: Who does he fight next?

And how about Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Has anyone at 265 lbs ever looked that agile before? I would love to see him drop to heavyweight because I think he can be a true force to be reckoned with in that division and face better-skilled opponents.

Ok, I’m done. What a great night of fighting. Keep visiting jarrypark.com all week as we’ll be reviewing this weekend’s action and hope to speak with some of the big winners from the ring and cage.

***Update: In case you missed it, below is footage of Kimbo’s debut. Did Cantrell take a dive? See for yourself…

Kimbo & Bas: A Match Made In MMA Heaven

Bas Rutten is no spring chicken. The former UFC Heavyweight champion and three-time King of Pancrase has been arould the world of Mixed-Martial-Arts longer than most. So it made perfect sense when I first heard that Rutten (aka El Guapo) would be training Kimbo Slice as he enters the world of MMA.

Surely by now you’ve heard of Kimbo. Internet sensation, street-fighting legend, huge guy who dismantled former boxer Ray Mercer – for better or worse, the man is the talk of the combat sports world.

When I spoke with fellow Elite XC fighter, Jake Shields, he had this to say about Kimbo’s Elite debut:

“It’s a little goofy to give him so much hype right away”

Shields may have a point but one can’t deny the intrigue surrounding Saturday night’s fight and who better to give us the real low down on how Kimbo preparing for bout against Bo Cantrell than his trainer, Bas Rutten.

In our interview, Rutten talks about how he first met Kimbo, his prediction for this weekend and the negativity surrounding his MMA debut.


Bas Rutten – 11/06/07

And, finally, one last Kimbo video for all his fans out there in street-fighting land.

Bas Is Coming and He Might Bring Kimbo, As Well

Who knew that putting up a Kimbo Slice video would illicit such excitement. I received more mail about that video than any interview posted on this site thus far.

That said, I am working diligently in getting an exclusive interview with Kimbo before his Elite XC debut this Saturday night but in the meantime we will have to settle on his trainer, MMA Legend Bas Rutten.

My interview with Rutten should be up later today. In the meantime, enjoy a video of Rutten training Kimbo. Could you imagine being in the gym with these two?

Will Kimbo Slice Be The First Ever Boxing & MMA Heavyweight Champ?

Elite XC held a press conference yesterday to hype their next 11/10 show “Renegade.” Gary Shaw and his team deserve some credit for this one because the card is pretty stacked. Some of the main fights to look out for are Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons for the new 160 lbs Lighweight belt, Jake Shields vs. Mike Pyle, Seth Kleinbeck vs. Kyle Noke and Kimbo Slice vs. Bo Cantrell (who is replacing the injured Mike Bourke). Antonio Silva and Yves Edwards are also likely to appear on the card however their opponents have yet to be announced.

Obviously, the main attraction on the card will be the Elite XC debut of Kimbo Slice. Slice, a street-fighting Internet legend whose only official MMA victory came against former boxer Ray Mercer in June, was by far the star of this press conference. He surely brings something different to the table but whether or not he is best suited for the backyard or an MMA cage is yet to be seen. That said, I am not sure if we will find that answer in the form of Bo Cantrell. Nevertheless, his debut in Elite XC will definitely garner a lot of attention within the MMA world and in this day and age that really is half the battle.

Other notes discussed on the call were:

  • Due to Gary Shaw’s concern for the dangers involved with extreme weight-cutting before fights he announced new weight classes for Elite XC. They will look to crown a new champion within each of these new divisions fairly soon. The new weight classes are: 140 lbs, 150, 160, 170, 185, 205, 265+.
  • This will be last for Mike Pyle in Elite XC. His opponent, Jake Shields, appears to be happy again despite reports to the contrary.
  • Gary Shaw seems interested in signing former Pride star Josh Barnett. He is still negotiating a Frank Shamrock vs. Ken Shamrock fight.
  • Shaw’s goal is for Kimbo Slice and KJ Noons to become the first ever dual champions in Boxing and MMA.
  • Shaw claimed that when Nick Diaz fought Takanori Gomi at Pride33 that he was under contract with Elite XC. Wha? Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s the first I ever heard of that.

For more check out the audio below. We make several appearances throughout the call.


Elite XC: Renegade Press Conference