Last week,the UFC's mohawked maniac Chuck Liddell downplayed the success and viability of YouTube fighting phenom (and now EliteXC) figher Kimbo Slice, saying that the backyard brawler would get rocked in Mixed Martial Arts. Similar things have been said of Kimbo before, by plenty of other longtime MMA fighters, who agree that Kimbo is one tough dude, but he'd get his ass beat if he fought a guy with some technical skills. This got MMA rumor mongerers a little frothy, thinking that a Kimbo/Lidell fight might be inevitable.
Dana White, UFC's cueballed, loudmouthed promoter, has also held a negative opinion of Kimbo, but in a phone interview on Friday he said he'd absolutely consider letting Chuck pound on him if Slice got some legit wins.
"If he [Kimbo] fought anybody that mattered, I would book that tomorrow," he said.
White says he knows how much interest would be in that fight, but given Kimbo's weak all-around fighting skills and the fact that he's under contract by EliteXC (a fighting organization which White said, thrives on booking " freak show bouts" ), it would take a little bit of time.
First and foremost, Kimbo has to become a better fighter.
"The fact is, Kimbo's not there yet. He would get destroyed. I heard he just got knocked out by Forrest Griffin last week in a sparring match after a kick to the head, " he said. White said Kimbo's bout with a clearly out-of-shape Tank Abbot last February was proved absolutely nothing.
"Tank Abbott?! I mean, come on. That guy was a bad UFC fighter. A friend of mine said he was out at a bar the week before that fight and he saw Tank there drinking beers. He went up to him and was like 'Aren't you supposed to be fighting Kimbo soon?," White said.
So, for right now, Kimbo Slice vs. Chuck Liddell is a little while away. Slice is scheduled to fight James "Megapunk"Thompson on May 31st on CBS, a bout that will be Kimbo's toughest professional one so far in his short career. If Kimbo takes care of business during that fight and shows some marked improvements, expect the rumors to resurface — and White to reconsider.
"I'd take him [Kimbo] absolutely seriously — but, again, he hasn't beat anybody. In this sport, it's all about 'Who have you beat right now?" And he hasn't beat anbody."
Let's hope Kimbo beats the crap out of Thompson and shows some real skill besides his devastating punching power. Because if Kimbo vs. Liddell actually happened, it would absolutely be the most watched, most hyped, most talked about MMA fight in its short history — even if KImbo gets annihilated in 20 seconds.