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MMA Fastball: Kimbo Slice-Ken Shamrock is a gamble

Ken Shamrock is still a draw in MMA and is well recognized by even casual fans due to his early days in the UFC and former professional wrestling presence. Since he may help EliteXC make money at their next event, in the immediate sense this match up makes some financial sense.

That said, putting a fighter in there that has lost seven of his last eight, including six by way of stoppage could hurt the organization as well. Kimbo Slice is hardly EliteXC's best fighter but may be their biggest draw. So imagine that he lost to Shamrock, a man who is well past his best years.

Talk about destroying someone's burgeoning reputation, which took a hit?even if it was somewhat unfair due to the fact that Slice has only fought three times in MMA?during his victory over James Thompson from hardcore MMA fans. The Slice bandwagon and any notion that he could defeat the best in the heavyweight division in the future would be derailed permanently by a loss to Shamrock, and his marketability would drop like a lead weight.

On the flip side, if Slice defeats Shamrock it won't do much of anything to tip hardcore MMA fans his way.

Risky.

Antonio Silva and steroids:
This is just plain disappointing. On one hand, Silva is denying that he took steroids. On the other, he apparently tested positive. The truth is that fans of the game want to believe these fighters, but sometimes it's plain hard to.

Regardless of what the outcome of appeals and anything else might be, the unfortunate reality is that it takes a while to clear one's name of the steroid cloud. Some never do, and that alone should be one heck of a deterrent for would be users.

Georges St. Pierre has improved too:
Here's the thing on this one. Everyone keeps talking about the fact that B.J. Penn is staying in shape these days and looks better than he ever has. They're saying that the Penn of today is a totally different guy than the one that took on St. Pierre way back when. All true, particularly as it relates to his conditioning.

But St. Pierre has also looked immensely better in recent wins over Matt Hughes (twice), Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Matt Serra than he ever has in the past. That, it seems, is being talked about far less than Penn's improvements.

This could prove to be one of the better bouts of all time.

Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stevenson:
Right now, B.J. Penn still sits atop the UFC's lightweight division, even if defending that belt isn't looking like it's going to happen anytime soon. Enter Joe Stevenson vs. Kenny Florian.

Stevenson is the stronger physical presence and may be the better wrestler because of that. Both guys have outstanding jiu jitsu. Florian would seem to have the better and more diverse striking.

In other words, this is a great match up.

The UFC Lightweight Division:
Anytime you can throw bouts like Florian vs. Stevenson and Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin out there while the actual champ goes up in weight, you know that you have a strong division.

Brock Lesnar vs. Cheick Kongo:
Brock Lesnar is a legitimate force in the heavyweight division. That said, you've got to wonder how he'll do against a striker with Kongo's reach, power, and athleticism (they're rumored to be fighting in November). Guess is that Kongo will spend a lot of time on his back in this one. But they do stand up at the beginning of every round and Lesnar hasn't shown anything in the line of submission skills yet.

Remember, it only takes one shot.

How good could Rampage be in November anyway?:
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson recently plead not guilty to the felony counts of evading police, reckless driving and hit and run. If convicted of this, he could face up to three years in prison.

Could take your mind off training, no?

The crazy part is that he's still rumored to be fighting on the November card. Bad idea if you want to see Rampage at his best. No matter what he says, that's just too much to contend with.

Congratulation to Jared Hamman:
Big revenge match victory for this up and coming fighter over Po'ai Suganuma on August 15th. He's a fighter to watch.

Josh Barnett vs. Andrei Arlovski:
Interestingly, I always thought that the guy with the best chance to defeat Fedor back when he was PRIDE's champion?please note that I said best chance, not would win?was Josh Barnett. Remember when Fedor continually powered out of Nogueira's submission attempts during their first fight (and to an extent their second fight)?

Well, Barnett is a big guy to do that kind of thing to. Would likely prove to be very interesting, particularly on the ground. Perhaps we'll get see that fight soon.

Then again, Arlovski vs. Fedor wouldn't exactly stink either.

BTW- if Arlovski or Barnett end up fighting Fedor next. . .: That just means that Randy Couture still hasn't. Getting kind of depressing on that front.