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Bas Rutten Thinks Kimbo Slice Compares Favorably to Brock Lesnar

Bas Rutten is a legend in mixed martial arts, a former UFC heavyweight champion and King of Pancrase, and he's now one of the most respected trainers and commentators in MMA.

So for all the critics -- and there are many -- of EliteXC's street fighter-turned-MMA fighter, Kimbo Slice, the fact that Rutten is Kimbo's trainer is the one thing that gives Kimbo an air of respectability. And Rutten speaks very highly of Kimbo.

On a conference call to promote Kimbo's fight with Ken Shamrock next month, I asked Rutten whether Kimbo has the potential to be a top 10 heavyweight some day, and if so how long it will take.

"He's not far away," Rutten said. "I'd put him up against everybody."

In fact, Rutten said he thinks Kimbo compares favorably to Brock Lesnar, the former NCAA heavyweight wrestling champ who will fight Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight title in November.

Although Rutten spoke highly of Lesnar and described him as "a tough guy," he added that he thinks Kimbo is "more well rounded," and a more complete mixed martial arts fighter.

Personally, I don't buy it. I think that if they ever fought, Lesnar's superior strength and ground skills would allow him to finish Kimbo with a ground and pound assault within the first minute or two of the first round. But Rutten sees Kimbo as his protege, and he'll defend Kimbo against the critics.