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Randy Couture Calls Kimbo Slice 'A Real Fighter ... I Think He Has a Ton of Potential'

UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture has changed his mind about EliteXC heavyweight Kimbo Slice. Couture said he was skeptical at first about Kimbo, but that he now believes Kimbo can help the sport:

Couture said that when EliteXC signed on with CBS, he liked it because he is in favor of "any kind of positive national exposure" for mixed martial arts on network television.

But he added, "The concern originally with EliteXC going to CBS was Kimbo Slice because he comes from that backyard, street brawling experience, and that's not necessarily a positive reflection on our sport."

Couture says now, however, he thinks Kimbo is doing his best to be "a real fighter" and added "I think he has a ton of potential."

Couture's basic critique of Kimbo's game is pretty much the same as everyone's: "He's got to shore up his ground game and work on his wrestling and probably through that his conditioning needs to take another step up, which were all things that were pointed out with EliteXC and James Thompson. It's not all street fighting."

As for Kimbo's upcoming fight with Ken Shamrock, Couture said he thinks Kimbo needs to show that he's a well-rounded fighter and not just deliver a couple of hard punches: "If he just goes out and knocks Ken out, I don't know that that does a lot for him."