clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fightweets: So, what's next for Kimbo Slice?

New, comments
Esther Lin

Love it or hate it, almost all of you watched Kimbo Slice's first-round finish of Ken Shamrock on Friday night at Bellator 138, and that's especially so for those about to furiously scroll down to the comments section to claim they didn't.

So we'll talk about another wild Bellator tentpole event, of course, and a whole bunch of other things, as we get straight into another edition of Fightweets.

What next for Kimbo?

@Chris_Moore: Realistically, how far do you see @KimboSlice going in this stunt of his MMA career and who should he fight next?

Not too much longer. He's 41 and there are only so many more old timers out there willing to give it a whirl. But make no mistake, there was a huge buzz coming out of the fight, and the TKO win means the buzz will only be bigger next time around. If Bellator's smart, and Scott Coker has proven to be pretty smart over the years, they stretch this out for one more fight in which Kimbo has a reasonable chance of scoring another knockout.

As for who? It doesn't necessarily matter. In an interview with Luke Thomas after the fight, Kimbo said he's "back to stay," while also noting he's a "senior fighter" and saying he has to take fights which makes sense. What makes sense? Well, you could throw him in there with James Thompson for a rematch.Bring in Seth Petruzelli for a rematch. Hell, see if Tank Abbott wants a rematch, while we're at it. The whole point of these quarterly Bellator tentpole events is to use the big names from the past to lure back lapsed fans and showcase the other Bellator fighters on the card in the process.

Last time, Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar were used to showcase Will Brooks and Joe Schilling's respective fights. In this case, casual fans caught one of the most memorable fights of 2015 when Patricio Freire was saved by the bell at the end of the first round, then turned around and knocked out Daniel Weichel in the second to retain his Bellator featherweight title. Those who tuned in earlier saw solid rebound wins for Daniel Straus and Michael Chandler. That's why all the pseudo-intellectual harrumphing against fights like Kimbo vs. Shamrock doesn't matter. Like it or not, the Kimbos, Titos, and Bonnars are helping to grow the Bellator brand.

Nostalgia acts

@JTTreichel: What does it say about MMA fans that they want to see a fight between men who were past there prime about 8-12 years ago?

Ehh, it just means people are nostalgic, and that's something that isn't unique to MMA. Why do people go see past-their-prime rock bands thew grew up with? Or turn out for any athlete or entertainer they associate with a golden era in their life? Look, it Bellator ran an event like Bellator 138 every Friday, the three-ring atmosphere would wear thin real quick. But they're not. This isn't like Elite XC, where they were just throwing things against the wall to see what stuck. As a few-times-per-year spectacle, what Bellator offers up on their big shows is a refreshing change of pace from the monotonous drumbeat of near-weekly UFC events whose presentation has barely changed over the past decade.

Fallout from Fabrico Werdum's title win

@Cardens: Is dos Santos next for Werdum?

I think a Fabricio Werdum vs. Junior dos Santos is the second-biggest no- brainer potential title fight in front of the UFC right now, behind Daniel Cormier-Jon Jones 2, should Jones "get his s--- together."

Unfortunately, dos Santos' injury woes are keeping him on the shelf awhile, and he won't be back in time for Werdum's next fight.

Dana White said Thursday that either Andrei Arlovski or Stipe Miocic are next. If it's up to me, I go with Arlovski. He's got six straight wins. He was involved in the round of the year to date in his victory over Travis Browne. Not only is he a redemption story, as everyone knows the depths his career reached after losing the UFC heavyweight title in 2006; but this is an opportunity for Werdum to avenge his UFC 70 loss to Arlovski.

That latter point, to me, is one of the biggest selling points of Werdum's title reign. Not only do his submissions of Fedor Emelianenko and Cain Velasquez put him in the conversation among the heavyweight division's all-time greats, but he has the opportunity to further bolster his legacy with the potential opportunity to avenge his losses to JDS, Arlovski, and Alistair Overeem. No offense to Miocic, who will make a fine title challenger one of these days, but if JDS isn't ready, Arlovski is one hell of a Plan B.

@mrflavs: Cain v. miocic v. Arlovski v. Werdom v. Rothwell v. dos Santos? You can mix and match lol

You mean like a heavyweight Royal Rumble? I like your way of thinking, Mr. Flavs. If it was up to me, I'd, as I said above, I'd go Werdum vs. Arlovski, given that JDS is out. I think I'd go Velsaquez vs. Travis Browne, given the UFC likes to match fighters coming off losses. That would leave us with Miocic vs. Rothwell, both of whom are on winning streaks. Oh and hey, depending on how the timing works out, maybe JDS vs. Overeem can finally happen, too.

New York state of mind

@MorganWaltzUFC: Is NY really worth all time and $ the UFC has put into it? The new bill is really raising costs for the promotors.

Is the biggest city in the country and the state with America's third-largest GDP and fourth-largest population worth the effort? Is a state with venues capable of hosting major PPV events in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo worth the time? Not to mention venues capable of hosting Fight Night-type events everywhere from Utica to Rochester? I think I just answered your question, didn't I? Never mind the bluster about the first show at "The" Garden and all the supposed magical vibes of the venue (Championship banner count: Boston Garden 23; "The" Garden 6); in the long run, the real importance of New York is how much money the UFC can make in the state from NYC to Buffalo and back.

Attitude and altitude


@DP819 (1/2) Think AKA knew Cain was having trouble w/ altitude before fight? Lots of gamesmanship from Mendes/DC/Rockhold...

(2/2)...during fight week. They have to have seen it in the 2 weeks prior. No way CV gassing that badly was a surprise.

Word going around has been that Velasquez simply wanted to fly out to Tuesday and do a regular fight week, but had to be talked into even doing two weeks in Mexico City. Velasquez obviously gassed and Werdum was just as obviously smart to hold his camp at 10,000 feet elevation. Beyond that? Both fighters in every bout that night were breathing the same air. It's a disservice to fighters who won their fights to let air quality discredit their victories.

Of course, not every fighter has Werdum's financial capability to pull off 40 days in a mountain retreat. Dana White has said they're coming back to Mexico. As they should: I was there and the fight fans in el DF were tremendous. If the UFC's going back to Mexico City, and tclaiming to set arena gate records every time they go, then they should pony up the money to bring the fighters in several weeks in advance and give the Mexican fans the fighters at their best.

Final thought on Cain, we simply don't know how much of the loss was due to Werdum being a superior fighter, how much it was done due Velasquez's stubborness on traveling to Mexico, how much was down to cage rust after two years out, and how much the second and third JDS fights took out of him. That's why I got with someone like Browne as his next opponent. We're trying to figure out where the Velasquez of 2015 stands, not matching Browne against the Cain of 2012.

Schilling commits to MMA

@TannerRuss: Is it better for Joe Schilling to commit exclusively to MMA? Kickboxing is more lucrative...right?

I mean, we don't know for sure what he's making in either sport, beyond disclosed state athletic commission payouts and rumblings that Glory isn't exactly doing well. But, I mean, Schilling's an exciting fighter whose fights always draw Bellator attention, and Viacom seems to take care of fighters who can move the needle. And Schilling simply doesn't come across as the sort of person who would walk away from bigger money for a smaller payoff. He seems to have his head on straight in terms of realizing combat sports have a limited window and you've got to maximize your earnings while you can.

Either way, I'm glad to see Schilling has decided to not only go all in on MMA, but to work with some of the sport's best over at American Top Team. Schilling obviously can bang with the best of them, but he left just enough on the table in his split-decision loss to Rafael Carvalho in April to make you wonder how good he can become if he made the sport his primary focus. Now, we'll find out.

Ronda on the pound-for-pound lists

@ColoredSpaces: Why isn't @RondaRousey on any #MMA pound for pound list?

That's not true. The UFC' women's bantamweight champion isn't ranked on some lists. But Rousey is ranked No. 1 in Sports Illustrated's top 10 and No. 4 in the UFC's official rankings.

I haven't been voting in any polls in recent months. I'm not opposed to ranking Rousey, but I want to see consistency in gender listings. Either have one list with both men and women eligible, or have a men's list and a women's list. If I was voting on a single poll, I would rate Rousey high. If there were separate lists, I would no sooner put Rousey on the men's list than I would put Daniel Cormier or Fabricio Werdum on the women's list. Seems simple enough to me.

Rumble vs. Rampage?

@DylanCellucci? Not based on rankings in the LHW division but rampage vs rumble a fun fight to see?

Depends ... how much entertainment value do you place in Rampage getting smoked in a minute or two?

Got a question for a future edition of Fightweets? Go to my Twitter page and leave me a tweet.