By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Kimbo ‘Slices Up’ Abbott
IOWA CITY, Ia. – Kimbo Slice is one of those stars born in the Internet era. With a series of back yard scrapes on Youtube.com, Slice became an underground star and it wasn’t long before a MMA promoter decided to entice Kimbo into the world of the Mixed Martial Arts.
Mixed Martial Arts provided the perfect vehicle for a street fighter with a mean streak. Slice’s first taste of fame came when he stopped the former heavyweight contender Ray Mercer in short order and this past Saturday night, he was the headline act for Showtime XC against the veteran Tank Abbott.
Abbott has been a regular mixture on the MMA and with a menacing look along with a nasty looking beard. He looks the part of a mean attacking machine and would be Slice’s first big test as a Mixed Martial Artist.
There were still many questions about Slice. Armed with advanced publicity, he had yet to be tested against a top notched Mixed Martial Artist and he was as much a curosity as anything. No one knew how good he really was.
Slice’s advantages was his striking prowess along with his trainer, Bas Rutten, one of more respected trainers in the Mixed Martial Arts. His ground game has improved under the tutelage of Rutten but he would need all of his expertise against Abbott.
This highly anticipated match lasted all of 43 seconds. Within 20 seconds, a Slice right sent Abbott down and no sooner than Abbott got back up, he was back down. The match was over quickly but the ending was dramatic.
What makes stars in either boxing or Mixed Martial Arts is knockout power and there is nothing more dramatic moment in sport than the knockout. Immediate and spectacular, the knockout is like decapitation by a guillotine.
The knockout artist is intimidating for any mistake is corrected with the blink of an eye as the opponent is separated from his senses. Slice’s appearance and size makes him a potential super star that can transcend the sport and put the XC on the map in its competition with the UFC.
On the undercard, Brazilian Antonio Silva defeated former champion Rico Rodriquez in a tight match. Silva, the Cage Rage champion, is counted on being one of XC elite heavyweight star and his challenger was a former UFC champion.
On most nights, Silva-Rodriquez would be the main event but on Slice’s night, Silva was reduced to being part of the opening act toward the main event. Silva worked his stand up game in the opening round but at the end of round, Rodriquez took Silva down and pounded out an ground attack to close out the session.
Silva’s ground game gave the Brazilian the edge in the second round and opened up a cut under Rodriquez. The third round saw change of momentum as neither fighter could gain an advantage and the judges gave the edge to Silva by the narrowest of margin.
Before the February 16th card, XC promoter Gary Shaw passed this challenge on to his rival, UFC President Dana White, “We represent some of the greatest fighters in the world. I believe that Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva could knockout any heavyweight in the UFC.”
Shaw’s goal is to have XC contest UFC’s place in the Mixed Martial Arts and with star attractions like Slice and Silva. He just may have the right fighters to challenge UFC’s domination of the sport.