Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kimbo vs. Brock: The Truth

Something is happening in Las Vegas. Something that you may not want to know about. Dana White is praying, begging, even pleading, to whatever God he believes in that Kimbo Slice learned how to be a complete mixed martial artist. The reason being is that he may have the potential for the mega-fight of the century if things work out. Current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is a huge draw. That is because the casual fan knows who he is. Millions of the fans that watched him in his WWE days now watch him inside the octagon. Slice was renowned for his bare-knuckle street fights on Youtube, and despite his lack of experience (and skill), became the poster boy of the fledgling Elite XC promotion. Millions of people watched as Slice headlined two fight cards on CBS. Many people attribute Slice's 14 second knockout loss to journeyman fighter Seth Petruzelli as the downfall of the organization.

Shortly after that, Dana White announced Slice as a participant on this season of the popular reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Many hardcore fans questioned this decision, especially after all the shit White talked about Slice. To me, it was an easy answer why. Kimbo Slice is a cash cow. If the CBS viewer numbers weren't enough, the premier of the Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights drew a 4.1 rating, the highest ever in 10 seasons of the show. The casual fan knows who he is. People want to see if Kimbo can slug in a cage like he did in backyards on Youtube. Add that to the wrestling fanbase that follows Lesnar, and I think you have a formula for what could potentially be the most bought pay-per-view of all time.

Now a lot would have to happen for this fight to take place. Brock would have to remain champion and win or lose on the Ultimate Fighter Kimbo would have to go on a pretty big streak against big names to get to the top. But, if this fight were to materialize, I wouldn't doubt it could hit 2 million pay-per-view buys, making it the biggest one of all time. Now, would I much rather see Fedor vs. Brock? Absolutely, but the fact is that we're probably not going to see the best heavyweight of all time inside the octagon (damn you M-1 Global!!!). Dana and the rest of the UFC brass would kill for Brock vs. Kimbo. It might even be a blessing in disguise. With all the coverage and hype it would presumably get from mainstream outlets, it could be the fight to finally thrust the UFC into the mainstream. However, therein lies the problem. Its gonna takes a former actor/stuntman (aka a pro wrestler) and a bar room brawler to do it. Names that even the common fan knows.

Now I'm not dissing Brock's skills here either. Brock's wrestling is top level, he's inconceivably quick for a guy his size, his punches feel like Mack trucks, and if he keeps it up he could be a huge force at heavyweight for a long time to come. However, he's still green with only 5 professional fights, and there are many things we still don't know about him. Kimbo...well...let's just say he's got some work to do. Would I watch it? Sure. Would I want something more? Clearly. Will it even materialize anyway? Probably Not. The point I'm trying to get at is this: these guys are arguably the two biggest household names in MMA right now. A fight between them would garner huge publicity, attract millions of fans, and garner them a lot of money, which is exactly what the UFC wants right now. Better keep praying Dana...

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