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Don’t like Kimbo Slice? THAT’S RACIST!

(our pal Esther Lin did a bunch of Kimbo pics and one landed on the cover of Fighters Only. Rockin!)

Luke Thomas has an interesting thingy up on his whatsit where he talks about Kimbo Slice and racism. I don’t want to put words into his mouth … okay, yes I do. He basically says that a lot of the hate going out towards Kimbo Slice is based around racism.

Now first off, I’m gonna agree with Luke to a degree. He points to a Sherdog forum where a bunch of retarded teenagers make me ashamed to be a part of the human race. But so what? Are MMA fans racist? Does Paris Hilton have herpes? YES! YES WE DO. Have racist feelings in the MMA community. Not herpes. Well maybe you do. But I don’t. It sucks (the racism part, not being herpes free), but that’s the truth.

Like it or not, there’s a huge segment of the public which is going to judge Kimbo Slice based on the fact that he’s a scary looking black dude who’s famous for kicking people’s asses on the internet. He sports the thug look, he spews the thug talk. The guys at EliteXC picked him up specifically for that reason. You can’t help but be affected by the marketing they’re doing – that’s kinda why they do it.

So while I agree that racism and prejudices might shape the way people react to him as a character and perceive him as a person, I have more than enough reasons to dismiss his hype as a fighter that are very colorblind. As far as I’m concerned, Kimbo is up there with Brock Lesnar as a guy with great potential but no real proof that he’ll manage to translate it to MMA. I’ll trade Brock’s wrestling pedigree for Kimbo’s proven ability to thump some ass any day, but they’ve both still only got that one piece of the puzzle each. MMA is fucking complicated, and if you wanna make it in the big leagues you’ve gotta be well rounded. Brock Lesnar failed his qualifying exam last weekend. Will Kimbo do the same?

If you wanna argue the race card on this one, lets wait until he beats someone significant in the cage. If Luke’s assessment is right and it’s racism and not a general distain for an overhyped unproven fighter, then we’re going to see the same number of people hating on Kimbo no matter what.

  • Jackie Chiles

    The second paragraph just made my head explode.

  • Erin

    Kimbo isn’t any creepier looking than Tank or Techno Viking.

  • nicklovesmma

    “BJJ in MMA
    From Kimono to Cage”

    Uh, yeah, its a Gi, but whatever.

  • Captain

    I had the same reaction but then I started wondering if the article traces BJJ back to traditional jiu-jitsu, which was developed in Japan I believe, by Japanese Samurai, who wore kimonos. I haven’t read the article but that would be my guess.

  • K. Hackney

    Of course, Frank Mir would seem to be just a tad bit more difficult an “exam” than Tank Abbott.

  • Captain

    As for Kimbo, Luke Thomas is playing the race card a little too early. I think most of the doubt about Kimbo has to do with him being a street brawler with one pro MMA bout rather than him being black.

    FL, dude, you gotta stop being scared of black people man.

  • fightlinker

    As far as I’m concerned, Kimbo and Brock are like the same dude. I’m fucking scared of them both. It’s not the color of their skin that scares me!

  • dan

    picked this up the other day but havnt had a chance to read it. well apart from the joe silva bit.

    hats off for being shit hot with a UK mag tho

  • godzillad

    You can’t say that Tank is as equal of a test as Frank Mir.

  • RoB

    most of the people i know it is they love him because he is big, black and scary. if he was a white dude i probably wouldnt of watched him on youtube. oh and yes im white

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    Kimbo Slice is a stand-up street brawler who hasn’t had any formal training in boxing (I think right?). As such, his ability is over-hyped/rated. That’s why he gets all the nasty feedback on the internet. Not because of racism though I wouldn’t doubt that some MMA fans probably hate on him due to his race. I wouldn’t go as far as saying Kimbo and Brock are the same though. Brock has legit amateur wrestling cred whereas Kimbo is a street brawler who fought under special rules that he designed. Though like Kimbo, Brock is over-rated as hell. Also a lot of fans wanted to see Brock lose, me included.

  • fightlinker

    I’m gonna get flamed for this but who cares: as I said before, I’ll give Kimbo props for his killer striking, and think it gives him a good MMA base just like Brock’s amateur wrestling skills helped him. And even worse, I’ll equate Tank to Mir : an in shape motivated Tank could mean trouble for Kimbo. The guy knows his way around a slugfest and isn’t exactly the worthless fighter everyone makes him out to be. Is he washed up? Sure. But so was Frank Mir :-p

    haha now just as a disclaimer, i’m doing a good deal of devil’s advocate here. I don’t actually think Tank’s going to win. And I don’t think Kimbo’s gonna get any respect for beating tank either unless they pull of some kind of epic back and forth battle.

  • Erin

    I’d liek to add that it’s the beard that creeps me out. But any guy who’s beard is sufficiently large and scruffy enough to conceal and transport small children would get the same reaction from me.

  • cingred

    Linker – Great assessment on the fight. Too many unknowns to score this fight. We haven’t seen Kimbo fight anyone worthy in the cage and we don’t know if Tank just got off the barstool and strolled into the fight.

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    I just noticed that Kimbo Slice turned 34 today. Another strike against his potential. You don’t have to be that young to get into MMA and be successful but that’s very late. Especially if Kimbo’s experience is limited to bareknuckle street boxing and not actual formal boxing. At least Cung Le, another geezer, has San-Shou behind him and he’s wrestled in college before too. But Cung probably won’t go very far either. Aside from Randy Couture, I can’t think of one other fighter that has been successful in MMA after starting at over 30 years old.

  • cingred

    Danaunclefesterwhite – Whats your background? Just wondering. You sound smart……

  • Michaelthebox

    Lesnar/Slice is a terrible comparison beyond the fact that they are both more marketable than their skills dictate. Lesnar has proven wrestling skill against other elite wrestlers. Slice has proven striking skill against random dudes off the street. Slice is athletic, but he’s an average size for the HW division. Lesnar’s athletic talents come with being the only athletic HW cutting weight. Kimbo is 34, Lesnar is 30. Kimbo has been training MMA seriously for a year, Lesnar has been training for two years. Kimbo has no true groundfighting background, Lesnar’s background is one of the weak areas in the division.

    I give Kimbo credit for doing this the right way. But pretty much every comparison indicates that Lesnar is the superior fighter right now and has the superior upside.

  • RoB

    lesnar has one thing kimbo doesnt………….SUBMISSION DEFENCE. watvh the video

  • MacDaddy

    Kimbo can take some punishment and keep throwing. Lesnar I’m not so sure about.

  • Michaelthebox

    MacDaddy: you basically HAVE to be a tough son of a bitch to make it in Pro Wrestling. Who knows how good Lesnar’s chin is, but there is little reason to think he’ll fold unless he gets flat knocked out.

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    Brock Lesnar is physically tough no doubt. He can also learn a lot about the aspects of the MMA game. But I think Brock Lesnar’s biggest obstacle is himself. He is his own worst enemy. His attitude has pissed off the WWE, the Minnesota Vikings and NJPW. Will his attitude also be a problem for Dana White and the UFC? Brock Lesnar’s wife Rena Mero (Sable) is trouble. Ever since he hooked up with her and she got into his ear, things have turned sour. For those unfamiliar with the pro wrestling business, Rena Mero is like the pro wrestling version of Kim Couture.

  • fightlinker

    Yeah Lesnar can take a ‘hit’ … he got dropped on his head enough while wrestling. On the other hand, he QUIT wrestling. He QUIT football. So who knows if he’ll stick around or quit MMA too. Eeeh. Probably not. The paycheck is pretty good for the amount of work he does.

  • operator

    I think the reason he gets little respect from mma fans is because is because they are mma fans not beat the shit out of random outmached dudes in back yard fans. He hasn’t proven himself yet and that is the bottom line. I personally am a Rampage fan and he is from the street I don’t give a fuck if he’s black he is an exciting fighter and that is all I care about. Look at Fedor he is getting less and less respect these days for fighting safe opponents and he has already proven himself.

  • Zrazys

    All racism means is that you believe that race is the determining factor in human behavior, intelligence, etc.
    It’s a term used by lefties to immediatly shut down debate and, apparently used by intellectual dingbats like Luke Thomas to gain attention to his essay.

  • Zrazys

    “he isn’t formally educated and speaks in modern urban colloquialisms. But that is merely a product of his upbringing, something at this juncture he has little control over.”

    I wonder if he’d give the same defense to a redneck white guy from Mississippi? The thought’s likely never crossed his mind.
    “Thug”, in this case, is shorthand for more vicious epithets.”

    He can read minds now? Kimbo’s video presence was certainly very much the image of a “thug”, or street tough, or “nigga.” Much the same way that many Southern tough guys from the past presented themselves as rednecks. I wonder what a vicious epithet that meant?

  • kimboscreditcard

    Kimbo fights scrubs and his crew pays off his matches. It is not racism but people realizing a chump is paying off champions. Kimbo is nothing more than a circus attraction and once people get sick of seeing him miss someone by a mile and yet still magically knocking them out he will be back in the streets fighting scubs again for sandwiches.

  • Hywel Teague

    All thanks go to Esther for such an awesome photo :)

  • esther

    I am getting so much love! Thanks to Hywel and FL both.

  • Big D D

    Esther–Your work is simply amazing. WOW!