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Kevin Iole is right: this is a disgrace

Eugh. I’m going to do something I never thought I would do, and that’s agree with Kevin Iole. The MMA Analyst takes exception to Iole’s response to a reader who objects to Kimbo Slice being the main event for the CBS show:

Iole: I don’t have a problem putting Kimbo on the card, but I find it horrible he’s in the main event against James Thompson. How CBS would accept Thompson as the opponent in a main event is beyond me. The guy has lost two in a row and six of his last eight. It’s a disgrace that a guy with a record like that would be put into a main event of such a significant card in the sport’s history.

The Analyst had this to say:

I find it unbelievably ignorant that Iole can’t see why Kimbo Slice is the main event on this card. Yeah, it’s a crap fight to have as a main event when you think of it in terms of quality, but in terms of entertainment, Kimbo Slice is guaranteed to “tee off” on James Thompson’s world famous weak chin.

I’m sorry, but this isn’t some stupid Showtime event, this is the first major MMA event on broadcast television. While no one is really debating that the fight will probably be entertaining, it’s still a trashy carnival match that has no business being the main event on a card that’s supposed to steward the new age of MMA into existence.

If you want a comparison to put things in perspective, imagine if the NBA was in the same position as MMA where they finally get a show on broadcast television. Should they show a game between the two best teams in the league? Or how about the Harlem Globetrotters vs the local high school team? Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson is about as close to a farce as you can get while still being MMA – which is all the sadder considering Slice’s last three bouts were even worse.

Hey, again: I’m actually looking forward to Slice vs Thompson. I just don’t delude myself into thinking I’m looking forward to it in the same way I look forward to other fights like Silva vs Henderson or Penn vs Sherk. One of the great things about MMA is there’s so many different kinds of fights that can happen under the auspices of the sport. I just find it unfortunate that the kind of fight EliteXC chose to headline their CBS debut is about as gutter as it gets.

  • clint notestine

    “Harlem Globetrotters vs the local high school team”
    Yeah pretty much though I would say its more like pitting the two worst teams in the league. I hope Thompson gets Slice in a gogoplata or kciks him so many times in the legs he submits because I hate over hyped fighters.

  • Millertime

    Why the big deal over broadcast television. How many people do not have cable these days?

  • eugene

    i disagree.
    the NBA would want not the two best teams. they want the two teams that are going to draw the highest ratings.

    and MMA is no different.

    Kimbo is not a disgrace. If Kimbo isnt headlining that card, then nobody will ever get to see Robbie Lawler and all the potential future CBS fights. Kimbo’s draw made that deal happen.

    You act like EliteXC/CBS is not allowed to make fights based on who will generate the most money, but you give the UFC a free ride when it comes to network deals.

    The UFC had every opportunity to get free MMA out there and they passed on it because the money wasnt good enough. and now EliteXC is offering free entertainment on the highest level and you call them a disgrace.

  • Mike

    How many low-grade NBA teams would do better rankings than great ones?

  • RT

    Fucking Eh well said FL

  • Xavier

    Oh man, wow. I can’t believe you wrote this. Respect for stepping up.

    People trying to put in an NBA reference need to actually be an NBA fan. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson is akin to the Golden State Warriors vs. the Miami Heat. And that game would do no ratings on network television.

    End of the day, EliteXC on CBS is set up to do some potentially huge damage to MMA in general. This could easily set MMA back to darker ages… especially in an election year. Shit like this is only going to make it harder for MMA to get regulatory licensing in places like New York.

  • Popetastic

    I think they could have easily switched Lawler/Smith to main event status and kept the Slice/Thompson as a direct lead-in. That way the main event would be a bona-fide title fight between guys with actual MMA-cred, and the freak show would have a prominent place on the broadcast without actually being the main event.

  • Leland Roling

    I still find this hard to believe that hardcore fans are up in arms over James Thompson being his opponent. Sure, we want quality, but EliteXC wants to build a star in Kimbo Slice and Thompson is the Glass Joe from Mike Tyson’s Punchout that can do it for him in front of a casual fanbase that thirsts for fantastic knockouts. It only helps EliteXC and Kimbo to have that type of opponent.

    Making money off such SHIT fights must be tough, I know. They’ll continue to do so while a casual fanbase supports it. To be honest, I was hoping Waterman would step in, but I doubt we will see quality any time soon.

  • nephildevil

    why not just watch pro wrestling instead then


    its about time they gave kimbo a real fighter who’d end this charade and brutally knock the son of a bitch down!

    THAT i wanna see!

  • tom h

    Seems to me that EliteXC aren’t concerned with what ‘hardcore fans’ think – for a broadcast TV audience, they’re packaging and selling MMA as a bar brawl (the type of entertaining but sloppy Kimbo Slice fight that we like to watch, but feel a bit dirty afterwards) because they believe that’ll bring in ratings. No-one, beyond the hardcores, wants to see BJJ black belts grapple their way to a technical three-round decision – and the hardcores are already watching.

  • nephildevil

    true true

    i’d probably do the same if i was in the business, but businessmen are greedy assholes

    just like lawyers

  • koolpaw

    Grrrr im pissed !

    fightlinker wrote right thing and its damn straight. i had to agree.



    Mayweather vs De LaHoya set box office records because there’s something very compelling about two world-class atheletes competing to see who is the best. Doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore or casual fan. If CBS tries to sell Kimbo vs. Thompson as something legit (which you would assume they are because its the main event), it could blow up in their face badly. If CBS marketed this as human cockfighting, then that would be accurate and fans will know what to expect.