Posted on: October 5, 2008 4:07 am
Edited on: October 5, 2008 4:13 am
I've had a few hours to digest the whole Saturday Night Fights experience. Here are some final thoughts on the show, in no particular order.
1) Petruzelli beating Kimbo was not an upset. I made this point briefly in my fight blog immediately after the fight, and I'll explain it here. Kimbo Slice is still a novice (YouTube doesn't count). Seth Petruzelli is not. He's had 16 pro fights in a little over eight years, winning 10 and losing four. Two of his losses were to Matt Hamill and Wilson Gouveia -- both UFC fighters, both more skilled than Kimbo Slice. Look, Seth Petruzelli may not have much of a name, but he's a solid enough fighter to beat a guy with less than two years of experience on short notice. Kimbo wasn't as likely to figure out a way to beat Petruzelli on short notice as vice versa.
Gabriel Gonzaga beating Mirko Cro Cop with a head kick was an upset. Seth Petruzelli beating Kimbo Slice was a case of perception vs. reality. This time, reality won. In 14 seconds.
2) Kimbo is not finished. He will not be the ratings attraction that he was before this loss, but a single loss does not end a fighter's career. And if he allows it to, he should be ashamed. What kind of fighter quits after one loss?
Kimbo will learn from his mistakes and get right back on the horse. That's the admirable thing to do.
3) Kimbo isn't ready for top-level competition. It turns out that James Thompson and Tank Abbott were probably suitable opponents for Kimbo Slice after all, if we're trying to match up guys by their skill level (OK, maybe Tank is a stretch). Some people say Kimbo was handed easy victories on a silver platter. In fact, moments before the Petruzelli fight, people were saying that exact thing about Petruzelli -- that Kimbo had once again been handed an easy win. For more on that, refer back to point No. 1.
4) This was bad for business. There's no other way to state it. When your biggest attraction (face it, Jake Shields didn't sell all those tickets) is beaten in 14 seconds by a last-minute replacement from the undercard, it does not help business. Kimbo Slice will still remain a curiosity to viewers -- unless he does something crazy and shaves his beard, or completely changes his look -- but there will be some loss of audience from all of this. His drawing power took a hit, and probably will not recover until he improves enough to string a few solid wins together. And that's neither a guarantee nor an impossibility. It's all up to Kimbo.
5) Ken Shamrock, exit stage left. I am not naive enough to think we've seen the last of Ken Shamrock in the cage, but for all practical purposes, he should not be booked as a main-event fighter on this kind of event again. Realistically, I know that somewhere, some time, a promoter will cough up the money to get his name associated with their show. I just get a bad feeling about it. Shamrock is not Randy Couture. I believe if he continues taking major fights, he'll not only tarnish his legacy further, but he'll endanger his health. I felt this way before the Kimbo fight that never was, but now that he's dodged that bullet, it might be time for Shamrock to bow out. Again.
6) Yoko Takahashi rules. This woman is a warrior straight down to the bone marrow. She got absolutely ravaged by Cristiane Cyborg and never stopped pushing forward and fighting back. She looked like she got hit by a truck after the loss. Yet there she was after the fight, limping around with a brace on her knee, a patch on her face, and several visible wounds... smiling. And socializing. And happily getting her picture taken with Seth Petruzelli. She left it all in the cage, and she was thrilled to be there, even after losing. That, my friends, is fighting spirit.
7) Cris Cyborg is Drago, Gina Carano is Rocky. It's coming soon, trust me. And it will be a war.
8) Carano deserves some respect. Weight issues aside, she is knocking down every opponent they give her, and looking good doing it. It's time for people to acknowledge that she's the real deal. Just because she's pretty doesn't mean she's a manufactured publicity stunt. She hasn't fought every single one of the top challengers out there, but she's been busy enough, and nobody has stopped her yet. The sad thing is, just like Kimbo (and every other fighter), she'll get beaten eventually... and people will immediately claim her career is over.
Posted on: October 4, 2008 10:51 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2008 11:12 pm
They just announced it's a sellout crowd. Total attendance in the Bank Atlantic Center is 9,414, but with a paid number somewhere closer to 7,400.
And there is just one fight remaining: Kimbo Slice vs. "The Silverback" Seth Petruzelli, a one-time UFC fighter who suddenly finds himself with a golden opportunity to make himself famous.
Round 1: Petruzelli blocks a Kimbo Slice bum rush by throwing a knee. He then unloads with fists as Kimbo loses his footing, and as the crowd goes nuts, Petruzelli smashes Kimbo repeatedly on the ground until referee Troy Waugh stops it.
I'll just throw this out there right now: This wasn't the upset some people will claim it is. But it was still damn cool to see.
Winner: Seth Petruzelli defeats Kimbo Slice via TKO due to strikes at 14 seconds of Round 1.
Posted on: October 4, 2008 8:58 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2008 9:02 pm
They just announced to the live crowd that Ken Shamrock is out of the main event with Kimbo Slice due to injury. Kimbo's new opponent is confirmed as Seth Petruzelli, which did not go over well with the live audience.
Petruzelli was scheduled for an undercard bout with Aaron Rosa. As a side note, CBSSports.com blogger and The Ultimate Fighter 8 contestant Tom Lawlor was planning to post a blog about the experience of cornering Petruzelli against Rosa tonight. I guess he'll have lots of juicy material for that blog, now.
Posted on: October 4, 2008 8:17 pm
Word is going around here that Ken Shamrock was injured (cut) in training within the past 24 hours and will not be able to fight. MMARated.com broke the news earlier tonight, and the report was that Seth "The Silverback" Petruzelli had been offered & accepted the fight against Kimbo Slice.
Petruzelli was scheduled to fight Aaron Rosa on the undercard, but that fight was supposed to go on before the Berto vs. Heun fight. No idea whether they skipped the fight because the main event is officially now Petruzelli vs. Slice, but it does fuel the speculation.
We'll see if we can find out more. Stay tuned. However, please keep in mind that NOTHING official has been revealed by EliteXC, so this is absolutely not a lock. Anything can happen, and I'm sure there is plenty of scrambling going on backstage as we speak.