In interviews with Sherdog.com, which can be seen here, the owner of Strikeforce Scott Coker and Kimbo's long-time friend and manager Mike Imber laid out their plans for Kevin 'Kimbo Slice' Ferguson in the California-based fight promotion.
Coker lays out the mistakes he feels Elite XC made with Ferguson, noting that taking a street fighter and just assuming he will be an MMA monster was a huge mistake.
He called it a total misunderstanding of the sport and a very 'Producers'-like get-rich-quick scheme. Coker comments that before he would give Kimbo that sort of spotlight that, "he probably needed 10 to 12 fights under his belt."
Ferguson's manager agreed with this statement saying Kimbo was in a "no-win situation." Imber is also quick to add that he and his client never demanded the spotlight or main events, and they would have been happy with undercard fights.
I feel this is a very positive message and a good direction for Strikeforce.
The California-based fight promotion has a strong crop of fighters and, added with Elite XC's fighters and their TV contract, they become solidly the No. 2 promotion in MMA after the UFC.
Kimbo's drawing power can be used to aid the sport of MMA. Kimbo's skills are not, and likely never will be, main event level for a real promotion, but he has the drawing power of GSP, B.J. Penn and Anderson Silva put together. I say use this to help educate about MMA.
Make Kimbo a main card fight and draw the eyeballs to Strikeforce, and then quickly after his fight, run out two elite fighters that represent what MMA is really about to present to the casual viewer.
It can have an Ultimate Fighter effect, hopefully drawing even more fans to MMA with main events featuring fighters like Cung Le, Jake Shields, or Renato Sobral.
With their exposure they can really help draw fans to the sport and promote understanding of the sport to a very skeptical public.