When CBS broadcast their first EliteXC event "Primetime", the world was introduced to Kimbo Slice—the "Internet Sensation." And for the first time since Chuck Liddell, we thought we had a legitimate champion that would reign supreme for years.
And boy...were we ever wrong.
Just as soon as it came, EliteXC and parent company ProElite Inc. were gone. And Kimbo was gone with it.
Slice was a fan favorite from the get go...taking down the legendary Tank Abbot in a minute in "EliteXC Street Certified," all the way to the memorable ear-popping TKO of James Thompson.
And when Kimbo was just about to peak, with a scheduled match on major network television, in prime time, against the most dangerous man in the world Ken Shamrock... poof.
It was all gone, thanks to one man—Seth Petruzelli.
When Shamrock couldn't fight Petruzelli stepped in, with little to no chance of winning. The underdog known only by UFC and MMA diehards looked smaller, weaker, and didn't pass the naked eye test by any of the programs' audience, both live and at home. But Kimbo was knocked out... in 14 seconds... and EliteXC fell right along with him.
Now the question is...where is Kimbo Slice? The fan favorite, the "Internet Sensation", the "King of the Web Brawlers"? Rumors swirl that he'd be fighting at K-1, there'd be a rematch against Petruzelli...but I find it hard to believe that one of the most hyped fighters of the decade could just suddenly fall off the MMA radar completely.
We all know that UFC has expressed little respect for Kimbo and even less of a desire to sign him, but there's other promotions out there. Yet still no Kimbo. Did he suddenly forget how to fight? Did he loss all that muscle mass and training that he did from 2007-'08? How is this possible?!
Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz lost before, and they came right back to the octagon. Yet after one loss, Kimbo's calling it quits?! That doesn't sound like an MMA persona to me.
Maybe Kimbo wasn't really an MMA fighter afterall. Maybe he really was overhyped by the mainstream media, and UFC President Dana White was correct in that he wasn't a true fighter, just a street fighter who got famous for nothing.
But then there's this...Slice's trainer and MMA legend Bas Rutten thought he was the best he'd ever seen. Not only that, Kimbo had been training specifically for MMA...to become more than a backyard brawler.
He developed techniques for both striking and grappling, he could stand and exchange blows but also could take it to the ground. And most importantly, he developed stamina, and could last for three rounds in an octagon.
But Kimbo lost to Seth Petruzelli, and both him and EliteXC are now gone.
Then that's that. Kimbo Slice is dead...for now, and all that he once was is back to being Kevin Furgeson on Miami, FL. But if somehow, someway an MMA promotion is looking for a kick start or a heavyweight champion in waiting...Furgeson just might go back to being Kimbo yet again.