"Slice" of Humble Pie: Will Dana White Be Eating His Words on Kimbo?

John HarrisContributor IJune 22, 2009

Dana White is the most charismatic commissioner in all of professional sports.

That is, if you choose to liken charisma to having a foul mouth and reveling in the destruction of his competition.

Regardless of personal opinions on his juvenile dialogue, or his questionable business practices, there is one thing that all fans of the sport must certainly agree on; Dana White saved mixed martial arts.

Yes, it has been his decision-making that took this sport, specifically the UFC, all the way to the top of the fight scene. His collaboration with Spike TV on The Ultimate Fighter reality show, and the 9 seasons that have followed, have brought massive attention to the sport in America and all over the world.

Through the years, Dana has been the target of a countless amount of criticism. A lot of it has been valid, while some of it has just been baseless and hateful. However, this is a situation that falls on the former side of those criticisms.

Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson has been making waves on the Internet as an unsanctioned street fighter since 2003.

His early fights were brutal displays of violence, that usually pitted the highly intense attitude and chiseled physique of Slice, against usually smaller and heavily outmatched tomato cans who were willing to take a beating on video tape in somebody's back yard, or in an empty parking lot.

When Kimbo made his rise to stardom in 2007, he was first featured on an Elite XC bout against journeyman Bo Cantrell, who Kimbo promptly pummeled into submission at only 19 seconds of the first round.

His second fight was only three months later, in February 2008, which pitted Kimbo against the heavy handed veteran, David "Tank" Abbott. After a swift first round TKO of Tank, EXC decided to give Kimbo what they perceived as a bigger challenge in Josh Thompson.

Kimbo looked sloppy and gassed in the Thompson fight, and most people had Thompson winning the fight on points until the third round when Slice ruptured Thompson's left ear which was severely swollen with cauliflower ear.

Kimbo won that fight by controversial stoppage, and then went on to set up a super fight against the legendary Ken Shamrock.

The fight against Shamrock was changed at the last minute to a former Ultimate Fighter competitor, Seth Petruzelli, after an injury to Shamrock's left eye only hours before the fight. Kimbo was TKO'd by Petruzelli in only 14 seconds.

It was also a loss to a man who had failed to achieve success in the UFC and was largely considered by many people to be a sub-par fighter.

At that point, Kimbo was ruined.

His hype and persona had been destroyed, and he was perceived as a fraud by many people in the fight community. Dana White was one of the most outspoken critics of Slilce and, of course, Elite XC.

Dana shows a thirst for dominance over the Mixed Martial Arts industry that rivals that of a vampire who has been searching for blood over a period of years. 

Needless to say, Dana's dialogue towards Kimbo was similar to that of a Bill O'Reilly rant against secular progressives, with a shot of whiskey and a thousand grams of adrenaline injected into the mix. Open mouth, insert foot, Mr. White.

Now, Slice is a free agent and Dana White could not be happier to welcome him to the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. His presence alone will only add ratings to what is sure to be an already entertaining season, with coaches Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson.

If Kimbo should manage to be victorious on TUF, he would then be getting a chance to fight on the biggest stage in the entire sport, and be entering a Heavyweight division that features the likes of Brock Lesnar and veteran Frank Mir.

Only time will tell what the future holds for the former backyard brawler. What is clear, is that even through all the criticism, Kevin Ferguson has had no easy road to get where he is. Win, lose, or draw, expect to be seeing a lot more of "Kimbo Slice" before it's all said and done.