Last year, two men broke into the world of MMA as "The Next Big Thing." They have completely different backgrounds and are taking completely different routes to the top. But who is doing it the right way?
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson started as a college football player. He later became a bodyguard for the pornography group, "MILF Hunters." He went on to star in a number of streetfight videos that landed on Youtube.com
He only lost one fight, and that was to Sean Gannon, who went on to have an uneventful UFC career.
With the popularity of his fights rising, Slice decided to try his hand at MMA. He began training under MMA legend Bas Rutten.
His first bout was an exhibition match that followed MMA rules with former boxing champion Ray Mercer. Kimbo, at Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5, won the match in 1:12 via Guillotine Choke.
His next match came against Bo Cantrell. It only lasted 19 seconds via submission due to strikes. It was here that he was labeled as the "next big thing" of MMA.
His third fight came against David "Tank" Abbott. Most fans remember Abbott from his brawling days in the UFC.
Once again, Kimbo's massive size and strength gave him the victory in just 43 seconds via TKO from strikes.
Kimbo's next fight is this Saturday, on the grandest stage of all time. He is headlining the first ever MMA card on national television. The fight will be shown on CBS.
The problem is, many people feel that he hasn't proven himself as a tough competitor because he has only faced people who are inexperienced or washed up.
I agree that he hasn't proven himself in the world of MMA, but a company is going to give people what they want to see and that the backyard brawler turned MMA star.
Brock started his journey to MMA in college wrestling, going an astonishing 33-0 his senior year, with an overall record of 106-5 in college.
From college, Lesnar went on to have a professional wrestling career that brought him many championships. He decided to stop wrestling and pursued a career in the NFL.
After a short lived career in the NFL, he decided to try his hand at MMA.
He began his training at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, the same gym as former UFC champion Sean Sherk.
Lesnar's first fight came against Min Soo Kim in the K1 Heroes! organization. Lesnar won this fight in under two minutes via tapout due to strikes.
Lesnar shortly after signed with the UFC. After months of hype, Lesnar was set to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Many felt Mir was a shell of his former self, and that he would walk over Mir with his brute strength.
The fight began, and Brock displayed a great takedown game and some excellent ground and pound. But in the end his, green in the ring showed, and he got caught in a kneebar and was forced to tap.
Lesnar's next opponent will be Heath "the Texas Crazy Horse" Herring. Another tough opponent, Herring was seconds away from finishing Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but couldn't get it done. He then bounced back with a decisive win over Cheick Kongo.
So which man is taking the best course of action?
If Lesnar loses to Herring, will fans still see Lesnar as "The Next Big Thing", or will they see him as a marketing ploy that isn't worth the hype. Lesnar definitely showed some skill against Mir, but no one wants to see a guy lose repeatedly.
On the other hand, Kimbo hasn't faced anyone worth mentioning, and his next opponent is "The Colossus" James Thompson. Thompson is the wrestling equivalent of a jobber, aka someone who is going to lose. If you want to see him in action, take a break from the Kimbo videos, and watch James fight Aleksander Emelianenko, and you will see the greatness that is James Thompson.
People are already starting to talk about the truth behind Kimbo's rise, being that it is all hype, and no talent. However if he were to keep fighting, and his fights come against tougher opponents, he could become the star that Gary Shaw wants him to be, loved by the casual and hardcore fan.
Brock however, needs to win against Herring or his drawing capability could be lost.
Like always, feel free to put your perspective on this in the comment section. Like I always ask, please be respectful.
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