It seems like the last year in MMA heavy weight divisions, rookie guys like bar room brawler Kimbo Slice and former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar seem to be taking all the limelight. Over the last months I have read a few articles pitting Slice vs. Lesnar and how it would turn out.
Last night's CBS debut of the Elite XC on national television which included Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson showed why Elite XC is no match for the UFC and why Kimbo Slice is no match for Brock Lesnar.
I will give Elite XC credit for actually trying to do something with a female division in MMA and the fight between Gina Carano and Kaitlin Young was a good showing by both fighters. However, the Slice vs. Thompson fight left a bad taste in my mouth.
The fight between Slice and Thompson finished early in the third round via TKO when Kimbo ruptured Thompson’s severely caulifloured left ear. Many people found the abrupt ending controversial and I could understand Thompson’s frustration when we saw him push the referee away after the fight was called. Thompson at the end of the second round had Kimbo on his back against the cage and landed a good 20-25 elbows and strikes to Kimbo’s head that were undefended and the fight was not called. In any other organization the fight would have been over with the way Thompson was landing punches on a downed Kimbo.
This fight showed MMA fans that Kimbo Slice still has a lot to learn in the world of MMA. I’ll give Kimbo credit, because he did show that he does not have a weak chin and he can take a beating. That being said, anyone who thinks he could bang with the likes of a Randy Couture, Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Nogueira or even the UFC’s latest heavy weight acquisition Brock Lesnar are seeing in technicolor. James Thompson is a big guy standing 6’5 and weighing in at around 260lbs. As far as his MMA pedigree Thompson is 16-9 in his career and only 2-7 in his last 9 fights. He is a big banger like Kimbo Slice, lacking technical skill on the ground and clearly isn’t a premier guy in the world of MMA. To me this fight showed that the Kimbo fans who feel Kimbo could drop a guy like Brock Lesnar aren’t being realistic.
Like Thompson, Brock Lesnar is a big guy as well, standing 6’3 and weighing in at around 280lbs on his fight nights. The difference, Brock Lesnar is a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion who has excellent technical skills as a wrestler on the ground, something most great MMA fighters have in their repertoire. In addition, Lesnar is an all around excellent athlete, he was invited to tryout for the Minnesota Vikings and the only reason he probably didn’t make the cut was the fact that he tried practicing with the team after being injured in a motorcycle accident that would have probably killed anyone else.
Now most people would probably argue and say look Lesnar is 1-1 in MMA and Kimbo is 3-0. What has Lesnar shown that Kimbo hasn’t? Well, Lesnar’s second fight against Frank Mir was against a guy who is actually a force in MMA and will probably be getting a title shot in the Heavy Weight division of the UFC, Mir holds an MMA record of 11-3. Kimbo’s last 3 fights? Well, Thompson is 2-7 in his last 9, Tank Abbott is 1-8 since 1998 in MMA and Bo Cantrell has a 10-10 career against mostly no name fighters. Finally everyone who has fought Slice to date are bar room brawlers that have no ground game. Frank Mir on the other hand is a submission specialist, something rookie guys like Lesnar and Slice haven’t seen previous to joining MMA.
How did Lesnar lose? The fight finished early in the first round, but anyone who watched it would realize Lesnar was dominating Mir taking him down at will and pounding away. Mir, being the submission specialist he is, was on his back and managed to submit Lesnar who was standing over top of Mir with a knee bar.
Lesnar took a lot away from his fight against Mir and unlike Kimbo he learned very quickly that in the sport of MMA great offensive skill sets aren’t the only things you need to win. Being able to defend against the BJJ specialists of the sport is of paramount importance as well.
Some people want to say Slice could beat guys like Emilianenko, Nogueira or Couture. Kimbo couldn’t even stand up against a UFC rookie Brock Lesnar and Kimbo’s match against Thompson solidifies that statement. Brock Lesnar has a very sound technical wrestling background, he isn’t a street fighter like Kimbo slice and his pedigree suits MMA much more then Kimbo's. I would give Kimbo Slice the edge in a stand up match because I haven’t seen Lesnar’s striking game and it is his not his strong point. Needless to say if Lesnar faced Kimbo, the fight would be decided on the ground because Lesnar would bring Kimbo down in no time. Thompson took down Kimbo numerous times in last nights bout and Thompson is far from being a ground specialist and definitely does not have the wrestling and take down skill set of a guy like Brock Lesnar.
If Kimbo Slice went up against Brock Lesnar, the fight would be over in the first round via TKO and Lesnar would be the winner, that is if the referee were willing to call the fight in Lesnar’s favour after Slice fails to defend himself from Lesnar's ground and pound.