Kimbo Slice barely survived his fight with James Thompson winning via a controversial TKO in the third round.
The first two rounds appeared to go to Thompson, and Kimbo Slice was in trouble of losing his first MMA fight.
A loss by Kimbo, would have been devastating for his reputation as well as for Elite XC, who is hanging their coattails on the hard hitting internet street fighting phenomena.
What became clear after the fight were several things: First, Kimbo Slice is still developing his MMA skills. Secondly, he has proven that he can fight on the ground-albeit he has a ways to go and he is the first to admit this. Finally, he may no longer going be viewed as MMA’s answer to the early Mike Tyson.
This is all the result of James Thompson, who is a 2nd rate MMA heavyweight, known for being knocked out early in fights challenging Slice to the brink of defeat.
This is James Thompson, not Randy Couture or Fedor Emelianenko, who has been knocked out in the first 11 seconds of fights, two times during his career.
Aleksander Emelianenko disposed of Thompson in 11 seconds in Pride, while Neil Grove took 10 seconds to KO the Brit in Cage Rage.
This is also the James Thompson who has been in fights with other well-hyped sensationalized strikers, like Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch, and he has been knocked out in less time than it took for Slice.
The biggest surprise was how long it took Slice to take care of business in the ring (38 seconds in round 3) and the nature in which the fight ended— by referee stoppage. One could say that Thompson was staggering, but this was the result of fatigue more so than the power of Slice who did not have much power left in his tank by the third round. Slice was also staggering as it was so when he fell to the ground because of exhaustion after the fight was stopped.
Also the barrage of punches Slice landed on Thompson at the end of the fight were considerably weaker compared to the punches he typically throws. This was probably the result of Slice’s poor preparation and experience in the ring.
Slice, who you would think would be more of a professional when it comes to preparation, blamed it, jokingly, on smoking. I guess, proof of smoking came during an interview by CBSs Gus Johnson when Slice was still breathing heavily, minutes after the match.
Many casual fans that saw Kimbo fight were thoroughly unimpressed with his performance. He came into the fight with too much hype and equally high expectations of knocking out Thompson within the first minute of the fight.
Now onlookers will no longer view Slice as the all mighty and powerful striker, which is good and bad for him.
Elite XC and Gary Shaw were not born yesterday. Shaw has been in the fight game for a long time. He wants to build up the hype surrounding Kimbo as it is vital to the success of Elite XC. A loss to Kimbo could have crippled the organization, wexperienced $27 million in losses just last year.
So, it’s evident that the hype was well deserved, but as was displayed on Saturday night during primetime, Kimbo will not always win a fight by knockout in the first thirty seconds, even if it is against a fighter with a glass jaw, who is a second rate heavyweight.