Q: Who is the number one women's tennis player in the world?
A: Who gives a damn, right? I thought this was a Kimbo article.
It is. I just wanted to establish something right away: Kimbo Slice is turning MMA into the WTA...the Women's Tennis Association.
I'm serious. Up until now, the WTA has been the only legitimate sport in which competitors have received recognition for something other than actually being proficient at their chosen arena of competition.
Baseball has A-Rod and, well... baseball has A-Rod. It's the same thing in the NFL with Manning and Brady, and in the NBA with Kobe and Lebron: basically, a handful of players are, via their top notch talent and work ethic, accepting the torch passed down to them by former legends of their respective leagues, earning them lucrative contracts and endorsement deals, as well as the popularity to be known as "the face of their league".
Which brings me to the WTA, and, ultimately, Kimbo. You see, for some time now, the face of the WTA has NOT been, surprisingly enough, a dominating athlete in the field, i.e. the Williams sisters.
WTA has instead chosen to rally behind a series of sexy blondes with names like Sharapova and Kournikova; women known not primarily for their prowess on the court, but for their good looks. Fans of the WTA have been complaining for a while now that it's very frustrating to see the best athletes overlooked in favor of the most marketable...personality.
And now it seems the same thing is happening to MMA, with Kimbo getting prime time billing and large paydays over fighters who have paid their dues for years in the MMA circuits; fighters who would likely dismantle Kimbo in a matter of seconds in the octagon. And as MMA trots out the same tired argument the WTA has used—that attracting fans to the sport is good for everyone—the fact remains that this argument does not hold water.
Just as women's tennis isn't about oogling a good looking woman in a tennis skirt, MMA isn't about backyard brawling and five second knockouts. Like the WTA, MMA is an athletic competition of endurance, skill, and technical ability.
The only fans attracted to the sport by Kimbo are exactly the kind of fans MMA doesn't need - people who will roundly boo anything other than a toe to toe slugfest; people who will overlook all the technical aspects of grappling; people who just want to see a barfight in an octagon.
And nothing about that is pretty. Even if you dress it up in a tennis skirt.