UFC 113 was supposed to mark the coming out party for Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson. Unfortunately, it appears the bearded one may have to wait some time for that celebration.
If it ever happens at all.
Following his official UFC debut back at the TUF 10 finale show, a lackluster contest against Houston Alexander, Kimbo and the UFC had to be hoping for a breakout performance. An evenly matched contest, on paper, against Matt Mitrione would provide a better platform for the You Tube sensation to showcase his skills.
The pre-fight build up focused on Kimbo's training with American Top Team and his continued evolution as a mixed martial artist. His fellow TUF alumni, Mitrione was meant to be the equally inexperienced opponent that Kimbo could beat. The win would allow Kimbo to grow as both a fighter and a PPV draw for the UFC.
However, for all of Kimbo's training and improved skills, he clearly forgot a key factor for any MMA fighter.
Saturday's fight proved that Kimbo has none, which poses a huge problem.
Now the dust has settled on UFC 113's action in Montreal. Apparently, Matt "Meathead" Mitrione didn't read the script. Mitrione made Kimbo look like the old street fighter that he is.
But lets put this into perspective, Mitrione is no veteran.
This was only his second fight in the UFC. The difference, though, was that Mitrione showed marked improvement from his last fight. It was evident that he had been working the leg kicks with training partner Pat Barry. The former NFL player has a bright future in the UFC.
Kimbo's future, on the other hand, doesn't look as promising. The UFC should be worried.
How much longer they can flog this proverbial horse? The loss to Mitrione hurt Kimbo in more places than his overall record. Mitrione made him look old.
Kimbo showed flashes of ability with several big take downs in the early going. But that's not enough for me. Featured as a main fight on the PPV card in Montreal, the UFC will struggle to convince me on Kimbo's next bout.
I'm sure every educated MMA fan will feel the same.
Weight poses another issue for Kimbo; too big to make 205 but a very small heavyweight by today's standards. The heavyweight division is littered with huge guys. Kimbo will struggle with size in every fight, as he did against Mitrione.
Kimbo has been reduced from an internet sensation to the modern day failing side show of MMA.
The UFC now faces some big questions about Kimbo.
Who does he fight next? They can't keep handing him so called 'gimmie' fights; he hasn't exactly done well against Alexander and Mitrione.
Is he still a PPV draw? It will be interesting to see the level of impact they credit to Kimbo once the PPV numbers come in.
So Kimbo Slice now stands at 4-2 as an MMA fighter and, in this writers opinion, the "Kimbo" bubble has officially burst. He is not someone I look forward to watching and you have to wonder what the casual MMA fans will now think of him.
His mystique is certainly gone.
I hate to say it folks, but Kimbo is nothing more than an aging street fighter with basic MMA skills and a beard. Harsh, I know, but not far from the truth!
Kimbo could very well be on the brink of a win or bust fight in his next outing. Showing signs of improvement will not be enough.
The big brawling, backyard KO monster has yet to be seen inside the octagon. Slice will never win fans for his submission skills, people want KO wins from him. So far he hasn't delivered. In fact, he hasn't even come close.
Kimbo Slice's future in the sport has to be threatened by his performance at UFC 113. It would appear that UFC President Dana White agrees, as well. Following last night's action, White was quoted as saying that "Kimbo is probably done with UFC."
Kimbo's departure from the UFC is not 100% official, but it seems likely, going by Dana White's comments. The only saving grace might be his PPV draw power. But even that may not be as great as it once was.
Kimbo's future is uncertain for now and I will definitely be keeping an eye on the bearded one's next step.
What are your thoughts?