If Kimbo Slice versus Ken Shamrock was a movie, it wouldn't be Gone With the Wind. Or Citizen Kane. Casa Blanca. Bridge on the River Kwai.
It wouldn't even be The Matrix. Or Fight Club. Memento. Donnie Darko.
What we're looking at is more like... Tombstone.
And you know what? I like Tombstone. In fact, I really like it. Doc Holiday especially.
Let me make sense for a minute:
This isn't a fight for a title (not even an Elite XC title). It isn't a fight to establish Kimbo as a top ten Heavyweight. It's too late for Shamrock to make a real comeback. There are no far-reaching ramifications. The MMA world isn't teetering on its axis awaiting the outcome. No shockwaves will radiate from an epicenter of earth-changing importance.
Am I supposed to pretend I didn't call my inner circle of MMA buddies and make them take at least three guesses each before revealing Kimbo's opponent?
I will not. I'm not ashamed to be excited about this fight.
For all the statistics junkies, I'm well aware of the figures. I know that Shamrock has dropped five straight fights. In the first round. By knockout. If I really wanted to lay it on thick and try to justify myself, I'd say that one of those losses was to Rich Franklin and two were to Tito Ortiz. Not exactly nobodies. That last one to Robert Berry... well, he had a lot of ring-rust on him.
But I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about Shamrock's submission game or Kimbo's learning curve. I'm not going to fabricate excuses to watch this fight.
I'm just going to watch it because I want to.
Sometimes, as hardcore fans, we get carried away. We start to take ourselves and our sport a little too seriously. We need to lighten up. When you are as dedicated as we, it's tough not to get wrapped up in the specifics, the nuts and bolts, the intricacies of what makes the best fighters in the world different from the rest of the pack.
If we'd only take a few steps back, we could enjoy a fight like Kimbo / Shamrock for what it really is: a spectacle. An aging pioneer attempting to expose a street fighter.
There's nothing wrong with appreciating a spectacle.
Or occasionally watching Dumb and Dumber, for that matter.
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