Should The UFC Sign Kimbo Slice?

Jeremy KaufmanSenior Analyst IOctober 21, 2008

            So, I am sure that everyone has heard by now that EliteXC will be ceasing operations as of this week. With EliteXC out of the picture, MMA fans are now left to wonder what will happen to some of their favorite fighters who were under contract by EliteXC up until this point. Therefore, I think it is appropriate to begin discussing the prospects for Kimbo Slice in respect to whether or not he would be a solid investment for the UFC to make.

With the aforementioned question in mind, let’s start by assessing Kimbo Slice’s ability to perform at a high level in the UFC. Throughout his short tenure with EliteXC, Kimbo has shown the ability to knock out some lower tier fighters, but has yet to prove himself against even a mediocre fighter. In his last fight, against a virtual unknown in Seth Petruzelli, Kimbo was knocked out in only 14 seconds, and clearly displayed a lack of form and defensive skills. These deficiencies would certainly leave Kimbo very vulnerable to failure should he be signed by the UFC. Simply stated, at this point, Kimbo Slice is not a very good fighter, to say the least.

However, the decision of whether or not the UFC should sign Kimbo Slice may not come down to his talent level. Despite his lack of true success as a professional MMA fighter, Kimbo Slice is one of the most popular fighters in the game today. This can largely be attributed to Kimbo’s inspirational life story and his colorful demeanor. Because Kimbo is so popular, there is a remote possibility that the UFC may opt to sign him entirely because of the ratings and publicity that he would bring to the league. While such a move may upset some of the most hardcore and well informed MMA fans, there are thousands upon thousands of dedicated Kimbo Slice fans out there who would certainly turn into his matches should he fight in the UFC. Even when Kimbo loses, his fans always seem to maintain a blinding faith in their fighter, and this fact should give Kimbo a chance at having a future in the UFC.

So, will the UFC eventually sign Kimbo Slice? At this time, it’s really hard to say one way or the other. Essentially, Kimbo Slice’s future with the UFC should come down to a one simple decision; what’s more important, quality or popularity?