The Doggy Bag: Kimbo Sliced?

Kimbo Sliced

May 24, 2010
Everyone answers to somebody, so we, the staff at, have decided to defer to our readers.

“The Doggy Bag” gives you the opportunity to speak about what’s on your mind from time to time.

Our reporters, columnists, radio hosts, and editors will chime in with our answers and thoughts, so keep the emails coming.

This week, readers weigh in on the future of Kimbo Slice, the boxing of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, UFC’s plans on promoting an event in Brazil and a change for the way mixed martial arts bouts are scored by judges.

In regards to Kimbo Slice. My personal prediction, I bet Dream gets him in Japan for a “Super Hulk” style tournament, and pits him against Bob Sapp -- for name's sake. That's just my gut feeling.
-- Anthony

Loretta Hunt, news editor: Anthony, before you pack Mr. Ferguson’s bags and ship him off to Japan, I’d like to review some data with you. Since signing on with the UFC last summer, Kimbo Slice has been a focal point of all of these:

Highest-rated debut episode, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” -- 4.1 million viewers (September 2009)

Highest-rated debut episode replay, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” -- 1.1 million viewers (September 2009)

Highest-rated single episode, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” -- 5.3 million viewers (October 2009)

Most-watched single bout (live or taped), Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” -- 6.1 million viewers (October 2009)

Highest-rated season, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” -- 2.2 million average viewers (September-December 2009)

Most-watched live UFC cable-televised event in 2009, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale -- 3.7 million viewers (December 2009)

Most-watched live UFC cable-televised single bout in 2009, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale (December 2009) -- 5.2 million viewers

And we don’t even know how May’s UFC 113, which marked Slice’s UFC pay-per-view debut, faired yet. Will the promotion see at least a small spike in its buys due to the bearded Bahamian-born fighter’s magnetizing aura?

I just can’t see Zuffa releasing, and subsequently hand-delivering, such a ratings goldmine to a competing promotion whether it is foreign or stateside, perceived as a threat or not.

And even if they did, I’m not sure any of the Japanese promotions -- Dream, Sengoku, or otherwise -- have either the dough or mojo to surpass the salary (sponsorships included) and exposure boosts Slice has enjoyed since joining the No. 1 promotion in the world.

Though I respect the UFC acknowledging that the weathered and worn-down 36-year-old Slice might not have lived up to the high standards a fighter must meet to stay afloat in the Octagon, my gut tells me Slice isn’t going anywhere. I know one UFC broadcast partner that is probably chomping at the bit to get Slice back on its network, and for all they’ve down for the promotion, Zuffa should be delivering Slice to them on a silver platter.

Send Slice back down to the UFC Fight Night circuit, where he’ll continue to draw eyeballs, old and new. Lightening rods like this are few and far-between in this sport and Zuffa has a savvy track record of capitalizing on them. For a guy with only five professional bouts in two years, there’s no shame in being the one who draws the horse to water.
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