Heavyweight sluggers Kimbo Slice and James Thompson are set to meet again this summer in a rematch of their infamous 2008 encounter.
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker announced the bout during a Sunday appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” Slice-Thompson 2 will be a main component of Bellator’s London debut, which takes place July 16 at O2 Arena.
Coker was questioned over his decision to book Slice so quickly after the Floridian’s failed drug test following his Feb. 19 victory over Ken Shamrock. However, Coker said that Slice was suspended for 90 days by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, and that the organization does not involve itself in regulatory matters.
“One of the things that Bellator has been very, very forthright in our testing procedure, is that we go by what the athletic commission says,” Coker explained. “We don’t self-regulate. We don’t test these athletes ourselves. When we go into, let’s say California, Andy Foster tells us exactly what the testing procedure is, the rules and regulations, what he wants, and we abide by that. Same thing in Texas. Same thing in Florida.
“[Slice] was put on a 90-day suspension outside of Texas, which will be ending sometime in May, so he’ll be cleared and ready to fight by July 16.”
Slice and Thompson first met under the EliteXC banner for a May 2008 contest in Newark, N.J. Although Thompson outstruck his opponent over the course of the bout, Slice was declared the winner early in the third round after a punch busted open the Englishman’s cauliflower ear. The fight set a new ratings record at the time, drawing more than 7 million viewers to CBS.