As the saying goes, or something like it, all good things “leak” to those who wait. . . No not quite but it was inevitable that news like Kimbo Slice signing on with Bellator couldn’t be kept under wraps for too long. While we were aware of the leaks we held off reporting the news until we had confirmation. Thus far all indications point to this being very real and quite the “slice” of news for Bellator.
After a tumultuous finish to 2014, a new CEO, massive changes to format, roster and even approach, Bellator, for better or worse, was enjoying the limelight while UFC lay in the shadows waiting for their star athletes to return to the octagon. That, of course, didn’t stop the UFC from capitalizing on any opportunity to throw sand in Bellator’s eye. After all the criticism over the somewhat frivolous suggestions of talent crossing over from Pro Wrestling to MMA, UFC finally gave in and signed not only CM Punk to their roster but also stole Rampage Jackson from the Bellator ranks. While the legalities of the contract are being disputed by Viacom’s top attorneys, the PR damage to Bellator had already been done.
So, if you’ve already seen positive response from bringing bigger and more vibrant character into the cage, what do you do when you lose one of your most compelling cross overs? You find one even more exotic or perhaps in this case eccentric. None-the-less, Slice is entertaining all around.
News broke late yesterday about the rumored signing of Kimbo Slice to Bellator’s roster. Outlets wasted no time circulating the news, nearly everyone confirming that they had on “good authority” that Kimbo had indeed been picked up by Bellator. For those who may not know him, Slice has enjoyed a brief but flawless professional boxing career, outside of that he’s spent a good deal of time on the media circuit. With only a handful of professional MMA fights on his record, he was cut from the UFC immediately after his loss to Matt Mitrione on his debut bout in the promotion at UFC 113 in May of 2010.
Since then he’s had a stint of appearances on television, in the media and in some lower budget and direct to video films (such as Scorpion King 3). However, he hasn’t spent much time, we know of, prepping for a return to the cage since his last pro fight in 2010. You’d think with 5 years having gone by that no one would give much thought to the idea of signing him. But Bellator knows better.
Kimbo Slice is a character that’s virtually unmatched in the MMA world. From his appearance to his demeanor, the celebrity fighter and part time actor draws a crowd. It’s no coincidence that MMA promotions on both sides of the proverbial fence are signing more talent with entertainment experience. The stories have gotten dry, and the drama is old. It’s time that the promotions breath some life into the stories surrounding the infamously charismatic personalities in the sport and what better way than to bring in talent that can look the part and act it too.
Regardless how Kimbo does in the cage, he’s sure to draw a crowd. If only out of morbid curiosity, or nostalgic reminiscence, fans new and old are sure to tune in when he makes his debut. Whether they maintain interest beyond the debut remains to be seen. You can rest assured we will be covering this story closely over the following days/weeks.