Posted on: October 6, 2008 2:28 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2008 3:58 pm

Kimbo like Palin, but better for long run

If our goal this Monday is to connect politics and sport, here it goes.

(Uh, who said that was our goal, big guy?)

Kimbo Slice's effort vs. Seth Pertuzzi was alot like Sarah Palin vs. Katie Couric.

Kimbo SliceThe problem Palin faced with her interview a few weeks back wasn't that she was dumb or poorly versed in politics, it was that her intelligence was devoted to other things, like Alaskan politics, motherhood and killing mooses. She wasn't thrown into the mix with any expectation to know big concepts like Israel-Palestine or have quick recall on Supreme Court rulings she's supposed to hate. How many governors that didn't come through legislative ranks would?

The same sort of workings went on with EliteXC and Kimbo. He wasn't expected to be a great fighter out of the chute. Rather, he was going to get there. In the meantime, everybody will make a little coin on the big guy with the bushy beard beating up on tomato cans.

Unfortunately, the script changed Saturday night. One tomato can didn't get the message.

And in the short term, it looks bleak. But in the long term, this could be just what EliteXC needs.

Just like how Palin's interviews set the bar so low for her debate, there's a positive angle to Saturday night's loss.

The fledgling outfit can never be questioned as authentic now. The little secret that could -- Kimbo as Globetrotter -- was derailed. And it could potentially cripple EliteXC. But if it doesn't, the organization is stronger. It's no longer about building up a street fighter, it's about creating the best cards out there.

In short, the pressure is off.

EliteXC can go about its business finding the best fighters to fight, and not worrying about developing the star that Kimbo should be. 

Don't get me wrong, Kimbo is still the cash cow of this operation and will continue to draw people. But now that the secret is out, focus can shift to finding true fighters and relaxing the reins on Kimbo. Let the guy star the undercard, while putting the legit fighters at the top. Isn't that how it should have been from the get go?

Let's hope EliteXC thinks so. At the press conference after the fight (one in which Kimbo arrived roughly 30 minutes late to), Jeremy Lappen, one of the outfit's head honcho's spun faster than Paul Van Dyke.

"This is MMA, all the best have lost," he said, along with, "Kimbo showed just how big a man he is for taking the fight on such short notice."

Well, yes. But let's hope the spin stops there and reality sets in.

If EliteXC gets that Kimbo is hamburger meat masquerading as filet, Saturday night was a victory. But if despite this TKO in 14 seconds, they keep selling him as filet, there are serious problems with EliteXC's reputation.

Having people like Jake Shields at the top of a card isn't the draw Kimbo is, but if EliteXC keeps pushing Kimbo, or people like Kimbo it will lose its core. Getting their brand of MMA to the mainstream is important, but keeping the core intact is vital to survival.

After all, isn't that why Palin is on the ticket?

Michael Turner vs. LT


Each Monday/Tuesday I chronicle my bet with a buddy of mine. I said Michael Turner would win two of these three categories: 100-yard games, rushing yards and total touchdowns.

I'm looking golden so far as I await my bottle of scotch. 

Name | 100-yard games | rushing yards | touchdowns

Michael Turner | 3 | 543 yards | 6
LaDainian Tomlinson | 1 | 331 | 4

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Posted on: October 4, 2008 6:53 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2008 10:54 pm

Kay's Korner from Kimbo-Shamrock

The sign in the tunnel walking to the media area of Bank Atlantic Center read "There will be HEAVY drinking tonight."

Where am I, and what am I doing here?

Outside of anything in the Kumite, I've never watched a full MMA fight in my life. But here I am, roughly a first down away from the cage watching two people -- Nicolae Cury and Jorge Boechat -- kick the living crap out of one another -- for roughly 35 seconds. That was the extent of the fight. I started typing this blog entry and before I got to THESE WORDS, it was over. Horse races last longer than this.

Back to the atmosphere. I'm about another first down, in another direction away from Sign Girls. I'm guessing they're Panthers ice dancers making a little extra scratch on the side, which is nice -- for me. They're wearing red and white tops and shorts. As my colleague Denny Burkholder says, the only thing Panther about them is, uh, cougar. He makes a good point. These ladies, while rocking some seriously tight torso, are more like 35 than 25.

Back to the fight. It was apparently a stoppage via elbows. It was a victory by reverse triangle, which means nothing to me. Good for that guy.

So the place is about 40 percent capacity right now. Each time I walk back to the media room, I see people with what appear to be 20 oz beers.

"There will be HEAVY drinking tonight." More blabbering to come.

Updated at 7:10 PM

Second fight done, and it was pretty intense. David Gomez vs. Bryan Hamade. Hamade won the fight, which included spending about 30 seconds in the air as he wrapped his legs around Gomez's torso and just hung out, occasionally pummeling Gomez's head and shoulders while elevated. He eventually took enough air out of Gomez to bring him to the ground and win by some sort of submission.

-- If one of EliteXC's goals is to have enough eye candy around the cage to rival a heavyweight boxing bout, it's succeeding.

-- Tito Ortiz is in the house, taking pics with fans.

-- Fans behind me are doing a nice job yelling throughout the first two fights. They're also on the phones trying to get some buddies to see them in their row 1 seats.

That reminds me: "There will be HEAVY drinking tonight."

Updated at 7:53 PM

More sightings: Antonio Silva yelling to one of the fighters mid-fight. Gus Johnson looking at his watch (he's calling the Dolphins-Chargers game tomorrow at 1 PM) and a guy with a a mullet sitting in front of me.

Great fight between Edson Berto and Conor Heun. We're in the second round right now and Berto is bleeding bad from the eye. There's blood all over both fighters. I don't know how either fighter is still in this after the first 3-minute round.

In the second round, the ref had to break it up after Heun had Berto trapped against the wall of the cage. Both fighters looked gassed.

Then, after doing a brief hug so that each could regain a little wind, the beatdown happened.

Heun, with Berto pinned, just started whaling on his head. Direct elbows and fists to the dome. This was right in front of me, a first down away, and I could see Berto's face contort with each passing blow. The ref called the fight for Heun. The medical staff is examining Berto right now, the moppers are cleaning up the spilled blood and the crowd is applauding the night's first tremendous fight.

After that fight, Berto is going to need to do some HEAVY drinking.


Updated at 8:31 PM

Less than 30 minutes until the main event begins, and I'm watching two women go at it. It's Cris Cyborg v. Yoko Takashi. Cyborg is working Takashi over. Of course, Takashi has a mohawk going on. My god, Cybog just hit Takashi with a roundhouse to the face. Takashi's going to wake up with Athlete's Foot on her face.

You couldn't pay me enough money to get into the cage with Cyborg. She's inked up, has braided hair and kicks like a mule.

Breaking NEWS -- Hulk Hogan is here, along with Brooke. The place just erupted when they saw him walk in. There has been some HEAVY drinking going on.


Updated at 8:57 PM

Shamrock is done. Kimbo will fight Seth Petruzelli, a 205.5 lbs fighter from Fort Myers, who was on the non-televised undercard until about 15 minutes ago.

Just hung out with Cris Cyborg during her interview with CBS2 and she's humble, but ready for Gina Carano. If that happens, I'll be watching.


Updated 9:30 PM

Murilo Rua vs. Benji Radach

With three blows to the dome following a takedown, Benji Radach knocked out Murilo Rua. It was a heated fight throughout, with both fighters spending most of the time on their feet, but a misplaced knee by Rua led to the Radach takedown and eventual KO. It took about three minutes after the KO for Rua to come to.

The highlights of the fight were broadcast on the big screens at BankAtlantic, and with each blow that took out Rua, the crowd reacted in unison with an "Ohhh."

The crowd doesn't seem to be to affected by the Kimbo-Shamrock announcement. You get the feeling that as long as Kimbo's in this, it doesn't matter who he fights.


Updated at 10:01 PM

Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobald

First minute and a half was all grappling. When the two do get separated, they exchange blows to the face. But few connect with any notable intensity.

A feel-it-out first round led to a more engaging second round. Gina again was the one who brought it, but you can tell she's not fighting strong. Her hands are constantly down. She's missing the timing on kicks and knees and she finished the round on her back after Kobald took her down.

Third round means back to grappling. The audience floods the fighters with boos until the ref splits the two up. A shower of applause ensues. Gina wraps up the fight with a choke hold and several kicks to Kobald's upper ribs and head. A nice strong finish to a lackluster bout. Kobald, by the end of the match, looks like a bloodied up miniature Alex Ovechkin.


Updated 10:46 PM

"Sellout crowd of 9,414 people are in attendance. A third of the arena is blocked off and the upper levels are not in use. Main event in T-minus 5 minutes.

I've been sitting behind the founders of Tapout, and all evening crowd members have been trying to get autographs and photo opps.


Updated 10:51 PM

Woops. PR guy just came around and said "Make that a paid 7,400 in the house."

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com