A WORD FROM THE ASIAN SENSATION...( mmaweekly ) GREAT READ on Kimbo
1. to stimulate, excite, or agitate
2. to create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods
3. to intensify
4. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
James Thompson played the unforeseen part of the spoiler. Well, almost.
Riding the hype train at breakneck speed, the man known as “Kimbo Slice” won his third pro fight last Saturday evening and prevented a near disaster for EliteXC. Kevin Ferguson defeated James Thompson via TKO in the third round of a much discussed and touted fight.
For a man who was sold to the public as an ‘MMA Sensation,’ Ferguson displayed the skills of a neophyte in his new craft. He is a work in progress. He is not ready to headline events nor should he be put in a position to do so.
A fatigued Ferguson endured his most difficult test to date as a professional. After the fight, a dejected tone could be heard in his voice as he revealed that his opponent was stronger than he expected to be. James Thompson was brought in as cannon fodder and he nearly put Ferguson’s promoters and supporters into a state of panic. Thompson came in with a game plan and put Kimbo on his back numerous times; an intelligent albeit obvious plan on the English fighter’s part.
The strategy proved useful as Thompson held a seemingly helpless Kimbo down for the remaining two minutes of the second round while peppering him with more than fifty unanswered elbows and punches. Kimbo looked like a fish out of water and was ultimately saved by the bell. By the same token, many viewers, including myself, wondered why the fight wasn’t stopped.
The announcer exclaimed “terrible stoppage!” after referee Dan Miragliotta halted the fight during the final round in Ferguson’s favor. A dazed James Thompson suffered a ruptured cauliflower ear and received four unanswered strikes which led to the stoppage. It could be argued if the stoppage was questionably early; I personally felt the decision by the referee was adequate.
After his high profile fight came to a conclusion, a tired Kimbo could be seen lying on the mat. He seemed relieved. ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC, must have been relieved as well. A defeat for their chosen star would have been disastrous. However, the damage was done.
Pushing Kevin Ferguson into the forefront was a strategic marketing move for EliteXC. Kimbo received an extensive amount of publicity and exposure prior to the promotion’s CBS debut. Unfortunately, the hype train got derailed by Ferguson’s average performance against an opponent he should have demolished on paper.
The purpose of the invented wonder that is “Kimbo Slice” was to draw in the casual fans with hopes of good ratings. EliteXC may need to find a new angle in promoting their next CBS broadcast, assuming there will be another one.
In the end, EliteXC has no one else to blame but themselves. They placed their eggs in one basket and set the expectations too high. A fuse was lit and Ferguson was shot out of the cannon too soon. The thick bearded fighter didn’t get exposed and he is not to blame. He is exactly what he is; an inexperienced MMA fighter.
Kevin Ferguson rebounded to win his fight at CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights. “Kimbo Slice” was defeated by the hype.
(Editor’s note: CBS released incomplete early ratings on Sunday and indicated that ratings were up for the network across the board for that specific time slot. So there is likely to be another CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights, although no announcement of such has been forthcoming. Full ratings, however, will not be available until Tuesday.)
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