EliteXC heavyweight Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (3-0) will return to action this fall, but a fight with Brett Rogers (8-0) is neither signed nor even guaranteed at this point.
Doug DeLuca, executive chairman of Pro Elite, Inc. (EliteXC's parent company), shared the organization's plans for its highly marketed heavyweight during a media conference call today.
According to DeLuca, Slice is busy training for his next fight, which will take place in the fall -- most likely on another nationally televised CBS event.
"Kimbo is training hard," DeLuca said. "Kimbo is flying back and forth between Miami and California. He's training with his team."
Slice most recently headlined "EliteXC: PRIMETIME," which took place May 31 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Slice defeated James Thompson in the night's main event via controversial third-round TKO stoppage. Thompson delivered a lengthy ground-and-pound assault in the second round, but Slice assured the referee he was OK to continue and was saved by the bell.
Just 38 seconds into the next round, Slice tagged his opponent with a right hook that burst open Thompson's heavily cauliflowered right ear. Although the blow didn't drop Thompson, the fight was halted. Thompson angrily protested the stoppage to no avail.
In a post-event press conference, Brett Rogers (who defeated Jon Murphy in the night's first televised bout) had a harsh critique of Slice's performance.
"I seen some [expletive] today," Rogers said. "I seen some [expletive], some garbage-ass [expletive]. I'm a heavyweight, and I feel I'm a true heavyweight. (James) Thompson? Much respect. But I'm saying it like this. Kimbo Slice, man, that was just garbage, man."
A small skirmish ensued after Slice entered the press conference and was told about the comments. And though order was restored, Rogers has since been very vocal about wanting a fight with Slice. Gary Shaw said the fight would happen, but as MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) recently reported, Shaw's role with the company was recently scaled back, and it's unknown if that could affect the possibility of the Slice-Rogers fight.
"You are going to see Kimbo again -- probably late September or early to mid October," DeLuca said. "I definitely cannot confirm that he will fight Brett Rogers because we're not sure that's the next fight for Kimbo."
No matter the opponent, DeLuca said he doesn't understand some of the criticism that Slice receives.
"One thing I will say about Kimbo -- for everybody who likes to give him a hard time -- I really don't understand it," DeLuca said. "I don't understand why someone can't find the sport of MMA, sort of like (EliteXC-CBS broadcaster) Gus (Johnson) did months ago. In Kimbo's case, it was a year or so ago, but he found the sport, and he's committed, and he's a natural and a great fighter. This guy, unlike some guys you see that come up on the streets that don't have the discipline or focus, this guy is one of the most disciplined and focused guys I've ever seen.
"To his credit, after his fight with James Thomson, Kimbo said, 'Look, I'm a baby at this sport, and I know it.' He said, 'I'm standing up on this dais with world-class athletes who have been at this much longer than I have been.' He said, 'I know I need to up my game in various places and at various levels, and I will do that.'"