The only reason Kimbo Slice (3-1) a.k.a. Kevin Ferguson had the small bit of credibility he did was because the legend, El Guapo, vouched for him. Those days are over.
In a new AOL MMA FanHouse interview with Bas Rutten, the subject of Kimbo Slice inevitably came up. Bas said he was finished training Kimbo Slice and even if someone paid him a million dollars, it is not going to happen.
Bas had always seemed very supportive of Kimbo in interviews and had a lot of good things to say about him in the beginning. So where did things go sour? Bas explains,
I had him six weeks before the last fight, I talked to him about certain things that I didn’t like, and he promised never to do it again, and then he started doing it again. If people come to me and ask me to train them, I want them to do what I tell them to do, because that’s what they came for. … Once you start doing different things, you’re out. It’s not because he got knocked out. This was already in progress long before the fight.
Obviously, Bas did see something in Kimbo in the beginning because he talked about the former street fighter’s dedication to training and doing things the right way. Somewhere along the line that changed. Bas went on,
Let’s say that the Kimbo who came to me at the beginning of training, that wasn’t the Kimbo who was at my gym the last time. Six weeks before his last fight, I told him, I want that Kimbo back. Otherwise, you’re out. And you know, he started doing differently again.
For those people who think Bas just trained Kimbo for the money, he addresses that as well,
I lost money. I lost money training Kimbo because I had to say no to commentating jobs. … I trained him together with another guy, because I didn’t have time to train him so much, so I gave him half and half. I trained the guy for several weeks for $5,000. That’s not big money. So I lost money doing that because I had to say no to commentating jobs…But it’s not about the money. People could say, “Hey, we’ll pay you a million dollars.” I’m not going to do it.
With Kimbo’s fourteen second knockout loss to Seth Petruzelli (10-4) in October of 2008 at EliteXC: Heat in Miami, MMA fans were left with a very bitter taste in their mouth for the boatyard brawler turned mixed martial artist. The controversy from his previous fight with James Thompson (14-9) in May of 2008, (a fight many fans thought should have been stopped when Thompson dominated Slice in round 2, but then seemed to be stopped too early in Slice’s favor in round 3) combined with Petruzelli’s admitting EliteXC had enticed him to keep the fight standing caused MMA fans to say, “enough is enough.” Kimbo then disappeared into relative obscurity.
With the demise of EliteXC, MMA fans in the U.S. who thought maybe they had seen the last of Kimbo Slice tainting their sport got a rude awakening this week when the San Jose-based MMA promotion, Strikeforce, purchased a portion of EliteXC’s remaining assets including the contract of one Kimbo Slice.
In a joint Strikeforce / Showtime conference call on February 10th in which PRO MMA (http://promma.info) was present, it was reported by Strikeforce representatives that they have full intentions of making the most of what Kimbo Slice has left to offer.
It will be very interesting to see if Slice will seek out a new MMA trainer or gym and if so, who will have him. He may be better off just buying some Bas Rutten instructional DVD’s at this point.
By: Jack Bratcher