It was rumored and then confirmed earlier this week. Kimbo Slice’s next opponent will be UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock on the October 4th event on CBS.
This is network strategy at its best. Remember all the concern about the drop off in ratings after the initial EliteXC broadcast? This is CBS fighting back, potentially at the expense of the long term viability of EliteXC as a respected MMA organization, but you can bet ratings will be on the incline again and that will keep MMA on primetime CBS.
How do I know that the show will be a ratings success? Easy – how many emails, texts or phone calls did you receive when it was announced? If you are an average MMA fan you were contacted at least once about the announcement. Whether it made you laugh, scratch your head or actually consider the outcome of the bout it had your attention and there is a good chance you will tune in when they step into the ring just for the entertainment value.
There are several outcomes for this fight and while EliteXC will enjoy the short term spotlight as a result of the unique matchup, I do not believe all of these are good results for them:
- Kimbo demolishes a well past his prime Ken Shamrock. This is the early odds makers bet and on initial review is a fair argument. Ken hasn’t looked good in some time and Kimbo is just too much human to handle. The fight doesn’t last long and the average viewer gets what they expected – a one sided affair against the once great athlete.
- Kimbo wins a split decision or it is an otherwise close fight. It is possible that Kimbo comes in with another lackluster performance and leaves question marks again about his skills as an MMA fighter vs. simply one tough dude.
- Ken wins. Yes, this is a possibility that can’t be entirely ruled out. Sure he was brought in as the name that will bring a crowd to Kimbo-fest but he is member of the UFC Hall of Fame. Give him some credit. If Ken pulls off the upset, Kimbo won’t be the only one disappointed as EliteXC would have nowhere to go next. Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie anyone?
Kudos to EliteXC for giving us all something to talk about at least for a night and a reason to watch their third cable TV installment.
Sorry Brett Rogers, the ratings machine is not yet on your side