Ever since Kimbo’s near defeat on national television, the buzz surrounding Kimbo Slice has dropped considerably. He likely still remains EliteXC’s top draw, but at least for the time being, out of sight, out of mind. Even though he name hasn’t been seen in every other headline on every MMA website, Kimbo Slice is still at the forefront of the minds at ProElite. Kimbo is scheduled to return make his primetime network television return on the third CBS card, which is expected to take place in October. But who will he fight?
No one knows for sure yet, but two of the leading candidates—Sean Gannon and Brett Rogers—appear to be out of the running. According to ESPN The Magazine, Sean Gannon came with too hefty of a price tag, and while a fight with Brett Rogers is with “100% certainty” going to happen, it’s likely not going to happen in October.
But Gannon, a Boston cop, would jeopardize his 9-to-5 career by taking a frowned-upon fight. He rightly has been asking for a huge chunk of money—Shaw says negotiations hovered around $250,000 for one fight—and Elite XC has been unwilling to meet his demands. (Shaw says if Gannon would have accepted around $100,000 the deal would already be done). Both sides have taken understandable positions. But it has completely derailed negotiations. Don’t expect a Gannon/Kimbo rematch any time soon.
Rogers seemed like a perfect fit. He’s unbeaten, has consistently called out Kimbo since they both won on May 31, and Slice badly wants the fight. Elite XC would love to do it, though the timing has been a little off. The company would love to have Kimbo unbeaten before an iffy fight against a talented opponent.
Kimbo will fight somebody, though. “We are getting close (to signing a contract) but I can tell you it’s 90 percent not (going to be) Brett Rogers,” one knowledgeable source says. The source adds that a contract has not been signed, though it could happen as soon as a week from today. Shaw, on the other hand, puts the chances of Rogers/Slice not happening at 70 percent. Neither number paints a promising picture.
So who then?
The most likely opponent is somebody not currently on the Elite XC roster. The company is reviewing free agent fighters, and has a list of about three that Shaw will present to the Slice team a week from now. Same with Rogers. Shaw admits the most likely scenario is that Slice and Rogers fight back-to-back on a strong CBS card in October (Gina Carrano and a much-anticipated KJ Noons/Nick Diaz rematch are also being discussed for that night). If both win, they’re very likely to fight a few months later.
Assuming Kimbo Slice hasn’t lost all of his mystique and drawing power, matchmaking for him is still a delicate task. It’s anyone’s best guess who will get the nod, but rest assured, it’s likely going to be someone half of the MMA community is going to bitch about.
Can’t wait for that Noon/Diaz rematch though.