Kevin Iole: "Dana White's Double Standard?"
By Kevin Iole:
When Kimbo Slice fought in Elite XC, the company was roundly criticized for pushing a man with no experience as a mixed martial artist into main event bouts and having him headline shows on both Showtime and, more significantly, CBS.
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White made no secret of his disdain for Slice’s abilities and for the way the now-defunct Elite XC promoted him.
But lo and behold, after Slice accepted an offer to appear on Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC is exhibiting much the same behavior that Elite XC and promoter Gary Shaw were so roundly criticized for.
After generating record ratings for the Season 10 opener, the Slice marketing push from the UFC has kicked into overdrive. White has already said Slice will fight again in the UFC, regardless of the outcome of the show.
That may indicate that Slice fares better than expected in the show, but it runs counter to the way White has handled other TUF fighters. He has given contracts to fighters who didn’t win on TUF, but it came after the season, not just two weeks in.
Slice will face former International Fight League champion Roy Nelson on Wednesday in a show the UFC and Spike TV are pushing so hard that they held a conference call with Slice on Monday. They’re touting it as the biggest fight in TUF history, which is saying a mouthful since White himself credits the TUF 1 finale between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin with saving the company.
Unless Slice somehow defeats Nelson – and I can’t see how he can – it’s extremely hypocritical of White to give Slice a second shot in the UFC based simply on his popularity.
If Slice wins and defeats Nelson, who is my pick to win the season and earn the UFC contract, then giving him a contract to fight in the UFC is fine.
Other than that, though, giving him a contract is buying into the marketing hype that White so venomously ripped Elite XC for.
If Slice loses and proves not to be a capable mixed martial artist, putting him in the UFC regardless would bring to mind the infamous quote made many years ago by boxing promoter Bob Arum: “Yesterday, I was lying. Today, I’m telling the truth.” Finally