Yeah I said it...lynching. And I do know what the word means.
Kevin Ferguson aka Kimbo Slice got used by his promotional company and now must endure the aftermath of a public lynching. Mr. Ferguson is an internet phenom that attempted to parlay his internet 'fame' into real dollars ala Paris Hilton. In corporate America it's called monetizing your image. In the real world it's called 'pimpin' the game'. True a prostitute makes money but at what personal cost?
Kimbo got his hustle on and signed the lucrative contract he was offered by Elite XC. Elite XC, a fledgling MMA promotional company, then proceeded to grossly over hype Mr. Slice as the MMA equivalent of the second coming of the grim reaper. Even though he was yet to have his first professional MMA bout (that chin checking on YouTube and Ray Mercer show doesn't count for legitimate MMA).
Throughout the entire 'spin' job, Kevin Ferguson proclaimed his neophyte status in the MMA food chain. He described himself on many, if not all occasions as 'new to the game' and 'just trying to learn the sport'. Unfortunately, he never needed to utter a boast because his 'handlers' were speaking volumes of foolishness on his behalf.
Elite XC signed him to an obscene contract and was looking for a quick multiple on their investment. They also had the first major network, CBS, deal for MMA. Obviously, they needed a horse to who they could hitch their wagon. Since they couldn't afford Fedor Emilianenko, whom despite his tremendous skill set is all but unknown in the US (he also does not speak English which clearly doesn't help his stateside marketability) and for the most part the best talent is under contract to the UFC; Kimbo was their man.
Elite XC executives have a long history in professional boxing. So they are well versed in hyping a fighter and building (padding) his
record. But with their foray into MMA they went to WWE'ish extremes. They employed the philosophy that great theater must have a villain, and the bigger and darker the better. Kevin Ferguson could not have been more perfectly cast. Kimbo was anointed as the 'baddest man on the planet' without earning it in the cage. The stage was set.
MMA fans are rabid and quite knowledgeable about the sport. The anti-Kimbo backlash was immediate and universal (if you don't believe me just go to any major MMA website forum and post a comment in support of Kimbo and see what happens...I dare you). Even those who loved him when he was brawling on YouTube ferociously turned on him when Elite XC did their thing.
The EliteXC experiment didn't last long.
For many MMA purists, Seth Petruzelli in just 14 short seconds exposed Kimbo Slice. Judgment day had come. And the myth of Kimbo Slice was laid bare.
The marketing ploy called Kimbo Slice was always meant to fail. It was part of the master plan. But Elite XC had intended to make far greater money off their investment before they threw him to the wolves.
The demise of Kimbo was quickly and thankfully followed by the bankruptcy of Elite XC.
That should have been the end of Kimbo but low and behold the UFC did an about face and soon departed the Kimbo bashing business and embarked upon the Kimbo pimping business.
Enter UFC president and front man, Dana White. Apparently he concluded that 'those sons of bi*&%#$ made money off Kimbo so why can't I'?
Kimbo lost his very first fight on the UFC's TUF/Ultimate Fighter reality show (Spike/TV) and was sent packing ...end of story, right? Not really. The ratings were through the roof and as we all have learned Kimbo has more lives than Freddy Kruger. He was resurrected from the valley of lost fighters to appear on the TUF finale show and won.
So why not make more money off him?
At UFC 113 recently held in Montreal, Quebec Canada, Kimbo lost badly running his unofficial UFC/TUF career to 1-2. Dana White made his money, proved his point and sent Mr. Slice packing.
The human being, Kevin Ferguson, was lost in the shuffle.
I chose the explosive word lynching because exploiting a big, scary Black man has always drawn a crowd. Once upon a time, it was hate filled and racially motivated now it is purely financial.