Sunday, June 01, 2008

Kimbo Slice wins by TKO in MMA network debut

NEWARK (AP) — Kimbo Slice had his hands full with James (The Colossus) Thompson, eventually winning by TKO over the big Briton as mixed martial arts made its Saturday night debut on CBS.

The fight was stopped 38 seconds into the third round with a dazed Thompson bleeding from the ear from some big punches to the head. Slice, a former street brawler from Miami whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, improved to 3-0 after the main event at the Prudential Center.

Thompson (16-9) had been expected to be another quick victim for Slice. But the Briton handed Slice a beating on the ground late in the second, trapping his arm with a knee and delivering elbows and punches from above.

As the fight progressed, Thompson did well when he got Slice down. But he was in constant danger when the fighters remained on their feet.

"A very tough opponent," an exhausted Slice said after the fight. "I didn't underestimate him, but I didn't know he was going to be that strong on the ground. I've got a lot to learn."

Slice had needed just 19 seconds to dispose of Bo Cantrell in his MMA debut and 43 seconds to stop Tank Abbott the next time out. The 6-5, 265-pound Thompson was a different story, but he still lost for the third straight time and seventh time in his last nine fights.

The Legend Of Kimbo Slice Takes 38 Consecutive Blows To The Head

I can't speak for the other MMA newbs out there, but I learned a few things during the EliteXC broadcast last night: apparently all MMA fights are stopped well before necessary. That and Kimbo Slice might not be living up to his outsize reputation. First, the announcer described internet sensation was saved by the bell at the end of the second round as he was trapped by James Thompson and taking a couple dozen consecutive shots to his baldie pate. Then, of course, Thompson's bolus-ear-thing went splooge all over the ring and that was that.

Kimbo Slice Fights Way Out of Losing

Kimbo Slice, James Thompson

By David A. Avila

Streetfighter Kimbo Slice survived to fight another day and mixed martial arts made its debut on free television like a teen-ager making a first appearance at a prom.

Elite XC put its best foot forward and scored a knockout with several competitive and explosive bouts on CBS and national television on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Slice, with his experience in hundreds of street fights including many caught on video, needed every ounce of knowledge to subdue Britain’s James “Colossus” Thompson (14-9), who entered as a question mark opponent, but left as a gallant warrior with a better than expected chin.

Thompson deserves full applause.

The Englishman came to fight and showed every weakness of Slice’s arsenal, especially avoiding the take down. The Miami strongboy just couldn’t find the antidote to Thompson’s takedowns and found himself on the ground several times.

If not for Slice’s trainer Bas Rutten, think of the possible outcome.

Instead, Slice was able to use his strength and the advice of his trainer to escape several near fatal strangleholds and mounts. After the second round, as Thompson pinned him against the cage, it was only a lack of time in the round that saved Slice to fight another day.

When Slice stood up to begin the third round, he looked like a beaten warrior in search of landing a knockout blow. It wasn’t that the Floridian couldn’t land his punch, it was Thompson’s chin that seemed able to absorb hellacious blows.

Within seconds of the third round Slice found the mark for his punches, including a right hand that busted open Thompson’s cauliflower ear. Blood immediately flowed and suddenly Slice had an obvious target.

He made good use of the ear.

Several more right hands, including a pinpoint right uppercut, snapped Thompson’s head up and down like a bobble head doll. The referee immediately stopped the fight though the rugged Brit never went down 36 seconds into the third round.

Slice collapsed to the floor.

“I’ve got a long way to go,” said Slice (3-0) after the fight.

Maybe so, but he never gave up. Even when Thompson was piling punch after punch on his noggin as he helplessly hung on.

He passed his first real test.