Just got off the interminable conference call with EliteXC boss man Jeremy Lappan, Kimbo Slice, Ken Shamrock and Bas Rutten. Here's the audio.
Lappan claims that CBS executives have promised him that major promotions for the October 4th EliteXC event will begin any day now. I hope he got that in writing. He also says that there is a fourth event on their CBS contract but no date has been set.
Most of the call revolved around Kimbo and Ken with Bas Rutten fielding most of the serious questions.
This was my first conference call as MMA media and I have to say the questions from the legacy media reporters were god awful:
Q: "Kimbo, if you weren't a fighter, what would you be doing?"
A: "I'd probably be a hairdresser."
There were about 20 more in that vein. I won't bother with any more.
Here's some highlights:
Ken Shamrock: "I have no respect for Kimbo at all, he's an idiot."
Ken Shamrock (responding to the next question): "You have to respect Kimbo for coming from where he's come from. Don't hate the haters....Kimbo, more power to him."
When another reporter followed up on this with a gotcha question, Shamrock said: Ken "This is a fight interview, man, I'm pissed off, so don't pick apart my answers."
Asked how he prepared for Kimbo, Ken Shamrock says he went to the streets near his gym and grabbed four guys over 280lbs hanging out in an alley and brought them back to the gym.
Kimbo Slice: "I have not turned down one name. My promoters they line up guys and I knock them down."
Bas Rutten says "Kimbo won't turn down anybody. But its us as his management who select his opponents."
Q: Ken -- what do you have left to prove? Ken: "I just like to fight. Kimbo is coming from where I come from and I want to take back what's mine."
Kimbo "That's what Tank said."
[UPDATE] by Nick Thomas:
KIMBO & BAS RUTTEN, ELITEXC PRESS CONF (9/12)
HT: ESPN Radio 1100
Q: Ken, why do MMA veterans like yourself disrespect Kimbo? Ken: "You have no idea what respect is. You need to ask another question."
Kimbo reminds Ken the most of Tank Abbott.
Kimbo "I stopped eating snickers." to improve conditioning.
Kimbo loves fighting in Florida. "I get a little advantage fighting in the crib."
Kimbo's message to anyone in the 305 area code -- "Come out and support your boy, I'm fighting the world's most dangerous man, that's a lot for a little boy like me. Ken can fuck someone up. He can break a leg."
Ken claims he'll come in at 280lbs. his strategy: "Hit straight right hand, left hook, knee to the chin."
Q: Bas , in retrospect, is it a good thing that Kimbo was taken to the ground by James Thompson -- "I wanted to see him fight somebody who would take him the distance. In round 1, Kimbo used a good escape from a scarf choke, a move I've had fighters train for years and years and not pull off. He can fight through. Even when he's tired he can come through. Does he got big balls, he's got big balls." Kimbo: "medium balls."
Why did you select Ken for Kimbo? Bas: "A lot of people backed down, then Ken came up. I thought that's a great idea."
Kimbo didn't watch Ken Shamrock's fights against Bas although he's seen lots of Ken's fights.
Ken won't retire after a victory. "I'm going to keep fighting as long as I am able to."
Kimbo "I don't underestimate anyone in the ring. If a guy steps in the ring he's still capable of his capabilities."
Does Kimbo have the potential to be a top 10 heavyweights and if so how long?
Bas: "Never look past your opponent. If he beats Ken, I'd want him to have a few more fights.
Q: Bas, do you see a comparison between this one and the Couture/Lesnar fight? and how would Kimbo do against Lesnar? Bas: "Kimbo will do good against anybody. I see Kimbo having way more tools than Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is good at taking people down, Kimbo has won by submission. I think you'll see more variety in types of wins from Kimbo. But I think Lesnar is going to be ground and pound but I think Kimbo is more of a mixed martial artist."
Ken "I never used the name "World's Most Dangerous Man", that's just something people called me. I'm very very disgusted with my last couple of performances."
Ken "Bas knows me inside and out, he knows everything I do. If anyone can get his fighter ready to face me, its Bas, but I have a few surprises for Bas and Kimbo."