Michael David Smith of AOL FanHouse gets the first crack at him and most notably (and he's probably on to something), Shaw thinks Slice is likely being handsomely compensated:
Michael David Smith: What's your reaction to Kimbo going on The Ultimate Fighter?
Gary Shaw: It shocked me when I heard, especially after Dana dissing him for two years and saying the nastiest things about him. So it surprised me, knowing who Kimbo is, that he would succumb to working with Dana. It shows that whatever comes out of Dana's mouth is not always the truth.
Are you disappointed on a personal level? You put a lot into promoting and marketing Kimbo.
Sure. I just don't think it's a big enough platform for him. I think it's a step back. I think he's bigger than that.
Are you angry with him?
No. No. Not at all. Not at all. Whatever Kimbo wants to do, I'm happy for him. I don't know what they paid Kimbo -- maybe they paid him a boatload of money -- and in that case he's doing the right thing. Kimbo is one of those people that comes along every once in ages who has what I call the "it factor" as a promoter. I have a lot of fighters who come to me and are great talents but don't have the it factor. And then you have someone who comes along and has the it factor. Manny Pacquiao has the it factor. He's a star. He reeks of stardom. People gravitate to him. Kimbo is that way. When he walks into a room, he lights up the room. People yell "Kimbo! Kimbo!" It doesn't have anything to do with how he did in his last fight. It has to do with the it factor. When Tyson walks into an arena, everyone stands up. He's Mike Tyson, of course, but he's got that it factor. When you're at a basketball game and they show Jack Nicholson on the big screen, the place erupts. He has that it factor. And then they might show someone else who's also a great actor, but he'll just get a little hand. It's that special it factor that people have, even if they're not the greatest athletes in their sport.
So if Kimbo has that it factor, wasn't it smart of Dana White to sign him for The Ultimate Fighter?
For sure. I give Dana credit. I'm not anti-Dana or anti-UFC or anti-MMA. I give him credit. He did the right thing. I would have done it a little differently: I would have said, early on, "Kimbo is an asset and I'd love to have Kimbo." I don't see that as a sign of weakness. I would say that in boxing, if you ask me what I think of Manny Pacquaio, I'd say, "I hope some day he'll fight for me."
Are you disappointed that Kimbo won't be boxing?
Yes. Because I really believe that I could make him the heavyweight champ.
White and Shaw likely share similar views regarding the level and fervor of Slice's popularity, but differ in their willingness to make him justify it with legitimate athletic accomplishment. And that's a critical, critical difference.