At yesterday's UFC 84 conference call, UFC President Dana White offered his assessment of EliteXC's show on CBS and that event's headliner, Kimbo Slice. Notable quote :
UFC president Dana White, who was in negotiations earlier this year to air the UFC on CBS before EliteXC nabbed the coveted spot, has been unfavorable of the network's choice to use the 2-0 fighter.
"To have CBS, a big network like that, move forward with a guy like Kimbo Slice headlining it - there's no secret, that's what I tried to stay away from," said White during a teleconference on Thursday touting UFC 84 "Ill Will" on May 24. "Kimbo Slice isn't a mixed martial artist. This guy was fighting in your backyard three months ago, and now he's going to be headlining on CBS. Personally, I think it sucks."
God, what a classless statement. Criticisms of Slice are valid and worthy of consideration. He is a new and untested talent and it's important people understand that particularly given his main event status. But to disparage him by demeaning his hard work and complete life transformation is pathetic and terribly low class. The truth is that Kimbo has been working hard for more than a year at becoming a legitimate professional MMA fighter. More importantly, Kimbo has done everything asked of him by Bas Rutten, one of the most respected and adored figures in the sport. No, Kimbo is not a top-10 heavyweight and may never be. But by all accounts he is an incredibly hard worker, a loyal student and a trusted colleague.
White is free to compete with EliteXC in any manner he sees fit, but if he thinks he can execute this scorched earth policy without any repercussions, he's dreaming. Bank on it.