Friday, October 3, 2008


-- If you're like us, the addition of Andrei Arlovski to tomorrow's free CBS/Elite MMA card came as both a pleasant surprise, and a game changer. Honestly, we've been following these CBS things more so because they're free (if it's free it's for me) than for any other reason. A handful of good fighters and old favorites like Phil Baroni also sometimes make it interesting, but considering ourselves somewhat cultured in this MMA game (an irony if ever there was one --Lol), we've not had much excitement from these cards other than the pure and insanely beautiful spectacle of Gina Carrano kicking the garbage out of very real and nasty opponents. The usual reason for our disappointment is just how much CBS hangs it's MMA hat on a circus atmosphere and shot fighters. We will not write off Kimbo Slice altogether, as many fighters (including great ones) have eaten well from having nothing but athleticism and a lethal right hand. But Dana White has called this right from the start (and he's in a position to call Ferguson out on this). In so many words, White said "I'll take a look when he beats somebody". Thus far, wins over Tank Abbott and other journeymen have not been enough for White, nor are they for us. Kimbo has some miles to go before legitimacy. He can high-tail it down that road Saturday, only if he roughs up a "well-done" Ken Shamrock as badly as Tito Ortiz has. If not, then what are Kimbo's realistic chances of competing for a REAL belt? Not very good considering Ortiz' own shot at a title are fading fast.

-- So then Arlovski... now this is interesting, how CBS slipped this addition in under our noses. It's fantastic and weird all at the same time. It's fantastic because it is a glimmer of hope that we will one day see top-tier (dare we say 5 round championships) fights on free TV. It hasn't happened yet, and could be disastrously promoted. But if handled well, it is a fan's dream come true. Arlovski is the real deal. Even if the odds end up being 4-1 against Arlovski in the inevitable Fedor match up, Arlovski is in every one's top 6-7 heavyweights in the world, and in many lists top 3. So the strange thing about tomorrow is just how smart the addition is to the card, while at the same time the "under-promotion" of the Arlovski addition is just mind-boggling. The obvious answer is that CBS/Elite rightly figures that die-hards will hear about the fight and make their way to CBS tomorrow, and that it makes no sense to hype Arlovski as a main attraction thereby undermining the company's investment in Slice. All too obvious, especially given the fact that Arlovski remains "on loan" from Affliction, while Ferguson is still a CBS/Elite "asset". Oh who cares? Are we over-thinking this? Whoever tunes in tomorrow does so for their own reasons, and that's that. My reasons are Arlovski and Carrano. What's yours? --

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