UFC heavyweight contender Frank Mir thinks Kimbo Slice is bad for mixed martial arts, but the basic reason I don't agree with that is that despite Kimbo's street fighting background, he's working hard at becoming a legitimate, well-rounded MMA fighter.
"I've worked on punches, takedowns, takedown defense, chokes, armbars, you name it," Kimbo said yesterday at an open workout to promote his October 4 fight with Ken Shamrock. "Anything that Shamrock tries on me, I am prepared for."
Although Kimbo talks about his street-fighting roots while he promotes his fights, he's also taking seriously the training he's getting from his coaches, Bas Rutten and Randy Khatami.
"Bas has done everything he can to help me. Bas and Randy (Khatami) have made me a complete and well rounded fighter," Kimbo said. "My camp has pushed me harder than ever before. I have the endurance and I am prepared to go the distance. I doubt this fight will go the distance, but if it does, I'm ready. ... I'm like a sponge. I pick up something from everyone I work with. If something doesn't work in the cage I will switch it up to something that does. I'll do whatever it takes to win."
Is Kimbo ever going to be as good as Mir? No. But is he improving as a fighter and showing dedication to his sport? I think he is. And I don't think he's bad for the sport.
After the jump, see more quotes from Kimbo, and from Gina Carano, as distributed by EliteXC.
"Once again, I'm fighting back in the crib. It feels like the backyard except, in EliteXC, we have a cage. "
"I'm looking forward to beating Ken (Shamrock) and kicking his butt."
"I'll kick his butt and let you guys take names. I'm hoping to see the best of Ken because he'll see the best of Kimbo."
"Nothing is going to stop me once that fight starts. I'll fight with a broken arm if the referee doesn't stop the fight. I will be unstoppable on Oct. 4."
"I've envisioned anything that can happen in the cage. I'm ready for anything that can possibly go down."
"I question Ken's ground game. He's going to try and find a way to make me uneasy, but that's not going to happen. I'm never uptight. "
"Everyday I train it's a serious problem for all the heavyweight fighters out there. Everyday I get better and they should all be scared. "
"LaDainian Tomlinson was a good guy to work out with. That was a lot of fun. "
"EliteXC and CBS are a good thing for the sport. This is making the sport bigger and better. If it wasn't this big, think about what you and I would be doing. "
"Against (James) Thompson I learned that no matter what happens, nothing will hurt me. It's mind over matter. Mentally, I knew I was alright. It may have looked like I was in trouble, but I was fine. It's mind over matter."
"Nothing really scares me, except for myself. At times, I find myself unpredictable. It's a mental struggle. A mental fight. "
"I love training with Bas and Randy. I know how to control my entire game right now."