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5 Oz. of Pain on Crossover Cash Cows Could be Wave of the Future

kimbo-vs-tank-031.jpg Of course, you should be reading my weekly MMA columns on a regular basis, but in the event that you haven’t been keeping up with them, this week’s edition is a must read.

In this week’s article I convey my belief that the initial success of crossover stars Brock Lesnar and Kimbo Slice could inspire additional athletes to make their MMA debuts. I present six candidates that have had their names linked to MMA in the past and analyze whether a crossover is realistic for them or not.

I decided to reach out for some expert analysis for the piece and former NFL defensive end and professional wrestler Bill Goldberg, EliteXC play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo, columnist Gregg Doyel, host Ariel Helwani, and 15 and writer Gary Herman are all quoted in the article.

CLICK HERE to check out the article.

The article will no doubt spark debate, so feel free to leave your comments here.

  • cwc says:

    ANYTHING to get Goldberg off a microphone is cool with me.

  • mike wolfe says:

    I question the long term value of cross overs for specific organizations. Lesnar’s fight with Mir illustrates how the actual event fails to live up to the hype. Anybody who watched the event without prior exposure to MMA probably went away disappointed–not the epic blood bath they were expecting. Serious MMA fans were vindicated in the sense that a true MMA fighter exposed what they perceived as an over-hyped poseur, but it wasn’t exciting for them, either. If UFC or any other org. pursues one big cross over star after another, it will change their brand in the minds of the public. Hardcore MMA fans will drift away, feeling that the org. has become some kind of carnival freak show. Casual fans will drift away, too, once the novelty wears off, and it will. The general public is fickle, and fads come and go. Long term, the best bet is to feature legit MMA fighters who become famous and respected for their fighting abilities, attracting fans who understand or grow to understand their talents. Chuck Liddell and Rampage are two excellent examples of MMA fighters with celebrity appeal outside MMA. And if Couture hadn’t derailed his career, at least temporarily, he could have been on his way to fame beyond MMA, too.

  • bjjdenver says:

    Tyson–Umm…no. The draw is unquestionable, but he gets verrrry frustrated when he is outboxed. What do you think will happen when he gets taken down and can’t defend himself. Talk about a post fight melee, lol.

    Lashley-OK, go ahead. Here’s the problem though, I believe in college he wrestled at 185 lbs., so in the past few years he has put on about 100 lbs. Man he must be way to out of shape for mma…what? He is ripped?? How could that possibly be? At least Lesner was about the same size in college.

    Angle–Can he pass the medicals? I’m afraid the day may have come and gone for him.

    Goldberg–I don’t care much for his commentary, but the fighters seem to have fun with him in the interviews, and that does add something to the show. I just think at 41 and having several successes in his life, he has no interest in fighting for real.

    Pavlik-Check back in 10 years. Sorry, but no top boxer is going to go to mma anytime soon. Less money by far and a high risk of an injury that could hurt their boxing career. If you want a recognizable fan favorite, big-time boxer, go get Arturo Gatti.

    As for the concept of cross-over fighters, sure, go for it. But I think having a majority come from pro wrestling is bad. Like it or not, MMA is searching for legitimate public acceptance, and the USA view of pro wrestling is very bad. If you want speculation of peds and fixed fights, bring ’em all.

    The thing to me is, mma is a new sport and the collegiate wrestlers that were stuck with a future in WWE, are now training alongside Couture, Lindland and Hendo. Making freakshow matches will bring a new bunch of fans, and it may help some smaller/newer promotions, but that is about it. Sure Lesner is a big draw, but after the fans see it a few times, they will grow tired of it and look for the next trainwreck (nit that Lesner is a TW, but just the spectacle).

    To me, the worst thing about Japanese MMA, was the ridiculous matchups they put on. I know that society is really into crazy stuff, but how well will it translate in the USA? Sorry, but in the long run, I think crazy matches will bring in a few new fans that stick with mma, but it also will isolate a few true MMA fans.

    I guess what I’m saying is the occasional pro wrestler, ex-NFL player, etc…, can be interesting. I just don’t want to see it on every card.

  • Punishark says:

    Goldberg + “expert analysis” = oxymoron

  • Grape Knee High says:

    “Brock Lesnar and Kimbo Slice. They are without question the two most experienced main-event fighters in mixed martial arts today.”

    Um. Maybe you meant “inexperienced”?

  • Adam Morgan says:

    I don’t think he meant MMA experience, I think he meant that they have experience headlining big time shows.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Nope, I meant inexperienced. It somehow slipped by me while editing. I sent in a note to have it corrected.

  • Terrence says:

    Good article. Which do you think puts up bigger numbers: Kimbo vs. Lesnar, or Randy vs. Fedor? (Assume the same promoter is doing both hypothetical shows, whomever that might be.)


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