Bellator made headlines recently by signing Kimbo Slice, and according to the promotion’s president Scott Coker, a long list of willing opponents is already forming.
News of the imminent signing surfaced late in the week, and at last night’s Bellator 132 card, the organization officially announced Slice’s deal. While speaking to the press after the card, Coker relayed that Slice isn’t expected to make his Bellator debut prior to summer. In addition, the Bellator boss stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“Honestly, I probably had about 200 people call me last night saying, ‘I’m ready to fight Kimbo Slice, put me with Kimbo Slice,'” Coker said half jokingly.
Of course the signing won’t draw praise from many purists, as the 40 year-old Slice hasn’t fought in MMA since 2010, when he was taken out by Matt Mitrione. After the loss, and Slice’s UFC departure, he elected to enter pro-boxing where he went 7-0.
At the end of the day, however, Bellator needs to bring in big ratings for SPIKE, and Coker clearly understands that Slice may be able to do that. While discussing the promotion’s decision to sign the former, bare knuckle boxer, Coker said:
“We said all along that we were going to do fights at the world-class level like we just saw tonight,” Coker said. “The main event [between Patricio Freire andDaniel Straus] was awesome. It was amazing. But we’re gonna do some fun fights. We just thought that fit really nicely in our future plans.”
After all, the “fun fight” between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar last November, drew over 2 million viewers. In other words, evidently not everyone needs to have top ranked fighters throwing down, in order to tune in.
Bellator 132 took place in Temecula, California, and in the main event, Freire defended his featherweight title with a fourth round, submission win over Straus.