EliteXC Preview – Slice vs. Shamrock

Time for a quick break from football to look at grown men beating the heck out of each other. Tomorrow is the third edition of EliteXC’s network television run on CBS. It’s also the second time on CBS that we get to/have to watch Kimbo Slice fight. He has had three fights so far. In two of them he was ridiculously dominant, and in the third he was mostly dominant but it took him longer to get the win and he showed that he ddn’t have anything approaching stamina. This time around he is fighting one of the all-time legends of MMA – Ken Shamrock. Shamrock was the first heavyweight champion in the UFC, and he’s had some all-time great houses. Unfortunately, the 44 year old Shamrock has seen better days. He’s till one of the scarier men on the planet, but he has lost his last five fights, and seven of his last nine.

Slice is at -400 in this fight, and Shamrock is at +300. My first reaction in this case would be to look at the underdog. That’s a pretty sweet price, or at least it would be if Shamrock stood a chance. But does he?

Maybe, but probably not. There are three big things going against him. First, he obviously been beaten on too many times. He’s old and the body just isn’t holding up as well as it should. Second, he’s not as nimble as he used to be. Slice isn’t light on his feet, but if he catches a guy and can land a shot then it is over. I don’t have nearly as much faith in Shamrock’s ability to avoid that shot as I would have a few years ago. Next, Shamrock isn’t particularly heavy for a heavyweight – 205 pounds. Slice is about 40 pounds heavier, and he’s ridiculously strong, too. Shamrock is giving up a big advantage, and that’s a lot to overcome.

It’s not that Slice can’t be beat. He seems to have a few potential Achilles’ heels. His stamina isn’t good, so if Shamrock is fit and can stay out of trouble long enough to go deep in this one then he could be in a good place. Similarly, if Shamrock can use his smaller size to an advantage and make Slice chase him around then the big man might not hold up. Slice also hasn’t spent a lot of time on the ground. If he has to go down in this fight then he would be facing a guy with much, much more grappling experience. Slice appears to have been training hard, and he’s working on his technique, but it remains to be seen if that practice can overcome experience.

So how does it boil down? As I see it Shamrock should have retired long ago. Slice isn’t a great fighter, but Shamrock has lost to guys who aren’t as good and who don’t pack nearly the punch. I don’t think Shamrock can keep up here. That means that Slice is the pick. That being said, I don’t see a lot of value in him at the current price. At -300 or -250 I’d have to think about it, though.

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