As presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama whittle down their lists of potential VP candidates, Elite XC is also working on its shortlist this week.
Three names keep popping up as the next opponent for Kimbo Slice on Oct. 4: Brett Rogers, Ken Shamrock and ... wait for it ... Sean Gannon.
Rogers is the undefeated heavyweight prospect who called Slice's performance in May against James Thompson "embarrassing." The subsequent back-and-forth bickering between the two at the post-fight press conference seemed exactly the sort of thing CBS wants for its prime-time cards: an interesting storyline.
The feeling among Elite XC execs, however, is that it's better to hold off on a Rogers-Slice showdown for fear that its cash cow, Kimbo, would lose, and thereby extinguish his marketability and the organization's potential pay-per-view debut.
Shamrock would fit nicely -- he hasn't made it out of the opening round since 2005 -- but it appears Elite XC is having trouble getting the deal worked out.
And so, that leaves Gannon, a Boston police officer who defeated Slice in the most famous of the Miami street brawler's underground fight videos. If you'll recall, the UFC tried to capitalize on the YouTube-famed fight by signing Gannon in 2005, but Branden Lee Hinkle pounded him out in less than a round. Since then, Gannon has sat on the sidelines flirting with a big payday and a chance to rematch Slice on a larger stage.
CBS would be the largest.
At this point, unfortunately, signs are pointing to Gannon. The story works for CBS -- it's an easy sell and Kimbo shouldn't face much of a threat. It's perfect all around. That is, unless you think circus fights have no place in MMA, particularly in front of six million viewers.
If you ask me, I'd pit Rogers against Slice. It's not a terrible thing for the popular brawler to walk into a fight as an underdog. If he loses, well, he loses. We've seen Brock Lesnar bounce back from a loss.)The upside is Rogers would immediately become a known commodity as he'd remain undefeated. Plus, Elite XC would possess a credible challenger for its heavyweight champion, Antonio Silva.
Continuing to provide Slice with guys to beat up on won't help him or Elite XC in the long run. But regardless, Elite XC and Kimbo get one more pass. After this, no matter if it's Shamrock or Gannon, Slice has to fight someone real.