Elite XC: "Heat" — the third installment of "Saturday Night Fights" on CBS — is set to go off live from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., this Saturday, October 4, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on national television.
To get us prepared for the event, we will showcase a daily feature for each main card fight leading up to the event. These features will include information on the fighters, predictions, as well as training notes from each fighter.
The main event of the card is a heavyweight battle between hometown favorite Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (3-0) and UFC hall of famer Ken "The World's Most Dangerous Man" Shamrock (26-13-2).
Here’s the breakdown:
Kimbo Slice -- Kimbo is a 34-year-old fighter from Miami, Florida. He made his name by knocking guys out in backyard bareknuckle street fights. His popularity skyrocketed when the fights were shown on the internet via YouTube.com.
Despite his rugged street brawler image, Slice is a very intelligent guy. After starring as a linebacker on his high school football team, he earned an academic scholarship to the University of Miami.
After a year and a half at the school he decided he was better fit using his intimidating presence to make a living, so he became a bodyguard for the world famous Reality Kings pornography company.
It was there he built the reputation as somebody not to be messed with. Soon he was part of the underground fight scene and the rest is history.
He made his mixed martial arts debut on June 23, 2007, at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 5 against former heavyweight boxing champion Ray Mercer. Slice surprised many by taking the fight to the ground and pulling off a first round guillotine choke submission.
On October 11 his deal with Pro Elite was announced and this Saturday will be his fourth fight under its Elite XC banner.
Ken Shamrock -- Shamrock is a 44-year-old fighter from Susanville, California. He is known as a dominant competitor in the UFC heavyweight division in its early days and is now a hall of famer for the organization.
He was also the first king of Pancrase after defeating Manabu Yamada in the 1994 tournament.
During the late nineties he signed on and competed for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as "The World's Most Dangerous Man." He had many memorable matches there, including a victory over "The Rock" in the 1998 King of the Ring final.
After his stint with the WWF, he returned to mixed martial arts under the Pride FC banner where he went (1-2) before returning to the UFC at UFC 40 where he lost to Tito Ortiz.
He was brought on as a coach of season three of "The Ultimate Fighter" alongside Ortiz. Many view Shamrock as being the worst coach in any of the seven seasons of the program because of his lack of dedication toward his team and the show.
He fought Tito at the Finale and lost for the second time. He later went on to lose for a third time to "The Huntington Beach Badboy" and decided it was time to hang up the gloves.
The retirement did not last, however, and Shamrock was back in the cage less than two years later competing at Cage Rage 25 against Robert Berry. He appeared to have the fire back leading up to the bout, but Berry banged him up pretty good, handing him his eighth loss in 10 fights.
This Saturday will be his first fight since the first round knockout loss to "Buzz" Berry six months ago.
Kimbo Slice -- He gets his training from MMA legend Bas Rutten and Randy Khatami -- not a bad duo to learn the ropes from. Under their tutelage he's hoping to shed the street brawler image and become more of a well rounded mixed martial artist.
Here's his thoughts on his team and his training:
"I work all the time on being an all-around fighter. I am very competitive by nature so I train very hard and have the best coaches (Bas Rutten and Randy Khatami). My camp has pushed me harder than ever before. I have the endurance and I am prepared to go the distance. 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. I’ve worked on punches, takedowns, takedown defense, chokes, armbars, you name it. Anything that Shamrock tries on me, I am prepared for."
He also added this:
"Bas has done everything he can to help me. Bas and Randy have made me a complete and well rounded fighter. 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."
He feels good about fighting this Saturday in front of his hometown fans too. Here's a snip:
"Ken’s fighting in Florida, which is no place for an old man. I’m mentally prepared and ready to do it and represent the crib. It’s going to be ‘305’ all day."
Ken Shamrock -- Shamrock has been training out of the Lion's Den for this fight -- a camp he founded in the early nineties to help himself and others progress in MMA.
He's been training with some of his old training partners like Vernon White, Guy Mezger, his conditioning coach Dan Freeman and his boxing coach Roman Pollock in hopes of turning around his recent struggles in the cage.
Here's a snip:
"Experience is no. 1. He’s a big strong fighter. He has all the abilities to hurt you. Very dangerous. I’m gonna go in there and do what I do - Beat you up. I’m gonna go back to the old Ken Shamrock."
Shamrock holds two previous victories over Kimbo's head trainer, Bas Rutten, both by leg lock submissions. He's not keeping it a secret that he wants to finish the pupil in the same fasion:
"Kimbo has gained a lot of notoriety, but, in my opinion, he doesn’t deserve it. Snap, crackle pop. I am going to walk across the ring, hit him on his ugly beard and break his leg."
A fully clothed Shamrock tipped the scales at 206.5 pounds for this heavyweight fight. That's dangerously close to being under the limit. He's giving up nearly 30 pounds to Slice.
It's been obvious since this fight was announced that Shamrock's best chance at winning would be by taking it to the ground and working for a submission, but that game plan is going to be a lot more difficult to execute with the huge size and strength disadvantage.
We commend Shamrock for sticking up for himself at the weigh-ins and stepping into the cage with the bearded brawler on Saturday night, but his chances to win this aren't looking too good.
He still has the edge in experience and grappling, but if "Buzz" Berry and Tito Ortiz can manhandle him like they did, it's not a stretch to expect similar results from a younger, hungrier Kimbo Slice.
This fight was put together with name value and television ratings in mind, not competition. Shamrock will be sleeping by the end of the first round.
Enjoy your bread, Kimbo, it's how a fighter eat.
Kimbo Slice via knockout in round one
Remember, MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of all the action tonight, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. It's going to be a great night of fights. Click here.