Who will win the debate over the fight between "Kimbo" and "Tank" come Saturday night?
Mike Sloan: Good win last time, Steven. Enjoy the sweet savory aroma of victory. You'll never experience that again as long as you debate against me.
With that said, if someone would have told me that in 2008, I'd be penning an article in which I debate a much-ballyhooed showdown between vintage UFC retread David "Tank" Abbott and some former street fighter with only two professional MMA fights under his belt, I'd claim there to be some tomfoolery going on. Also, if that same person said this fight would be a headliner on Showtime and many, many people who love the sport would be clamoring to watch it, I'd have to check both of my legs to see which one was being pulled.
Fitting that as I write a winning debate featuring Tank Abbott, I am sipping on an icy cold Blue Moon. Because let's be straight here: The inebriated original Huntington Beach Bad Boy will usurp Kimbo's rise to mega stardom via first-round knockout.
Yes, that's right. Call me a buffoon who has been sitting too close to the exhaust pipes on my pop's old T-Bucket, but Kimbo is not all that and a bag of chips. He's got some skills and he punches hard, but I can't imagine that he has ever fought any man with the punching prowess of Abbott.
Kimbo will charge out at center cage to engage with Abbott, and he'll land a few good shots here and there. But Abbott will survive the onslaught and deliver an atomic bomb onto the jaw of Kimbo and send the Floridian to the canvas, out cold.
There's only room for one real street fighter in this sport, and his name is Tank -- the original hard ass who spat on traditional martial arts, conditioning, ground defense, technique, weight control, cholesterol levels, authority and just about everything else highly skilled MMA fighters cherish.
Like your alleged winning streak, Kimbo will be sent to the woodshed.
Steven Curtis: Let me just say that I'm still enjoying the post-victory honeymoon courtesy of my man Frank Mir (Pictures). Thanks, Frankie Boy, for being in good enough shape to fight for a couple of minutes. Judging from Mir's breathless post-fight interview, he probably wouldn't have lasted much longer.
But I digress. Sloan, I don't care how many wins you've strung together, the momentum is on my side now. You're going down again, and this is going to be easy.
You know I'm a huge Tank fan, but the guy is finished. It's been a long time since he sorta trained and fought guys like Oleg Taktarov. And while Tank could skate by in his 20s with no preparation, he can't anymore. He's 1-7 in his last eight fights, which date back almost 10 years. Over that same span, he's had about 40 minutes of ring time.
Abbott may be the undisputed champion at your local Shell station or 7-Eleven, but as far as MMA is concerned, he's about as successful as Knockdown Brown.
I suppose he could catch Kimbo with a bomb, but that's about as likely as Roger Clemens re-hiring Brian McNamee. Tank is facing a guy who is more determined, more conditioned, more athletic and just as good a puncher. Kimbo also has a height, weight and strength advantage.
My sense is that Kimbo finishes him very quickly, but even if he has to endure the Tank onslaught, which would probably last oh, about 30-90 seconds before he's gassed, Kimbo is more than capable of weathering the storm. He's going to knock out Tank in the first, and we're going to have a new King of the Streets.
If only this fight had happened 10 years ago.
The rest of the card:
Antonio Silva vs. Ricco Rodriguez (Pictures)
Sloan: Ricco is one of those fighters who let his talents get swept away by the undertow. He still has the tools to make a comeback, but he won't begin his road back toward the top against Silva. Antonio will score a tedious decision win in a lousy fight.
Curtis: Mike, I'm with you 100 percent. Running on the treadmill with Dr. Drew is no match for a 9-1 fighter who has been training year-round with American Top Team. Silva by decision.
Yves Edwards (Pictures) vs. Edson Berto
Sloan: Yves is as focused as he's been in a very long time. Berto has potential, but he's still green whereas Yves is the real deal and has fought the best of the best on the biggest stages. Yves will knock Berto out in the second.
Curtis: I agree that Yves has been very impressive lately -- that was a tremendous performance against Martinez. But you're giving him too much credit by calling for a KO or even a victory. Edson is going to put a stop to Yves' two-fight win streak via decision.
Scott Smith vs. Kyle Noke (Pictures)
Sloan: Both fighters were winners in their last fights, so that means somebody's winning streak will come to end. My bet is that since Smith has taken on tougher competition and that Noke seems to have lost the ability to finish fights, Smith will prevail. And he'll do it with that crazy stare he has.
Curtis: The ability to go the distance is precisely why Noke is going to prevail. He's never been knocked out and he's faced some guys with some strong punching power. While Smith is a talented fighter, he leans heavily on his standup to win. That won't be enough to beat Noke, who will win by decision and buy the first round of Fosters at the after-party.
James Thompson (Pictures) vs. Brett Rogers (Pictures)
Sloan: Talk about inconsistent! Thompson tends to pull out miraculous upsets on some nights but then loses to virtual unknowns the next. Since Rogers is still unknown, that means Thompson will lose. Rogers by late first-round stoppage -- this cat is promising.
Curtis: It's tough to make a case for a guy who got knocked out by Butterbean. This is a toss up in my mind, but the entertainment potential is definitely there. Both guys will be swinging for the fences, and it's going to end in the first round. I'm betting the real James Thompson (Pictures) shows up Saturday and wins by KO.
GSD Career Totals:
Gross (ret): 0-1
De Santis: 0-3