There was some speculation, before Saturday night's World Championship Fighting card at the Shriner's Auditorium in Wilmington, that we might see KIMBO SLICE and SEAN GANNON in the same room for the first time since Gannon, a Boston cop, knocked out Kimbo in an unsanctioned bare-knuckle brawl. It was not to be: Gannon, a frequent attendee at WCF events, reportedly had to work that night. And Slice was present only as a spectator -- he was in town on his way to do the Jimmy Fallon show, and deflected questions about his upcoming Ultimate Fighter 10 bout, to be televised tonight.
One suspects that Kimbo's tour of such venues is part of an attempt to get
hardcore MMA fans to take a second look at Kimbo, whose meteoric rise
from street fighter to ESPN Mag cover status/network-television headliner was widely
scoffed at by fighters and the fancy alike. If image-rehab's the plan, it appears to be
working. Should you see an awful lot of Kimbo Slice photos on Facebook this week, it's because every cameraphone in the room was pointed in his direction all evening. As a visiting dignitary, he somewhat overshadowed such ringside luminaries as the Celtics' BIG BABY DAVIS (who's recently taken up a mixed-martial-arts regimen at the same Allston gym that produced JOHN "DOOMSDAY" HOWARD), Extreme's GARY CHERONE, and a bevy of UFC heavies including Howard, legendary MMA trainer MARK DELLAGROTTE, MARCUS "THE IRISH HAND GRENADE" DAVIS, and Ultimate Fighter 4 veteran and Milford native JORGE "EL CONQUISTADOR" RIVERA, who maintains a gym in Framingham and was active in several corners throughout the evening.