Following his loss to Matt Mitrione at UFC 113, Kimbo Slice was fired from UFC.  The decision by Dana White and UFC not to keep Kimbo Slice as part of their list of fighters is short-sighted.

Dana White initially said that the only way Kimbo Slice would fight in UFC is if Kimbo came through their reality program – The Ultimate Fighter.  Last season, with Rashad Evans and Quinton Rampage Jackson as coaches, Kimbo Slice joined the list of Heavyweights looking for a contract with UFC.  Kimbo Slice didn’t win the show’s tournament, but through his training efforts to become a more well-rounded fighter instead of just a backyard brawler, it appeared that Kimbo Slice had earned a bit of Dana White’s respect.

Since the show ended, Kimbo Slice has fought twice for UFC.  In his official debut with the company (since fights on The Ultimate Fighter don’t count as professional fights), Kimbo Slice defeated Houston Alexander by decision.  However in a fight two nights ago against fellow Ultimate Fighter housemate Matt Mitrione, Kimbo Slice suffered a second round defeat and has since been fired from UFC.

The decision to part ways with Kimbo Slice was extremely short sighted.  Was Kimbo Slice a great MMA competitor?  No, but he wouldn’t be the only one on the roster without a well-rounded attack.  Kimbo Slice was showing signs of improving, however, meaning that he could pose a decent challenge for some up-and-comers that UFC might want to test.

Perhaps the greatest asset Kimbo Slice holds is his polarizing nature due to a combination of his street fighter skills and high visibility.

People know who Kimbo Slice is.  My mom has heard of Kimbo Slice.  Do you think my mom knows who Frank Mir is?  How about Cheick Kongo?  Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic?  No chance, never heard of those guys.

UFC could’ve kept Kimbo Slice on the roster and given him fights against guys who they wanted to give some visibility to, essentially making the most out of Kimbo’s heat to help other members of their roster.

There is the potential that the financials just didn’t work for UFC.  Financial information for UFC 113 hasn’t been released yet, so there’s no way to know right now how much money Kimbo Slice was paid for the fight against Matt Mitrione, but we can use past records to guess.  At the finale for The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, Kimbo Slice was paid $25,000 for his win against Matt Mitrione.  That same night, Matt Mitrione was paid $16,000 for a victory over Marcus Jones.  Did Kimbo get paid more because he’s a higher visibility competitor than Mitrione?  Undoubtedly, but he wasn’t the highest paid winner on the card.  Matt Hamill got $46,000 ($23,000 win bonus) for defeating Jon Jones.  Frankie Edgar got $46,000 ($23,000 win bonus) by defeating Matt Veach.  Serious MMA fans might know Hamill and Edgar, but casual fans – the ones who Dana White and UFC are looking to bring on board for the MMA revolution – they’re watching because they’ve heard of Kimbo Slice.

UFC could’ve used Kimbo Slice in a similar role to how Tank Abbott was booked as a measuring stick in past years, but they chose not to.  Now, instead of the casual fans tuning into a UFC event to see what the deal is with Kimbo Slice, they’ll likely tune into Strikeforce, who already has former NFL running back Herschel Walker and former WWE champion Bobby Lashley to keep those casual fans tuning in.  Will a card with Walker, Lashley and/or Kimbo Slice contain as much quality mixed martial arts as a UFC card without them?  No, as neither of those three are as technically sound as UFC fighters, but it won’t matter.  Strikeforce will draw the viewers in and continue to build their company through the increased visibility of their other fighters and their bottomline.

UFC made the wrong move.  They could’ve kept Kimbo Slice on their roster and had him help grow their fanbase, but now he’ll be an asset to someone else – likely their top competitor.