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Kimbo Slice and Ray Edwards Could Fight

Back in February we told you that Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards was planning to box if there was a lockout. Well the lockout happened and Edwards has signed a two-fight contract to box, and he’s set to make his debut Friday night against T.J. Gibson.

If Edwards gets past Gibson and plans to continue fighting, he may have a blockbuster matchup in the waiting. Steve Cofield at Cagewriter passed along comments made by Jared Shaw on MMAWeekly Radio. Shaw, who is Kimbo Slice’s promoter, issued a challenge to Edwards.

“I’ve called Mike Riley to get in touch with Ray Edwards’ people and I’ve made an open challenge to come fight Kimbo Slice. That fight I will deliver,” Shaw said on the show.

“If Ray Edwards wants to step up and fight Kimbo Slice I will deliver that to the public. There’s two guys that come from athletic backgrounds, that haven’t been in the ring that many times, so let’s see two big boys bang it out. If Ray Edwards thinks he’s a great boxer, then maybe he thinks he can go through Kevin Ferguson very quickly.”

Kimbo Slice may have dropped off the ninth side of the octagon, but there is one thing he still possesses: a major name. Slice is popular, he’s a draw, and if you put him in the ring with an NFL player, you’re guaranteed to get some attention. I don’t know if Edwards’ people are interested, but that’s a fight that could easily benefit him. If he takes care of Gibson, Edwards should seriously consider fighting Kimbo next.

Glove touch to Marcas G for the story

Tito Ortiz Helps Post $500,000 Bond of Murder for Hire Suspect Keith Harriman

Keith Harriman was arrested on suspicion of hiring someone to kill his son, but he’s out on house arrest after UFC fighter Tito Ortiz helped pay his $500,000 bond, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports via Steve Cofield at Cagewriter. Harriman is charged with 12 felony counts in a plan to allegedly pay someone to kill his 27-year-old son. Why did he want his Dominick Harriman dead? Because Dominick apparently ratted him out for an insurance fraud scam and also had sex with his father’s ex-wife and ex-girlfriend.

Harriman claimed he couldn’t afford private legal representation, so the judge asked where he got the money to be bailed out. Harriman said that Tito Ortiz put up the bulk of the money. Ortiz has a relationship with Keith’s brother, Wayne, who is a Las Vegas used car salesman. Ortiz credits Wayne Harriman for helping to bridge a rift with UFC president Dana White that led to a multi-fight deal.

Though Ortiz doesn’t appear to have any connection to the crime, it’s probably not the best idea to associate with someone being accused of hiring someone to kill his own son. Not only is it a questionable move ethically, it doesn’t exactly enhance your appeal as a public figure. Then again, if Ortiz were concerned with public image, he probably wouldn’t have ever began dating Jenna Jameson.

Big Foot Silva Rips ‘Kiss Ass’ Josh Barnett, Questions Brock Lesnar

When you’re 6’4″, 264 pounds, and you just beat the living pierogies out of Fedor Emelianenko, I guess you’re going to feel somewhat empowered to say whatever’s on your mind. I really wouldn’t know — I’m 5’10”, 165 pounds, and I spend my time trying to avoid pissing larger people off. But when you’re that big and tough like Antonio Big Foot Silva (or own billions of dollars like Mark Cuban), you can pretty much say whatever the heck you want.

It was only two months ago that Big Foot was ripping on Brock Lesnar, saying he wanted to send him back to pro wrestling. Well Silva’s taken another shot at Lesnar, but this time he saved his best for fellow Strikeforce Grand Prix contender Josh Barnett.

Speaking in an interview with Sherdog, Silva said “I’ve been fighting since 2004 and have never had any issues with another athlete, even the most stuck-up. Friendship, for me, is everything, but Josh is a weird guy, a guy who doesn’t greet you when you enter the elevator, doesn’t even say ‘good morning.’ It’s how he treats Brazilian fighters especially. It’s the same thing [he does with Fabricio] Werdum.

“But when [Barnett] sees Fedor, [UFC President] Dana White or [UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo] Fertitta, he runs to them and stays by their side all the time. He makes me sick. He’s the classic kiss-ass, a rude man …” added Silva. “I really want to face Barnett and I’ve already said I consider him a filthy person, even though he is a great fighter, and that I’ll beat him up and close both of his eyes.”

So Silva basically called Barnett a phony kiss up who is disrespectful towards Brazilian fighters. I haven’t been around the man so obviously I can’t judge, but I’ve never been a fan of Barnett. But wait, there’s more … Silva got in a nice jab on Brock Lesnar.

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Junior dos Santos Predicts Knockout of Shane Carwin at UFC 131

On Thursday the UFC announced in a conference call that Brock Lesnar was pulling out of his scheduled fight with Junior dos Santos because of his ongoing bout with diverticulitis. They also announced that Shane Carwin, who lost to Lesnar in July, would be the replacement fighter.

Before Carwin was named as the replacement, dos Santos had called out Lesnar by suggesting he did steroids and saying he has a weak chin. His confidence and comments haven’t stopped now that he has a new opponent.

According to Sherdog, dos Santos has already predicted victory. “It’s gonna be a great fight with tough blows from both sides,” dos Santos said. “I would say that it will end by knockout.”

Dos Santos did call Carwin an excellent fighter, but of course he still thinks he’ll win as any fighter should. Carwin was supposed to fight Roy Nelson on New Year’s but had to pull out because of neck pain that later required surgery. He hasn’t fought since losing to Lesnar in July, and he was in the news in August for being named in a steroids bust.

Carwin gave Lesnar all he could handle in their fight last summer and should be a challenge for dos Santos. Though it won’t generate the buzz and pay-per-view buys without Lesnar participating, this is a fairly even matchup that should be quite exciting. As of now I’ll go with Junior dos Santos to win it.

GSP Resumes Training with Eye Healed

In December, Georges St. Pierre beat Josh Koscheck by unanimous decision, peppering his eye constantly to the point it swelled up and shut (here are pictures). Six months later, the exact opposite happened to GSP; his eye was poked/punched by Jake Shields, impairing his vision during the fight.

St. Pierre was suspended 60 days pending medical clearance from an opthamologist. It looks like GSP has received some sort of clearance, because he tweeted late Friday that “My eye is back 100%!!! Can’t wait to start back training tomorrow!”

Now that GSP is back training, the question once again becomes whom will he fight next? Many fans who once were clamoring for a GSP-Anderson Silva dream matchup have now changed their tune. They’ve been unimpressed by St. Pierre’s inability to finish fights recently and don’t think he would be able to hang with Silva. Instead, they’re now pushing for a match with Nick Diaz who has run through the Strikeforce welterweight division winning his last 10 fights.

I still would like to see GSP-Silva while both fighters are still arguably at their peak. Silva is 36 and may only have a few prime years left, so why waste time by having each fighter face someone else? If Silva can beat Yushin Okami in August, then the superfight between the two pound-for-pound studs is what I want to see.

Brock Lesnar has Diverticulitis, Shane Carwin Will Face Junior dos Santos

Brock Lesnar is battling diverticulitis again and has been forced to pull out of his scheduled June 11th fight against Junior dos Santos, the UFC announced Thursday. Shane Carwin will step in and replace Lesnar by taking on dos Santos.

On a conference call with the media, Lesnar said the diverticulitis is not as serious as last time when he was afflicted by a “mystery condition” and had to pull out of his November 2009 fight. But it impacted his training. The diverticulitis will not end Lesnar’s career, but he is seeking treatment for the intestinal condition. Lesnar said he was at Mayo Clinic for 14 hours on Wednesday and said his immune system has been run down.

Lesnar said he’s been dealing with symptoms the past three months and that the condition prevented him from properly preparing for a title fight. It was only a year and a half ago that Lesnar had to pull out of his UFC 106 fight against Shane Carwin. After undergoing surgery, Lesnar was able to return to the Octagon and face Carwin at UFC 113 in July, 2010.

The good news is that Brock should be able to recover from the condition and continue fighting. Also, the replacement fight is enticing as well — Shane Carwin vs. Junior dos Santos should be a fun battle. Dos Santos probably doesn’t have the same negative feeling towards Carwin as he did Lesnar, but these are two of the top heavyweights in the UFC.

UFC To Pay Fighters to Use Twitter

Generally speaking, Twitter is nothing but trouble in the world of professional sports.  While there are plenty of players who have used Twitter as a tool to interact with fans and make themselves more accessible, there a ton of others who have abused the social networking tool and used it to lighten their wallets.  We have seen players fined for tweeting during halftime and others ruin the public’s perception of them by tweeting about extremely sensitive subjects.  Athletes like Chad Ochocinco have used their Twitter account to create a complete sideshow.

UFC president Dana White views Twitter quite differently from big wigs like David Stern and Roger Goodell.  White, who is an active Twitter user, recently announced that he will be paying fighters for using Twitter.  According to MMAFighting.com, beginning June 1 UFC and Strikeforce fighters will be awarded bonuses based on how many followers they have and whether or not they tweet creatively.  At the end of each quarter, three bonuses of $5,000 will be given to the fighters with the most new followers, highest percentage of new followers, and most creative tweets (judged by White).

When all the bonuses are paid out, the UFC will end up shelling out $240,000 for Twitter incentives.  With the way the beast has grown, I’m fairly confident that’s a number they can handle.  If you think paying athletes to use Twitter is asking for trouble, remember that you’re questioning the idea of a man who took the UFC from nothing into a fighting league that has arguably surpassed boxing in popularity.  If Dana White says it’s a good idea, it’s probably a good idea.