In Part 1 of Fightline.com’s exclusive interview with EliteXC president Gary Shaw, Shaw expressed his feelings toward the UFC and it’s President, Dana White, in particular. Shaw also talked about his interest in signing Tito Ortiz and Andrei Arlovski as well as briefly touching on EliteXC’s exciting new deal with CBS.
Here, in part 2 of Fightline.com’s exclusive sitdown with Shaw on the eve of his companies historic event on CBS, we’ll discuss Shaw’s views on his megastar Kimbo Slice, his thoughts on a potential match up between UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields, and more.
Fightline.com: What was your first introduction to Kimbo Slice?
Gary Shaw: My son kept telling me that I gotta go to the internet; go to youtube and see this guy Kimbo. And I had to sign him.
Fightline.com: What are your thoughts on Kimbo, as a man.
Gary Shaw: Well Kimbo is a man; for sure. He’s a man on the streets and he’s a man in his family. He’s a person and he’s got an “on/off” switch. When it’s off and he’s with his family, he’s a great guy. When the switch is thrown…you want to get out of the way.
Fightline.com: A lot of hardcore fans seem split on Kimbo. Some feel that EliteXC is doing the right thing by bringing him along slowly and others feel that he has to prove that he deserves all the attention and adulation that he’s received by going out and defeating a top 10 heavyweight fighter. What are your thoughts?
Gary Shaw: The smart ones understand how you do it. The others are haters or they’re just haters against anyone but the UFC. It’s like anything else, you want to start writing? You should start off writing for your school newspaper; you don’t go out right away and try to win a Pulitzer Prize. You want to be an American Idol? Then go start singing behind a bar or whatever; you work your way up. People who understand this are intelligent people who really care.
Fightline.com: We’ve had certain professional fighters and industry insiders express what amounts to jealousy over the fame that Kimbo’s been able to achieve through just two MMA fights, none against serious contenders. What are your views on this?
Gary Shaw: Of course, it happens. Same thing with Gina Carano. There are women out there that are jealous of Gina, but they should love that these people are lifting barriers for them. They’re doing great things for them. You know, maybe CBS wouldn’t have been interested without a Gina and without a Kimbo. You just don’t know.
Fightline.com: I’m sure your aware of the back-and-forth between Kimbo and Chuck Liddell. What did you think of the comments that Liddell made about your fighter?
Gary Shaw: You know what, I try not to read to deep into anything anyone’s writing or reading. That’s basically it. I honestly try not to get to deep into analyzing this stuff. I have trouble psychoanalyzing myself. Here’s my philosophy on life; I don’t need a psychologist because I know I’m f*cked up. The people that need therapy are the ones who think they’re normal.
Fightline.com: Sounds like a pretty solid philosophy Gary.
Gary Shaw: You like it? You can use it.
Fightline.com: Thanks. Speaking of psychology and therapy, there’s been a lot of talk recently of a possible match up between Mike Tyson and your fighter, Kimbo Slice. Slice calls Tyson one of his hero’s and a guy he’d love to fight. Any chance this thing actually gets done?
Gary Shaw: Absolutely. If Mike wants to fight in a cage, I’ll put him in a cage and we’ll do a Tyson fight…if Mike really wants to fight. I’ve represented Mike before; he knows how to find me.
Fightline.com: What about a straight boxing match between the two?
Gary Shaw: Straight boxing match? Yes.
Gary Shaw: Yes. I’m a big time promoter. I would back Kimbo against anybody in the world, including the Klitschko’s. He would knock any of those guys out.
Fightline.com: Wow. Any of those fights would be very interesting and likely draw very well.
Gary Shaw: Yep. Absolutely.
Fightline.com: Switching back to MMA for a second, Kimbo has been quoted as saying that he would literally give his left nut to fight Sean Gannon again. Gannon was the only fighter to have ever beaten Kimbo in a street brawl, but the fight was very controversial. Any chance we see the two of them go at it again?
Gary Shaw: Absolutely. That fight is first and foremost on our minds. If we can get Gannon in the cage for the right amount of money and it makes economic sense then we will do it.
Fightline.com: Can we expect to see this fight by the end of the year?
Gary Shaw: I don’t know. I would hope so, yes. But I can’t tell you definitely. It all comes down to money like anything else.
Fightline.com: Other names we’ve heard for Kimbo down the line include Butterbean and Antonio Silva. Have you had discussion with them about facing Kimbo?
Gary Shaw: Butterbean, I haven’t thought about. Butterbean has called me, I know he wants to fight Kimbo. “Big Foot” Silva…yes absolutely. This one will happen at some point. “Big Foot” is a hell of a fighter.
Fightline.com: How good is Antonio Silva?
Gary Shaw: I think he’s number one or two in the world. You don’t hear anybody calling him out. Always remember, if they don’t call you out it’s not because you suck it’s because you could probably beat them.
Fightline.com: A lot of people think that your welterweight Jake Shields would give Georges St. Pierre all that he could handle. Is there a chance that we could see this match up happen at any point in the future?
Gary Shaw: Jake Shields is one of my all-time favorites. He is underrated. He has the passion, and look here’s the thing; Dana White runs a pet store. He likes to keep everyone in little cages. I run a jungle. My guys run wild and they fight other fighters and other animals and whatever. So, you know, he runs his company in a controlled environment and I run mine like it should be run. Nick Diaz and Alverez just went down and fought in DREAM. I do co-promotions with Strikeforce. I’m bringing new faces and excitement to MMA. Dana is in the recycling business. And when he gets a good talent like Rampage, he doesn’t even know what to do with him. I mean give him a good athlete like Brock Lesnar and he gets him beat in his first fight. To answer your question, I think Jake Shields is a great fighter and I think it would be a hell of a match. We can do it on CBS. It’s free. Let the fans see the fight for free. I’ll take Shields and they can take GSP. I’ll even put on a UFC banner, Dana comes in the cage he gets in the corner of his fighter, GSP, and I’m in the corner of my fighter, Shields. How exciting is that? That’s what MMA should be all about.
Please join us in a couple of days for Part 3 of Fightline.com’s exclusive sitdown with Gary Shaw, where we’ll discuss Shaw’s personal history and how he became involved in MMA.
To go back and read Part 1 of this interview, click here.