"Oct. 4 is a huge event for mixed martial arts. With this card and this line-up, we hit the mainstream, we hit the hardcore [fans], and we hit Dana White hard." - EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw
I know EliteXC is thrilled to have a positive story to promote, but they need to ease off the accelerator. Getting Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson from Affliction is a major move for the troubled promotion. It gives them a legitimate fight to promote alongside the novelty acts of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. Arlovski is a good fighter who usually produces in the cage. He is by no means a headliner on his own. He will not pull in hardcore fans, as Shaw seems to think. The only way EliteXC will ever win over hardcore fans is by putting their best fighters in the lead roles. Just because Arlovski and Nelson are fighting on the card, it does not mean hardcore fans will overlook the fact the entire show is based around Slice's star power. They need to transition into being a real MMA promotion, who wins over fans with the talent and performances of their best fighters.
From every thing I have heard, Kimbo Slice has a real desire to continue training in Mixed Martial Arts. He is not happy being considered a side-show by long time MMA fans. He wants to be a true title contender. I think his enthusiasm for the sport is great. He understands he is inexperienced and has a lot to learn. EliteXC should use his humility to their advantage. Instead of placing the full spotlight on him, use his star power to bring in casual fans, while focusing on your top fighters. Kimbo should not be fighting in main events. If he was the lead-in for the main event, it would get your top fighters more exposure. People need to see Jake Shields and Murilo Rua. They need to watch Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler. Let Kimbo's popularity carry over into their fights. You will not only get more eyes on your best fighters, you will also begin to win over hardcore fans who think of your promotion as a joke.