I first saw a Kimbo Slice fight on youtube back in February or so. It was a shocking thing to see…. a grass-roots style, bare-fisted boxing match in someone’s backyard or at some parking lot or boat launch. Kimbo is the neighborhood champ and competitors are brought to him a little like feed. The fighters go all out for a few minutes and there’s a real sense of danger, like someone could easily get their head smashed in and everyone at the scene would just run. Well, fortunately, that hasn’t happened yet (that I know of, at least).

The sheer size and fierceness of Kimbo, his bald, thick-bearded look, the wrecked faces of his competitors, and the renegade style with which he’s climbed up the fighting ranks–these all give him extra power and mystique. Thanks to a little youtube exposure, Kimbo is now fighting organized cage matches and kicking some ass. Last week he waxed merciless on Ray Mercer, the one-time Olympic gold medalist. And here’s the best part of the story: he’s now begun training with that crazy bald Eastern European fight freak Bas Rutten. Rutten is a one-of-a-kind personality (I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I watched this video), and frankly I think the Bas Rutten/Kimbo Slice pairing is a knockout combo. Don’t be surprised if you hear a lot more about them both in the coming months.

I’ve cut together a few highlights from underground Kimbo Slice fights on youtube and set them right beside a great fight between male grizzlies. Wonderful.