Photo courtesy surfsupalert.com
It all makes sense now. I came across this recent photo of Kelly Slater training with former UFCer and current Cage Rage light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort. The rumors have died down as of late about Kelly’s breakaway tour – and it’s obvious with this training session and his recent appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter why the snowball has found a plateau.
ASL‘s Chris Binns finally got ASP CEO Brodie Carr to speak last week and we found out what Brodie knows about this alternative tour: nothing. That’s right, they’ve given him as much information about it as that guy on the street corner begging for change. Brodie confirmed that Matt Tinley (former boxing promoter) and Kelly’s manager Terry Hardy are the brains behind the operation. He also said that the dynamic duo has had talks with ESPN, but nothing definitive. And they’ve got no venues, no judges, and no qualification system, plus the Dream Tour has all of it’s events signed on for the next nine years.
So my guess is that Terry Hardy is teaming up with Matt Tinley not for a new tour, but rather to hype a new Kelly Slater. Think about it – Kelly’s dominated the Tour more than anyone ever. Wouldn’t you get a little bored and restless when you’ve won every major title in surfing there is to win? He’s proved himself to be the greatest competitive surfer of all time. That’s why he wants a new challenge.
His plan goes a little something like this: Introduce yourself to the mainstream sports media, create some controversy around you, have a photo leaked of you training, and then set up with a boxing promoter to launch your MMA career. There will be no new tour, just Kelly’s new career. Will he win 9 UFC titles?