What's Next For Kimbo Slice?
The UFC was hyping it as the biggest fight in The Ultimate Fighter's history. Bigger than the Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight in TUF's Season 1 finale that drew huge ratings and introduced most people to their first MMA fight.
Kimbo Slice vs. Roy "Big Country" Nelson was what everybody was tuning in to see on Wednesday night.
Sure enough it was a big fight. Slice weighed in at 235 pounds. Meanwhile, "Big Country" Nelson weighed in at a whopping 264 pounds before the fight. Where surely most of that weight is in Nelson's infamous belly. As Rampage Jackson said in the episode, "I wonder if his feet get wet in the shower."
We spent the first half hour of the show watching both Slice and Nelson train for the fight. As well as a weird profile on TUF hopeful Marcus "Big Baby" Jones who apparently is very sensitive and loves flowers. Alright then.
It was in those training montages that you had a feeling that Kimbo might be in trouble.
He was making an effort to work on his ground game. Something that has always been a big whole in the backyard brawling legend's game.
But while working on the ground game, it seemed apparent that he wasn't quite where he needed to be to even have a chance with "Big Country."
Even though Roy "Big Country" Nelson is a big man, he is also the former IFL heavyweight champion. And he won that title belt not just by standing with guys and trading haymakers.
Nelson is trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie, so once he gets you down on the mat and gets that big pot belly frame on you, chances are you're done.
Slice appeared to be struggling to get up from off the ground when he had a guy that wasn't even close to being as skilled, or as heavy as Nelson.
So after all the training, and Marcus David being sensitive montages, it was time for a fight.
Both men sauntered to the octagon and stepped in looking menacing. Though Slice as he usually does, looked the most menacing.
We even saw UFC President Dana White sitting outside the octagon getting ready to watch the fight. Normally they don't show that. But after all, this was the biggest fight in TUF's history.
Round One began and for the first few minutes of the fight, both Slice and Nelson just took it easy and were feeling each other out. Waiting to see what each other's game plan was.
The two would trade shots but nothing too seriously. No big infamous knockout punches from Kimbo that he is known for.
After a minute or so of those, the two fighters started trading heavier shots while getting up against the cage. Nelson decides that this was the time to grapple with Slice and try and get him down on the mat.
Kimbo did a good job of holding Nelson up against the cage and showed a better take down defense than he had in the past. But once Nelson tried again, he knocked over Slice and had him down.
Nelson was controlling on top. Getting Slice in any position that he wanted. Kimbo tried his best to wiggle out of the mount by using the cage for leverage but alas it was no use.
Towards the end of the first round, "Big Country" had Slice in a vulnerable spot and was raining down with punches on the top of Kimbo's bald head. Punch after punch and Kimbo was not defending himself.
Herb Dean, the referee for the fight, should have ended it there but he didn't. Instead he let the clock run out and Kimbo was saved by the bell. More like saved by the horn, as they don't use a bell in the UFC.
At the start of Round Two, the two traded some heavier punches. With Slice landing some really strong knocks that had coach Rashad Evans saying after the fight that he could see that Nelson was dazed by it.
Instead of keeping the fight standing up and allowing Kimbo to bang away, Nelson brought him down to the mat and that was all.
Just like at the end of round one, Nelson had his way with Slice on the mat. Raining down with punches. Except this time, Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight.
So that was it. The end of Kimbo Slice's journey on TUF, thanks to a TKO defeat at the hands of Roy "Big Country" Nelson. Or was it the end?
At the end of the episode in a preview for next week we saw that the sensitive Marcus "Big Baby" Jones' knee problems were getting worse and that he might have to pull out of the competition.
Cut to Slice saying, "Tag me in!"
We will have to wait until next week to see what happens but what does the future hold for Kimbo Slice?
It was quite evident from last night that his ground game still needs tons of work. And that he has no chance in winning the competition against some of the guys still left in there who do have great ground games.
So what does the UFC do with Kimbo Slice once TUF is over?
The UFC has signed fighters that have appeared in seasons of TUF but haven't won. That list includes the likes of Kenny Florian, Keith Jardine, Chris Lytle, and Gray Maynard, just to name a few.
Dana White and company are smarter than to just let Slice walk away. As lacking as he is on the ground, Kimbo is one of the biggest draws in all of MMA.
As many said on last night's episode of TUF, the UFC could have charged people $40 or $50 to watch Slice and Nelson fight. And people would have paid it.
Kimbo Slice is one of those rare crossover stars that can go a long way to bringing MMA into the mainstream even more than it already is.
It appears that the UFC has already caught on to that notion.
During a conference call on Monday, Slice wouldn't comment directly but he did seem to suggest that he will be fighting again in December. Which would put him on the UFC 107 card.
Who he would fight remains to be seen, but it is starting to seem more and more likely that MMA fans haven't seen the last of Kimbo Slice in the Octagon.
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