The UFC was in Montreal this past Saturday night with some interesting match ups and a lot of Canadian content. Included in the card was a face-off between fellow Ultimate Fighter castmates Matt Mitrione and Kimbo Slice.
The fight ended how it was expected to end and that was via technical knockout, both Mitrione and Slice know how to throw leather and both of them pack some power in their punches. Some may have had Kimbo Slice winning the fight and others had Mitrione winning the fight, but ultimately the younger stronger fighter Matt Mitrione finished off the older and weaker Kimbo Slice.
Kimbo Slice is 36 years old and for as powerful as those muscles make him look, he is too small to be fighting at heavyweight and he doesn’t have the cardio to last a full three rounds against a well conditioned fighter. Mitrione had a 35 pound weight advantage on Slice and is five years younger and it showed in this fight.
Mitrione was able to overpower Kimbo Slice on the ground and once the second round came around Mitrione looked ready to go and Kimbo Slice looked like he was running on fumes.
Early in the first round Kimbo didn’t look bad, he was landing some shots and definitely made it look like he and Mitrione were going to be in for a fight. Kimbo flashed some more of those ground shaking slams he put on display against Houston Alexander, showing the crowd that they weren’t just luck the last time out.
However, when the fight got to the ground Kimbo once again looked a little lost in terms of what he could do. Kimbo made a point to fans and the media that he was evolving as a mixed martial artist, but on the ground with Mitrione it certainly didn’t show.
Mitrione put Kimbo in a triangle which Kimbo managed to slip out of and get the fight back to standing. Mitrione tried working an anaconda choke later in the round, but Kimbo managed to defend and get out of round one.
Again, we saw Kimbo eat a bunch of leg kicks that had him visibly wobbled, much like in the fight he had with Houston Alexander. Finally, Kimbo wound up on his back and Mitrione began raining down strikes from full mount and ended the fight in similar fashion to the way Mauricio Rua finished off Lyoto Machida later on that night.
Mitrione who made a name for himself as a guy who knew how to throw the leather on the Ultimate Fighter television show showed off a new flashy ground game or maybe he simply exposed the weak ground game of Kimbo Slice.
In any case, Mitrione had a good showing and is definitely starting his trek up the ladder of the heavyweight division and any heavyweight that weighs in near the limit and has the power of Mitrione has the potential to be a force.
Obviously Mitrione had a weight and strength advantage over Kimbo Slice and it was evident throughout the fight. The question now is where does Kimbo Slice go from here?
Kimbo Slice is obviously a smaller heavyweight at 225 pounds and being small with a weak ground game spells disaster against the bigger wrestlers and grapplers of the 265 pound division. Kimbo’s hands looked good and they usually always look good, but he definitely has a problem with defending leg kicks and he definitely has a problem keeping the fight standing.
Maybe a cut to 205 pounds is in line for the aging fighter, cutting weight has rejuvenated other fighters’ careers, Wanderlei Silva and Randy Couture are prime examples. The only problem is that Kimbo has stated in the past that he finds the weight cut difficult referring to his catch weight fight against Houston Alexander.
Not only could a cut to 205 pounds be difficult for the Kimbo, but it can often times take a toll on your cardio, and that isn’t area where Kimbo can afford to cut.
Aside from issues with the big guys, Kimbo clearly has issues with his cardio, he looked exhausted in the second round against Mitrione and he looked exhausted in his three round battle with Houston Alexander.
Cardio is something Kimbo can improve on, but at 36 years old cardiovascular endurance is usually a fleeting resource late in an athlete’s career.
Kimbo Slice’s options really are limited, he will never be a force in the heavyweight division due to his size and a cut to 205 pounds maybe too difficult for the aging fighter. The UFC has pretty much announced that Kimbo is being cut so any future fights for Kimbo Slice are going to have to be somewhere else.
Kimbo Slice still has a lot of name value, that means a lot in the fight game and Strikeforce will probably come knocking. That being said, Kimbo’s days as an attraction in mixed martial arts are numbered and he could be singing his swan song sooner than later if he doesn’t string together some wins.