Never say never again, because Kimbo Slice has officially fought in the UFC. Slice fought his first UFC match against former IFL champion Roy Nelson on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10. Slice lived up to the billing of his MMA critics. Slice was great on his feet, but in the end his weak ground game was exposed by someone who looked like they just left Burger King.
Whether UFC or Dana White says so or not, The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights has been completely built around Slice. Slice made a grand entrance on the first show and was immediately singled out as the star. No other competitor in the history of the show received an entrance like that. The irony of tonight’s fight is that when Dana White gave Slice a star-like introduction, Roy Nelson immediately thought White was talking about him.
[adinserter block=”1″]Like most hyped TUF fights, this fight didn’t live up to expectations. Slice did not come out as explosive as most viewers were hoping he would do. Both fighters looked real tentative and almost afraid to get in close. Nelson started pushing the pace with some jabs which woke up a sleeping giant. Slice countered and started to explode. The veteran Nelson wisely tied up avoiding a sure knockout.
Slice did a better job than I thought he would at this point. Nelson was trying to take him down and Slice showed great balance in preventing the takedown. A rookie mistake allowed Nelson to take Slice down. This was a completely different fight once it went to the ground. It was as if Slice was mentally defeated once he hit the ground. Slice just had nothing in the ground game and was at Nelson’s mercy.
The end of the first round was very controversial. Nelson had Slice’s arm pinned and repeatedly punched a defenseless Slice on the ground. Think Lesnar-Mir. Slice had nothing and wasn’t doing anything to defend himself. This went on for almost 30 seconds until the bell rang. I really don’t understand why Herb Dean didn’t stop the fight at this point. Slice did absolutely nothing as Nelson continued peppering him with shots. Any other fight on this show would have ended if this had happened.
The second round started out somewhat like the first. Once again Slice started to explode with punches. Nelson looked like he was in big trouble and went for the takedown. Slice remained vertical until he lifted his leg for a knee strike which allowed Nelson to take him down. Nelson fought his way back into the same position pinning Slice’s arm and punching him repeatedly. Once again Slice was defenseless except attempting to bridge out of the position. Dean rightfully stopped the fight and awarded the match to Nelson.
I give Nelson a ton of credit here. He remained composed and didn’t seem as star-struck as one of the more inexperienced guys could have been. More importantly, Nelson had a gameplan, stuck to it, and won with it. Earlier in the show Nelson was sitting with his teammates telling them exactly what he had hoped to do. Nelson explained in detail that if he could pin his opponent’s arms, his opponent would be helpless and the referee would have to stop the fight. In the end it turned out to be a very prophetic statement.
I was a bit disappointed in Slice. I think he would have had a shot here if he came out more explosive. He overwhelmed Nelson twice with punches and probably could have won if he was more aggressive. As I said before, it almost looked as if Slice was mentally defeated once they went to the ground. Slice barely did a thing and just seemed content on the inevitable. I also have to question whether he over trained leading into the fight. Slice was training all the way up until fight time. It is likely that he just may not have had anything left to move 264 pounds around on the ground.
It will be interesting to see where the show goes from here. The show has had monster ratings thus far due to Slice. Now that viewers know that Slice is done fighting, it will be interesting to see how many of them tune out. Slice will remain in the house and train on the show even after losing. He just won’t fight anymore on the show. It is possible he fights as an alternate. The show not only touched on this, but teased that it could happen again next week. I suspect that they too fear the ratings drop or they would have never aired the tease.
[adinserter block=”2″]Slice may have lost the fight, but he won a lot more on TUF. Slice has completely reinvented himself and changed his image. He has gone from a street fighting bully to a humble, religious man hungry to learn MMA and compete. Slice had a bad reputation in my opinion because of the You Tube videos. The fact is a lot of great MMA fighters morph from street fighting into MMA. As long as he continues to learn and train properly, he should be given the same opportunities as someone else that didn’t have their bar fights taped for You Tube.
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