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January 21, 2018

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Episode 3: Kimbo Slice finally enters the Octagon


Justin M. Bowen

Kimbo Slice, aka Kevin Ferguson, poses for a portrait at “The Ultimate Fighter” media day in June.


Kimbo Slice fights

Las Vegas Sun boxing/MMA writers Brett Okamoto and Andy Samuelson talk about Kimbo Slice's first fight in a UFC Octagon Wednesday night and break down the internet sensation's future with the organization.

Click to enlarge photo

The cast of The Ultimate Fighter No. 10 poses for a shot for the popular reality show that debuts on Sept. 16 on Spike TV.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, and it’s going down in just the third episode of the season.

Internet sensation Kimbo Slice is fighting Roy Nelson tonight. Although The Ultimate Fighter has always supposed to have been about fighters competing for a UFC contract, news broke this week that UFC President Dana White has already signed on Kimbo regardless of what happens on the show.

Is that news a buzz-kill at all for tonight’s episode? Not really.

The Episode

The episode starts with Kimbo saying something somewhat confusing about the relationship between "the enemy…and the inner me." Whatever get’s you psyched, Kimbo. Whatever gets you psyched.

What’s this? Keith Jardine stops by for an unannounced visit. Jardine is hilarious. His interview starts off, “Hey, my name is Keith Jardine.” Like anyone who’s watching this show doesn’t already know the Dean of Mean.

This appearance is followed by Rampage and Rashad fighting over whether or not Rashad ducked Rampage in an earlier opportunity to fight. It continues into Rampage complaining about Rashad’s bad breath and offering him sticks of gum.

Team Rashad gets to talking about Kimbo’s style at the house, at one point comparing it to a bobblehead that just sits in front of you. One member adds, “He’ll be easy to hit.”

Uh oh. In the middle of a Team Rampage workout, Marcus Jones looks like he’s about a second away from puking on the mat. He walks off temporarily, prompting Rampage to look around and ask what he's doing. Jones claims it’s a knee injury and he and his coach get into a confrontation about it.

Jones loves flowers. That’s what he just said. And Dungeon and Dragons. That just happened. He had hand-raised plants earlier in life. That he grew from seedlings. “I love flowers,” he says. “Yeah.”

Kimbo and Jones have a talk about Kimbo’s growth as a fighter where Kimbo admits that it’s been hard to learn everything at once.

It’s time for the Castrol Oil official weigh-in. Remember the first season of The Ultimate Fighter? Did we see any sponsors of official weigh-ins? Absolutely not. You want proof the sport is growing? Kimbo weighs in at 230, Nelson at 264.

Nelson looks great in practice. He’s a black belt jiu-jitsu artist and as Rashad says, he looks like he’s out of shape — but he’s not out of shape.

Rampage’s first pick, the one and only Kimbo Slice, makes his walk to the Octagon to face Las Vegas fighter Roy Nelson. It’s fight time. Right after a word from our sponsors.

The two fighters feel each other out for a bit before Kimbo throws a nice leg kick. Didn’t see that in any backyards. Kimbo is definitely a different fighter than he used to be on YouTube. Of course that’s to be expected, but it is impressive to watch his new footwork and ability to defend a takedown.

Kimbo gets the best of an exchange and it looks for a moment that Nelson is in trouble but he works his way into a clinch and recomposes himself. With 90 seconds left, Nelson lands the takedown and mounts Kimbo. Nelson works his left leg over Kimbo’s right arm to gain a pretty dominant position and just rains down punch after punch for the last 20-25 seconds of the fight. Kimbo’s right up but I’d give the first round to Nelson.

Kimbo lands a big right hand to start the second round but the bigger news is Nelson comes back and lands an immediate takedown and goes into side control. It seems as though Kimbo’s only strategy on the ground is to clinch Nelson and hope that Herb Dean stands the fight back up. There’s no strategic offense or halfway successful attempts to get up. Nelson gets into a similar position he had in the first round and forces Dean to call the fight. Dana, however, does not agree with the fight being called, comparing Nelson’s punches from the ground to ones his daughter might throw.

Best Moment

Rampage warns Kimbo, “Kimbo, don’t be hating. Don’t be hating Kimbo,” before showing off his painted on hairdo, identical to the half-moon crop Kimbo sports.

Kimbo Watch

As anyone may have guessed, Kimbo looks pretty disappointed. It’s not surprising that Dana White wants to sign him to a contract in the UFC, though. Kimbo had Nelson in trouble in that fight with his stand-up and if he can work on his ground game, he has the potential to perform at the highest level. And this show only gained him popularity.

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