by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
He’s had his first test on The Ultimate Fighter, so is Kimbo Slice now a mixed martial artist?
The short and sweet of it is no.
On Wednesday night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, Kimbo (Kevin Ferguson) faced former International Fight League heavyweight champion Roy Nelson.
It took him the better part of the first round, but Nelson eventually leg tripped Kimbo to the mat. Kimbo spent the final 30 seconds of the round crucifixed, eating short peppering punches to the top of his head. The round easily favored Nelson.
The outcome didn’t need a judges’ decision however. Kimbo had his moments in the opening seconds of round two, catching Nelson with a hard punch, but Nelson’s experience ruled. Kimbo attempted to drive a knee to Nelson’s considerable midsection, but was taken to the mat for his efforts, once again finding himself in a crucifix. This time Nelson had enough ticks of the clock to continue the punches until referee Herb Dean called a halt to the bout.
That’s not to say that losing the fight means Kimbo can’t move from hype machine to mixed martial artist, he just hasn’t shown the signs of doing so yet.
There were minor improvements in his game. The few punches he did throw were cleaner than past bouts, and he showed the beginnings of actual takedown defense, but a mixed martial artist that does not make. He was still a fish out of water once the fight hit the mat.
That’s something that Kimbo is keenly aware of and has plans to rectify. He recently stated that he is taking up residence at American Top Team in Florida. If he does so, and gives himself fully to the trainers there, maybe this YouTube sensation can move on to legitimacy.
He’s not there now, and he knows it.
“I’m a rookie at this. I’m a fighter, a street fighter, trying to become a mixed martial artist.”
And who knows, he may get another chance to show he’s got more skills than he’s displayed thus far. UFC president Dana White said on the show, “It’s never over until it’s over, there could be another opportunity for Kimbo to get back in there and fight again.” Then clips from next week’s episode showed Kimbo’s teammate, Marcus Jones, struggling, alluding to the possibility of a “Kimbo comeback.”