Story by Anthony Springer
From the moment the promos began to run for the highly anticipated tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, the rumors began to fly. In addition to a pair of coaches who have next to no love for each other in “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans, all eyes were on one particular fighter.
That man was Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson.
Slice became an Internet sensation through a series of backyard fight videos that made their way to the Internet. After building up a rep—matched by a look that gave off a Mike Tyson-esque “I’ll eat your children kind of vibe, the backyard brawler made the transition to MMA.
After a disappointing 14-second TKO loss that triggered the demise of his last promotion, Slice made his way to the big stage courtesy of the UFC’s hit reality show.
In the series most anticipated and most watched bout, Slice tasted defeat courtesy of eventual finalist Roy Nelson in the second round. The loss didn’t stop the Slice-Train and the fighter who just wants to bang will find himself once again the subject of much anticipation this weekend at the TUF finale.
The man staring across the Octagon will be another fighter known for slugging it out—Houston Alexander.
Looking at the track records of Slice and Alexander, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know this one isn’t going to the judges. Slice is more than upfront about his expectations for Saturday’s contest.
“I like to stand up, knock a guy out or get knocked out—that’s what you get with me,” he said.
“The Assassin” also sees this as an opportunity to put on an exciting show for the fans.
“I think they saw two guys with the same type of style, that go-getter type of style,” Alexander said in a brief analysis of the bout. “Joe Silva is a great matchmaker; this is a good fight for both of us.”
Not surprisingly, Slice and Alexander have similar feelings about the way the fight is likely to go. Neither man was willing to discuss many of the “what ifs,” signaling that the time for talking is over.
“I want to knock him out,” Slice said. “He’ll knock me out or I’m going to knock him out. I came here to fight. That’s where my mind is at right now.”
The thought of going to the canvas hasn’t entered either man’s mind, but both insist their ready if the fight hits the mat.
“Wherever it goes, it goes,” Alexander stated when posed with the question of fighting on the ground. “I think both of us will be ready for it.”
Hurry Up and Weight
Slice will face Alexander at a 215-pound catch weight fight. The weight cutting process for MMA has cost many fighters come fight night and how Slice deals with cutting 20 pounds from his muscular frame could be the difference in a win or a loss.
Admittedly, the cut has been anything but heaven for the full bearded fighter.
“I’m going to be straight-up honest with you, man, the last time I was at this weight was in middle school,” Slice said of the process. It’s not good. Not good. I’m moody. You just don’t feel the same, it’s mental, but it’s not a good feeling, to be honest with you. I’m a little anxious.”
Conversely, Alexander feels right at home fighting at 215 pounds.
“I’m at my natural weight so I’m good,” the Nebraska fighter stated.” I’m not going to lose anything.”
While Slice acknowledges the changes in his body, his heart and mind are still as strong as ever.
“I’ve got heart and determination and I’m not scared to get hit.”