Kimbo Slice Loses to Roy Nelson on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF)
YouTube Street Brawler Loses on the Ground
Kimbo Slice, the renowned street fighter made famous on YouTube, lost to Roy Nelson tonight on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). As one of the most searched mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters online, Slice is considered a big draw in the MMA world but has not achieved in-the-ring success on the same level as his notoriety.
Quinton Rampage Jackson, who himself just announced that he was quitting the UFC, said that he liked Kimbo Slice because he was humble. I'm not sure about that, but I know humility has little to do with ultimate fighting.
Industry insiders and hardcore fans have known for a while that Slice is a tough street brawler but weak on the technical aspects which make an elite MMA fighter. Nonetheless, his brawling ability gives him a puncher's chance. As a result, he has a few impressive wins on his resume despite a disappointing knockout loss to Seth Petruzelli in has last fight (in the EliteXC organization).
In addition, Slice is not exactly a young man, either. Trying to train and improve on his ground game at this age is a formidable task. Besides that, he does not have world-class athleticism, so Slice is likely to be a ratings grabber but never a legitimate contender for the UFC heavyweight title.
However, he will retain his presence in the MMA world due to his ability to sell tickets and pay-per-view buys. MMA is a business, and Dana White (president of the UFC) will not pass up the chance to put Kimbo Slice in the UFC octagon regardless of the outcome of his participation in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Roy Nelson is a much more experienced MMA fighter and a former champion of the IFL (International Fight League). The only thing about Roy Nelson is that he has not faced Top 10 fighters that many times in his career. It is safe to say that Nelson is a competent MMA fighter, but the level of opponents throughout most of his career makes it hard to gauge his current skill level. Of course, a lot of fighters get out of shape between fights, and Rashad Evans and Nelson's other coaches were displeased with his seemingly stubborn attitude last week on TUF.
At any rate, the general public might have picked Kimbo Slice to win this match vs. Roy Nelson. But hardcore fans and insiders would tend to pick Nelson. As someone who is in the middle, I picked Roy to take this fight. I don't believe Kimbo's performance against Seth Petruzelli was all that much of a fluke. Petruzelli is merely an above-average fighter and instantly took Kimbo off his game for a quick knockout.
In the first round, the fighters started out willing to trade for an advantage on the feet. After Nelson took a slight lead, Slice unleashed his first flurry and scored just a little damage. Nelson couldn't seem to counter, so he locked up Slice against the fence and eventually got a takedown. The round ended with Nelson on top and hitting Slice multiple times in the forehead area. Referee Herb Dean almost stopped the fight but apparently felt that Nelson was not causing damage (even though Slice was immobilized on the bottom). Except for the one decent flurry, I don't think Kimbo did anything, so I gave the first round to Nelson for the takedown and action on the ground.
The second round started the same, and Roy had to take him down again. This was kind of a weird stoppage because Kimbo was not hurt by those weak punches. Nonetheless, he had the position, and Kimbo was doing nothing to defend himself. It was clear that Slice could do nothing on the ground, so Nelson likely would have won the decision, anyway.
This is not necessarily the end of Slice's participation in The Ultimate Fighter. If another fighter on the show is injured, he could be chosen as a replacement, and Dana White strongly hinted that he practically wants that to happen.
White tried to downplay Nelson's win. White clearly doesn't want this to hurt Kimbo's drawing power. This is the part of MMA that leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I like to see good fighters, and many deserving fighters are not getting their chance in the UFC because of the commercial interests of the organization. At any rate, as long as the UFC does what is necessary to survive and prosper, I think I'll survive.