On last week’s episode, “All About Survival,” we saw two amateurish fighters just wear each other down. In the end, James McSweeney won by decision over the giant, Wes Shivers. But tonight is the night we’ve really all been waiting for — the biggest fight in the history of The Ultimate Fighter, with an expected viewership of over 6 Million. It’s hard to believe it’s happening so soon in the season, but IFL-veteran Roy Nelson will take on brawler Kimbo Slice. Will Kimbo be the flash in the pan that so many expect him to be? Or will Big Country crumble under the pressure? Who will be standing with their hand raised in victory?
The sun is setting on the house as Kimbo waxes poetic about what he’s learned in life. His deep thought: that when he shaves his beard, he’ll be a new Kimbo. While in the house, he realizes why he’s been fighting all these years, realizing that he is his own enemy. Kimbo says several of the other guys have a chip on his shoulder, but not him. He’s a family man. He is who is.
The meaning of this fight is not lost on anyone. The other guys in the house talk about how huge this fight is — PPV level even.
Roy acknowledges that Kimbo is a nice guy and doesn’t blame him for the hype. He admits that this is probably his last hurrah, and looks to spend 4 or 5 years in the UFC, allowing Dana to lead his way. Rashad sees him as too independent — booking his own fights, training in his own house, etc. — and Rashad wants to get him to break out of that. He picked Roy to fight Kimbo because he knows that Roy won’t be intimidated.
Team Rashad brings in Keith Jardine (who happens to train with Rashad) to help the guys train. Jardine and Rampage joke a little bit, but Rashad tries to provoke Rampage by asking him if his jaw still hurt (referring to when Jardine fought Rampage). This starts yet another “lightly” heated battle…heck, even James McSweeney gets in on it, defending Rashad (lending itself to a new classic Rampage-ism, “Take Rashad’s nuts outta yo mouth…”). Thankfully, the two part before it gets taken to the next level.
Rampage feels that Kimbo is the most shocking thing about this season. And of course, Kimbo then takes some light-hearted jokes from Rampage about his beard (and the “yarmulke” he wears on his head — at least as Rampage calls it). Rampage seems to really see potential in Kimbo and thinks with training he can do well. That being said, they decide to train him in take down defense, and with him on his back. Obviously these are areas he’s expected to lack in. They try to use the biggest guy on Team Rampage (to simulate fighting Nelson), but Kimbo struggles in getting the guy off of him. (And here Rampage jokes and jokes and jokes about the guy’s ‘big belly’ — I have to admit, I’m not a fan of Rampage, but he does make me laugh a lot!)
At the house, some of Roy’s teammates sit around dissecting Kimbo’s game with Roy, and what his weaknesses might be. Basically, they advise Roy to get him in some uncomfortable positions to submit him. Well, duh…even I knew that!
At Team Rampage training the coaches are working the guys hard in conditioning (learning from the Wes Shivers mistake!). Sweat is all over the floor and the guys are busting their asses, when they notice Marcus has gone missing. Rampage finally looks over and sees him benching himself. They discuss the next fight, which apparently Marcus thought he was getting. But how can he fight if he can’t even train? Marcus does not take this well. All Rampage wants him to do is wait until he’s better, and then he can fight. The two kiss and make up soon after. (Rampage-ism #2 to Marcus: Are you on your period?)
Even at the house, the guys tell Marcus he’s too sensitive! He admits to being a softy, which he finds easier than being a jerk. Then he discusses his former passions of playing Dungeons & Dragons and comic book-collecting. Who knew he was such a nerd?! What’s worse? He’s all into flowers and gardening! Yeah…I’m not so intimidated by him anymore. Lucky for him he’s such a big dude. Later, Marcus and Kimbo chat about Kimbo’s legendary fights and how he got started. Marcus respects Kimbo for his attitude and his work ethic. You can’t argue that. And Kimbo returns that respect.
Later, Dana pays a visit to the gym for the official weigh-ins. Dana comments on both fighters. He sees Kimbo as a definite fighter who came to fight. Roy looks like he “just left every buffet in Vegas” but don’t let the physique fool you, he is a well-rounded fighter. Kimbo weighs in at 230lbs, and Roy at a whopping 264lbs.
Several of the guys offer their opinions on this fight — from both sides — and it’s pretty evenly split. There is definitely a feeling of intensity at the gym. No one is selling either guy short. Rashad has a lot of hope for Roy, because he’s great on the ground AND he can stand up and fight. But even Roy admits that Kimbo can knock him out.
Everyone on Team Rampage seems in very high spirits — particularly Rampage who affectionately cuts his hair to look like Kimbo’s!
(wow, I totally have butterflies…)
They feel each other out at first, both throwing several short jabs. A little slow to start, but Nelson seems to control the pace most with Kimbo backing up tentatively. Kimbo lands a solid leg kick. A minute in and someone is just waiting to break it wide open. More and more jabs from both, even after 2 minutes. Kimbo gets Nelson against the fence, clipping Nelson with a couple solid punches, but then they clinch with Nelson in control. Nelson gets the hooks in and is trying to take Kimbo down. Nelson peppers Kimbo with some knees and shin-kicks. Finally, Nelson sweeps Kimbo, takes him down and mounts him. He’s not doing much in the mount, but Nelson tries to spin Kimbo away from the cage. Nelson tries for his arm, and giving up the mount traps Kimbo’s arm with his leg. Kimbo tries to buck him off, but can’t really. Nelson traps his arm again and rains punches down on Kimbo’s head. With 10 seconds left, Kimbo is not fighting back but the round ends with Nelson landing punch after punch.
Kimbo starts it with a jab, but he looks tired. Nelson counters, but Kimbo starts swinging big, hitting Nelson with a couple zingers. They clinch a little and Kimbo lands a big knee, but falls back as he does so. Nelsoon lands on top of him and has side control,basically smothering him with his belly. Nelsoon tries to kneel on his arm and pin him crucifix-style, meanwhile landing several punches to Kimbo’s head. Nelson tries to lock his arm up for an armbar, but can’t. However, he does trap the arm once again and Nelson lands countless punches. Kimbo doesn’t even try to defend himself or get out of it. The ref finally stops the fight.
Winner: Roy Nelson via TKO
Pardon me while I do my little happy dance!! Ok, that’s enough…
In the end, Dana is NOT impressed with Roy’s performance. Considering how weak his punches were while on the ground, he says Roy did just enough to win, and not get hit. He adds that now what Kimbo needs to do is stay, train and absorb whatever he can. And Dana makes a good point — on this show, you never know what’s going to happen. It wouldn’t be the first time a fighter gets brought back after losing…
The humble Kimbo tries to play it off that he doesn’t feel bad for losing because he tried…but then he admits that he feels like shit. But he learns from his mistakes and will come back stronger. (And I do have to admit, this is a different Kimbo than who we saw against James Thompson and Seth Petruzelli. He has improved by leaps and bounds. But he’s not at the top quite yet). Roy, he just wants to go home and eat.
Next week: Marcus is a powerhouse, but he collapses at the house, leading to speculation of a Kimbo-comeback! In further TUF Drama, it is discovered that there is a traitor on Team Rashad (seriously? This is a big deal? Doesn’t this happen EVERY season?).