With the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter officially in the books, UFC president Dana White is now focusing on the show’s upcoming season, where he claims that Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is in it to win it.
“I don’t think there’s anybody I’ve talked more smack about than this guy,” White said of the street fighting sensation while he was a guest on the Carmichael Dave show. “I said the only way this guy ever gets in to the UFC is through ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and here he is, I gotta respect that.
“I tell you what, [on the first day of shooting] . . . he walked in the gym, let me tell you what he’s pretty serious. He wasn’t messing around, he wasn’t joking, he wasn’t laughing.”
Kimbo might have his game face on because he knows this is his last chance to cash in his winning lotto ticket. After the fiasco that was his EliteXC career, Kimbo knows that he needs to start from the bottom floor if he’s gonna make this MMA thing work.
Here’s the kicker – entry level for the world’s largest MMA promotion has him earning NOTHING.
“A lot of people were offering him a lot of money and he wants to be legit, he wanted to come on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’,” White said of Kimbo’s career choice. ”Let me tell you, you don’t get paid to be on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. You come in and you fight and you try and win a contract . . . You come on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ to get the contract, you don’t come on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ to get paid. You don’t get paid on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ . . . And, he’s dead set about winning this thing.”
White claims that Kimbo is so intent on winning the heavyweight tournament that the YouTube star turned a deaf ear to all the junk White was talking about him before he opted to call the Octagon his office.
“I don’t think he’s a big Dana White fan either, how could you be after all the things that have gone back and forth?” White aksed. ”So, we’re gonna find out this season if he’s for real or not . . . The thing is I’ve talked a lot of stuff about Kimbo but I absolutely respect the fact that he stepped up and came on. This is a guy who fought on CBS . . . And, was a big draw.”
Kimbo’s drawing power just goes to show you how much potential the unproved backyard brawler possesses. In reality, Kimbo might not even have to win the six-figure contract to ensure his future with the UFC. He just needs to make sure that his hard work inside the gym matches his hype.