The buzz surrounding the upcoming tenth season of the Ultimate Fighter is all about Kevin Ferguson, better known as Kimbo Slice. The 35-year-old Slice became known to the masses as a Miami street fighter whose fights were viewed by millions on the Internet. He eventually transitioned to a professional mixed martial arts career with the now defunct EliteXC fighting organization. Slice won his first three fights against suspect competition and was infamously stopped by unheralded TUF veteran Seth Petruzelli in his fourth and final fight with the promotion. After the loss, Slice eventually decided to accept the challenge of UFC President Dana White and appear on the Ultimate Fighter reality television show that helped launch the careers of Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian and a host of other top fighters.
In an interview at the Spike TV booth (posted on MMAWeekly.com) at the UFC Fan Expo this past weekend, Slice discussed his Ultimate Fighter reality television experience. When asked if the public would be surprised with Slice on the show, he answered with an emphatic “No.” Slice continued “They know what they get from me. They know how I am. They know who I am. That’s why they can relate to me.” He later explained, “They know when push comes to shove or I get my back up against the wall, they know what’s up with your boy. And that’s why they can relate to me.”
Slice’s brawling style and notoriety figures to make this season of TUF a highly anticipated one. When asked about whether he was concerned about his image and his portrayal on the show, Slice responded saying “I can’t be phony. It’s who I am. You know what I’m saying? I ain’t got no image. I’m me. This is what you get. With these cameras here, without the cameras here, I’m me. So I don’t try to be something I’m not.”
One of the biggest criticisms of Kimbo Slice has been with his lack of experience in all the facets of mixed martial arts. Slice acknowledged, “I need a lot of things. Know what I’m saying? So I’m still trying to get it. I’m still after it. I still got that hunger.” He later went on to describe the process of learning the arts, saying “I love it! I love picking up and learning the other parts of mixed martial arts. It’s part of the territory. It’s what to be expected”
While UFC fans will have to wait until the September 16th season premiere to see the newest cast of the Ultimate Fighter in action, the addition of Kimbo Slice to the show is sure to bring a new level of interest and sensationalism to the already provocative show.