With the most highly anticipated season of “The Ultimate Fighter” just hours away, the show’s most popular contestant Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson talks about his “TUF 10″ experience and starting anew inside the Octagon. Although the show will provide him unparalleled exposure, it felt like prison for the street fighting sensation.
“I am here to be an Ultimate Fighter,” Kimbo said of his motives for joining the heavyweight tournament. “I was street certified, now it’s time to be Ultimate Fighting certified. I gotta thank [UFC president ] Dana [White] for letting me prove myself.”
When the YouTube sensation was headlining shows for the now-defunct ProElite, White sarcastically stated that the only way he would allow Kimbo into his UFC was through “The Ultimate Fighter” show.
At the time, most laughed off White’s remarks as another verbal jab at the competition, however Kimbo took it personally, as he should have, and that’s exactly why he opted to face the challenge head-on.
“When I first heard of it I was a little excited, I didn’t know what to expect,” Kimbo said of joining the cast. “I’m the only guy in here with a bulls eye on my back.”
No truer words have ever been spoken by Kimbo, as he is by far the world’s most popular 3-1 mixed martial artist. Even though former IFL heavyweight champ Roy Nelson is the favorite to win the coveted six-figure contract with the UFC, Kimbo remains the show’s main attraction.
However, being the “star” of this season’s cast isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
“Being in the [TUF 10] house, it’s kinda like jail, except these guys know how to fight,” stated the former backyard brawler. “It’s different. At any given time you gotta fight, you gotta sit and wait. I sit in one spot, in a blue room, or a green room for hours, it kinda [expletive] with you.”
Many believe that, on sheer aura alone, Kimbo will be employed by the UFC regardless of whether he wins the competition or not. Although he will need to display the right attitude, work ethic and charisma to ensure a future inside the Octagon.
However, Kimbo is quick to point out that just being another member of the world’s biggest MMA organization isn’t his primary focus.
“Eventually, you want that title around your waist, that’s eventually the goal,” he said. “But it don’t happen, just line them up [and I’ll fight them].”