Monday, November 2, 2009
"Kimbo Slice" vs. Houston Alexander Booked For T.U.F. 10 Finale
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (3-1) has reportedly been booked to fight Houston Alexander (9-4) at the UFC's The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale on December 5th. Ferguson is a heavyweight, while Alexander normally fights at light heavyweight. To help bridge that gap, the two will meet at a catch-weight of 215lbs. The appeal of this match-up is surely that both fighters are known to throw thundering strikes early, often, and with reckless abandon. It should be a short night for someone.
Nonetheless, this is an unusual move that smacks of favoritism for "Slice." That's because defeated fighters from past seasons of T.U.F. have generally battled other eliminated cast members at the finale, while "Kimbo" is fighting a UFC veteran and fan-favorite in Alexander. This fact will make Ferguson's fight that much more marketable, which is scary considering the massive legions of die-hard "Kimbo" fans that would tune in to watch MMA's baddest backyard brawler fight just about anyone.
This fact is evidenced by the record-breaking ratings that Spike TV earned for every episode of the show prior to "Slice's" early exit as a competitor in episode three.
"Slice" was eliminated by Roy "Big Country" Nelson (13-4) in the first round of this season's 16-fighter, heavyweights-only tournament. That loss hasn't affected his stock too greatly, however, because Nelson was the favorite to win the show from the start and, despite that, Kimbo gave "Big Country" a decent run for his money. Like all fights on the show, "Slice" vs. Nelson was technically a two-round exhibition match, which means it's not reflected on their professional records. Slice's last fight, though, was his only official loss. That bout was against Seth Petruzelli (11-4) at the very final EliteXC show in October, 2008. It ended by way of TKO after just 14 seconds when "Kimbo" suddenly succumbed to some deceptively powerful shots from Petruzelli.
Houston Alexander entered the octagon with a bang at UFC 71, when he knocked out, perennial contender, Kieth Jardine (14-6-1) in the first round with a vicious barrage of knees and uppercuts. That savage display earned "The Nebraskan Assassin" millions of overnight fans. However, after winning his next fight in similar fashion, Alexander's career hit somewhat of a slump. He lost his next three UFC fights in a row with out ever going to the judges scorecards. After being temporarily let go by the UFC, Alexander rebounded to win his most recent MMA fight. It served as the co-main event at Adrenaline MMA 4, but his opponent that night, Sherman Pendergarst (11-15), has lost 12 of his last 15 fights, including the last six in a row.
Recent losses notwithstanding, the UFC brass has no doubt that people will eagerly tune in on December 5th to learn which bruiser's combination of technique and natural athleticism will carry him to victory.