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September 20, 2014

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Episode 2: Evans’ squad 2-for-2; stage is set for Kimbo Slice

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Justin M. Bowen

Kimbo Slice, aka Kevin Ferguson, answers reporters questions during “The Ultimate Fighter” media day in June. Slice is one of 16 contestants trying to win a guaranteed contract with the UFC via the 10th season of the popular reality show on Spike TV set to air in September.

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The cast of The Ultimate Fighter No. 10 poses for a shot for the popular reality show that debuts on Sept. 16 on Spike TV.

The drama is supposed to be reserved for the reality TV show on Spike TV, but with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s latest revelation that he is retired from fighting, the most exciting action involving TUF No. 10 is happening outside the house in Las Vegas.

But like they say, the show must go on, and this week’s installment — while the action is somewhat slow to get started — ends with a big announcement.

Remember you can log onto spike.com for “The Ultimate Fighter: The Aftermath” to hear a round-table discussion hosted by Amir Sadollah with the fighters who just competed in the elimination bout that week.

The Episode

Week No. 2 opens with star Kimbo Slice sitting on the couch inside the TUF house talking about how he thinks he will be the next to fight.

Las Vegas’ own Roy Nelson says he would be more than happy to oblige the underground fighter who became famous with his backyard bouts on YouTube.

But the former IFL heavyweight champ doesn’t seem to be on the same page with his own team as Evans and the yellow team’s coaching staff pull him aside and tell him he needs to be more of a team player.

Evans and Jackson have a brief exchange in the training room when Evans’ team goes over their time limit.

"I decided to confront him, all gentleman-like, because everyone knows I'm not the cocky one here," Jackson says.

OK.

Moments later, Rampage personally attacks Evans by picking “Suga’s” good friend and trainer partner James McSweeney to fight former NFL player Wes Shivers.

Unlike “Big” Abe Wagner’s decision to touch gloves last week that infuriated Jackson, the massive Shivers passes on the formality and jumps right into the fight.

The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder rushes forward with a pair of punches and gets McSweeney to the mat.

McSweeney, an Englishman who trains out of Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico, reverses the action.

A low blow by Shivers halts things temporarily and, shortly thereafter, it's becoming clear that the former football player is having some conditioning issues.

McSweeney, a former kickboxer, scores with a few kicks. The round is a close one.

Early in the second stanza, it’s apparent that both fighters are quite fatigued, but Shivers seems most bothered as he tries to catch breaks whenever he can.

With Evans cheering him on, McSweeney lands a big shot. Later, he scores a guillotine. Shivers is too exhausted to launch much of an attack, and McSweeney becomes the aggressor.

Time expires and it looks like the judges might need one more round to sort this one out. Instead, referee Steve Mazzagatti steps in and says a decision has been made with UFC President Dana White reading the majority decision victory (19-19, 20-18, 20-18) for McSweeney.

The yellow team is 2-for-2, meaning Evans can pick the next fight.

Gee, wonder who it will be?

Best Moment

Evans picks Nelson to face Kimbo: “I want the big, black buck with the greasy beard.”

Kimbo Watch

While Slice stays out of the limelight for much of the episode, besides the intro and a few training shots from Rampage, it’s clear the stage is set next week for the biggest fight in TUF history.

Slice pulled in 7 million viewers in the biggest-watched MMA fight in American history with his win over James Thompson in May 2008. His loss to Seth Petruzelli last fall drew 6 million viewers, and the debut of The Ultimate Fighter had 5 million more MMA fans glued to their TV sets last week. Who knows how many will tune in next Wednesday.

The 33-year Nelson needs no introduction to hardcore MMA fans.

Despite back-to-back losses to Jeff Monson and Andrei Arlovski in his last two bouts, Nelson has amassed a 13-4 record, trained with some of the greats in the game and recently earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Renzo Gracie.

“This is the true test for Kimbo Slice. We’re gonna find out right now what he’s got,” White said.

Side Note: Not only is the UFC cashing in on Slice, so, too, is the man himself. Kimbo is quite entertaining in this ad for Norton software.

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