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UFC’s Kimbo Slice promises exciting fight with Roy Nelson

YouTube legend says anticipated bout on ‘TUF’ will live up to its hype

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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.

Click to enlarge photo

Roy Nelson may not look the part, but the Las Vegas native is an accomplished fighter and former IFL champ.

The Ultimate Fighter

  • What: Kimbo Slice's first fight in the UFC against Roy Nelson
  • When: Wednesday 10 p.m. ET/PT
  • On TV: Spike TV (Cox Cable Ch. 29/HD 729)

Kimbo Slice wasn’t giving up any secrets Monday afternoon.

But the underground street fighter-turned-mixed martial artist promised the biggest bout in "Ultimate Fighter" history Wednesday night will live up to the hype.

“A good match-up. You got to tune in. I was impressed with my performance,” said Slice, aka Kevin Ferguson, of his matchup with Las Vegas’ Roy Nelson on the 10th season of the popular reality show on Spike TV.

“I’m not crying about nothing.”

Neither is Nelson, although the former International Fight League heavyweight champ said from a financial standpoint he wouldn’t have minded squaring off against Slice outside the show.

"Me and Kimbo, we talked about it, like how much money we would have potentially lost by fighting actually on the show," Nelson said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. "We could have headlined shows just by ourselves. So it's actually kind of funny to go that route, but I'm glad that we did it. I think it's probably going to be Spike's number one show by far than even the premier.

"I think it's going to be the fight of 'The Ultimate Fighter,' and then it just gets better because after that you get to see the drama of what happens to me and Kimbo living in the same room together."

The 35-year-old Slice — who gained notoriety from his street fights that were broadcast on YouTube — said he didn’t mind matching up with Nelson (17-4 overall MMA record), arguably the most accomplished fighter coming onto the show, so early in the season.

“I wouldn’t want it no other way, man. If I have to lose a fight, I’d rather lose a fight to a guy like that, or someone with a big name,” said Slice (3-1) of his first bout since his shocking loss to Seth Petruzelli seen by millions on CBS during EliteXC: Heat on Oct. 4, 2008.

“It just makes sense to have two big names go at it. One's got to win, one’s got to lose — that’s just the nature of the beast.”

Slice — who said he would be fighting in December, but didn’t divulge if it would be at the 'TUF' finale Dec. 5 in Las Vegas or UFC 107 on Dec. 12 in Memphis — said fans would likely get a kick out of his interactions with other cast members in the house after the fight.

“It gets it out of the way. The duration of the show people get to see how I react and interact with others before and after a fight,” Slice said.

While several of the other 15 members on the show, four of whom are former NFL players, targeted Slice as soon as he entered the UFC training facility in Las Vegas, Slice has said those same guys now are calling him to apologize for some of the comments they made on the first two episodes of the show.

“I kind of already knew some guys were gonna talk (expletive). Not knowing who I am, not knowing me, they were gonna talk (expletive),” Slice said. “But after the guys got to know me, I’m sure it changed a little bit.

“I’m already getting phone calls from some guys apologizing for talking (expletive) in the house already. It’s all good.”

The six-foot-one, 230-pound Slice said he knew a little information about the guys in the house, but not enough to form a solid opinion of who he wanted to face first.

“I didn’t really have any special picks on who I would have wanted to fight first, second or third. I guess those guys who called names out like Roy did had a game plan coming into the house,” Slice said. “I didn’t have time to think about (expletive) like that. I was just there to thump whenever my name was called.”

And Slice promises exactly that on Wednesday night against "Big Country."

“This fight is very exciting. I would say probably pound-for-pound one of my best fights,” he said.

Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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