"We shot episode one today. He walked into the gym and was, ah…lemme tell you what, he was pretty serious. He wasn’t messing around, he wasn’t joking. He wasn’t laughing. I don’t think he’s a big Dana White fan, either. You know, how could you be after all the things that have gone back and forth? So we’re gonna find out this season if he’s for real or not…
I said a lot of things about this guy, and I’m gonna tell you now, just like I would, I’ve got nothing but respect for him. This guy stepped up and he wants to fight on The Ultimate Fighter. And he’s dead serious about winning this thing too."
White also said something that would be shocking if it’s actually true: Kimbo is not being paid to be on the show. ("You don’t come on The Ultimate Fighter to get paid. You get paid if you win The Ultimate Fighter.") So he’ll be making $5,000 per stoppage victory, like everybody else? Luke Thomas of BloodyElbow sums up the insanity like this:
"[T]he one fighter who has been a part of ‘the No. 1 and No. 3 most-watched fights in U.S. history, topping off at 7.3 million viewers’ is now living in bunk beds in a group home on a reality television show with other up-and-coming fighters for a chance at a UFC contract. That is the power of the UFC brand."