(Kimbo vs. Roy, round 1+2.)
After all the hype, after all the brilliant video analysis, it finally happened: A fight that could have potentially headlined an EliteXC card, going down in front of about 30 people on a reality TV show set. Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson. The Irresistable Force vs. The Immovable Fat Dude. No, you won’t see it on any Fight of the Year lists, but it happened. You can’t deny that it was something that happened.
Apparently, living in a house with no televisions or computers has the same effect as smoking an assload of weed, because Kimbo began last night’s episode in a reflective, philosophical mood, getting right with God and dropping pearls of wisdom like: "When I decide to shave the beard is when ‘Kimbo’ will be put to rest…but will Kimbo ever be at rest?" He realizes that he’s always operated in relation to an exterior enemy, but hold the fuck up because maybe this whole time the enemy is the eneME, or rather, the INNER ME? Has Kimbo been fighting himself his whole life? Oh my God, player.
Kimbo says he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder, or anything to prove; he’s just a family man who likes to fight. Maybe Slice fights for little Kevlar and Kevina, but Roy only seems to fight for himself. He’s a lone wolf, an island. He books his own fights, secures his own sponsorships, and acts as his own trainer. Luckily, Rashad Evans feels like he’s finally cracking that doughy exterior and earning Big Country’s trust.
So, Keith Jardine shows up to practice, and Rashad starts crowing about how Rampage’s jaw will start hurting again when he sees KJ. Rampage greets Keith and pwns him with the old "got something on your shirt, homey" trick. But he doesn’t like Rashad’s implication that the condition of his jaw would be affected by Keith’s presence. They fight about it. Eventually, Rampage falls back into reliable bad breath jokes, and diverts his hostility to James McSweeney — "Speak American!…take Rashad’s nuts out your mouth and then talk to me" — and McSweeney nearly has another meltdown.
Rampage likes that Kimbo is humble and hungry to learn, but he’s nervous about how Kimbo will do if (when) he’s mounted, especially because there’s nobody on their team to replicate Roy’s big belly. ("I bet he ain’t seen his little friend in years," Rampage says.) They drill mount escapes for a while. Meanwhile, Roy and a few other members of Team Evans are chilling in the backyard, critiquing Kimbo’s skills. Roy predicts that he will end the fight after getting Kimbo in a crucifix position. Come on, man, don’t you think that’s a little too specific? I mean, anything can happen in a fight, right?
During a tough Team Rampage conditioning session, Marcus Jones hobbles off the mats with an aching knee. And yet, he becomes butthurt when it’s suggested that he won’t be fighting next. Rampage tries to explain that he should wait until his knee is feeling better, but Baby Marcus won’t be reasoned with. Rampage asks him if he’s on his period, which seems like a legitimate question. Marcus is a strange, emotional dude, who admits that he’s a former D&D aficionado who enjoys gardening. When his teammates suggest he’s a sensitive person, he gets all sensitive about it.
Kimbo and Roy weigh in. At 264 pounds, Roy has a 34-pound gut advantage over Kimbo. Roy wants to keep the fight standing — unless he starts getting beat up. "I’m not that dumb," he says. Kimbo explains that an "Ultimate Fighter" is a mixed martial artist who’s also a fighter. Anyway, it’s dyin’ time…
Round 1: They start slow, jabbing and feeling each other out. Roy comes forward and lands the first clean punch. Kimbo lands a leg kick. Roy throws some arcing left hooks. Finally, Slice wakes up and starts chasing Roy, slugging. Roy clinches and spends a couple minutes with Kimbo against the fence, trying to pull him down. Finally, he succeeds. Roy quickly gets the mount, but Kimbo does a decent job of controlling his posture. Roy switches to side control and Kimbo is nearly able to buck him off, but Roy stays on top and ties Kimbo up in a crucifix from the top, trapping one of Kimbo’s arms with his legs. Roy starts punching Kimbo in the top of the head, and Kimbo can’t do anything to defend the shots. With twenty seconds left in the round, Herb Dean starts imploring Kimbo to fight back. Kimbo doesn’t even wiggle his toes; he’s stuck in the crucifix, waiting for the bell. Roy continues punching Kimbo in the head. Frustrated, Roy shouts "come on, man!" to Herb. Finally, Kimbo is saved by the bell. Total gift from the referee. Not that Roy’s punches were doing a lot of damage, but Kimbo wasn’t doing jack shit to defend himself. It’s the James Thompson fight, all over again.
Round 2: Kimbo catches Roy with a hard 1-2, then another punch, but he makes the mistake of throwing an off-balance knee and Roy seizes the opportunity, clinching and taking Kimbo down again. Roy moves to side control and tries to isolate Kimbo’s arm for a kimura. Kimbo slips out, so Roy puts Kimbo in the crucifix position again. Roy begins hammering Kimbo’s head, and still Kimbo can’t do anything about it. A crestfallen Herb Dean waves off the fight. Kimbo loses his first fight in the Octagon, and Team Rashad goes up 3-0. Roy walks over to Dana and asks for a double-whopper with cheese.
DW is not impressed: "I let my daugher pin me down and hit me. That’s the kind of shots he was hitting Kimbo with…this guy is acting like the whole world should be blown away by the performance he put on…he did just enough to win and not get hurt." Damn, dude, sounds like you had some money riding on this fight. No, it wasn’t a great battle or a thrilling stoppage, but Roy’s gameplan was smart, and his groundwork was flawless. How does Big Country not run through the rest of these scrubs?
But wait: In the scenes-from-the-next-episode montage, it appears that Kimbo could go back in as a replacement, most likely for Marcus Jones. Could Kimbo really have his second fight before half of his teammates have their first one? And was his performance impressive enough to warrant a second chance? (Kimbo got tooled, but I guess he didn’t do worse than Abe Wagner and Wes Shivers.) And who’s this traitor on Team Rashad?