(Props: MMA Fanhouse)
At the post-fight press conference following the TUF 10 Finale, Kimbo Slice was as pleased as you could reasonably expect considering he’d just narrowly scratched out a victory against a guy who all but refused to fight him. Though fans and pundits expected Slice and Houston Alexander to put on a one-round war — a backyard brawl brought to the Octagon — we instead got Minowaman vs. Zuluzinho part 2. "We were prepared for somewhat of his attacks, but I wasn’t prepared for the ring-riding that he did," Kimbo said. Still, he wasn’t going to let Alexander bait him into making a mistake:
Of course, there’s still a lot that Kimbo needs to bottle up, so to speak. First, he let Houston tag him with countless leg kicks. As Slice explained: "I took some good kicks to the shin. We practiced checking them, but in the fight, with the adrenaline flowing, you can take a good 7-8 kicks before they start taking their toll and you say ‘Oh yeah, I can check them,’ but by that time the kicks had taken their toll a little bit."
More aggravating from my standpoint was his inability to finish the rear-naked choke that he threatened Alexander with in the second round. Kimbo’s excuse: "I knew I didn’t have it successfully. So I didn’t want to exert a whole lot of energy on a hold I knew wasn’t guaranteed. So I said, ‘Okay, I gotta let that hold go,’ but be smart about it, and either look for something else, and if not, get back on my feet and bang it out."
As a longtime street-brawler, checking kicks and working to finish submissions are simply not part of Kimbo’s DNA. Maybe if he keeps drilling them in practice, his instincts will eventually change — though we have our doubts about his committment to learning. My response to Kimbo would be that nothing is guaranteed in a fight. You throw a punch hoping to knock your opponent out, but that’s not guaranteed either. That brief choke attempt was the closest Kimbo came to finishing Alexander during their fight, and putting a little more effort into it might have gone a long way in silencing his critics.
Despite the holes that remain in his game, UFC boss Dana White was pleased by what he saw from Slice this weekend, and less than impressed with his opponent: