The last time we saw Kimbo Slice (aka Kevin Ferguson) he was on his knees at the BankAtlantic Center getting punched in the head by a pink-haired smoothie salesman. In 14 seconds, it seemed his mixed martial arts career - and the entire league built around him - was done. As it turns out, yeah, Elite XC folded, but Kimbo didn't.
The former backyard brawler appeared on ESPN's First Take minutes ago, announcing that he would appear on The Ultimate Fighter, the reality show owned by UFC - the largest and most lucrative MMA league. Dubbed a fraud by most hard-core MMA fans, South Florida's most famous former homeless man will now have the opportunity to battle fighters nobody would call phony.
First, host Jay Crawford asked about the Seth Petruzelli fight. "Fourteen seconds, wow," Kimbo said. "I change my kids' Pampers faster than that. I just wasn't there mentally...I didn't feel the hit. It was quick."
He says the fight doesn't haunt him though: "For some reason, it's not a haunting feeling. There's no fear. It's almost as if it were like a dream." (That won't do much to silence stories that he took a dive for cash, but what are you gonna do?)
He said he felt before the fight like "I can smash this dude, probably with one hand tied behind my back."
Crawford asked Kimbo about dealing with UFC president Dana White, who has mocked the South Florida fighter relentlessly in the past, even calling him a hack who hurt the integrity of the sport. Now Kimbo will be on Dana's show.
"It was an opportunity to prove him wrong," Kimbo said. "My heart is there. The ability is there. I put my mind there. Once all that is lined up, you know, I'm a fierce fighter."
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He says his background should help him. "I fight anywhere, any location, you know, on the drop of a dime," he said. "It helps in a sense, that fighting in the streets, there's no crowd. There's no big setting. There's not all the lights and everything. In the show, it's kind of like that. There's no audience, no music."
To MMA fans, he says he will prove that he is a well-rounded fighter. "The training doesn't stop," he said.
Then Crawford told Kimbo, "You physically scare me more than anything." He asked if there was anyone Kimbo was afraid of.
"I'm afraid of God," he said, by which I assume he means Bob Norman. "Another human being is beatable. He bleeds blood like I bleed blood. I don't fear anyone."