After a rough couple of years under MMA’s microscope, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson’s path towards MMA legitimacy is clearly paved for him now as a contestant on “The Ultimate Fighter 10.” Although the show provides the best possible GPS for him finding stardom, Kimbo’s path could have been a lot less rocky had he not bitterly parted ways with his former coach and MMA legend, Bas Rutten.
In June, Rutten told Fighters Only that Kimbo had “turned into a whole different person.” That, parlayed with a multitude of other things, lead to them to walk in different directions.
“I told him that he was an asshole,” Rutten added about his candid conversations with the YouTube legend.
Rutten, a mixed martial arts genius back in his hay-day, felt disrespected that a fighter as green as Kimbo wasn’t willing to listen to the advice he had to offer.
Kimbo fired back at the “Inside MMA” host by questioning the sincerity behind Rutten’s attempts to become close with the street fighter by stating, “I guess with him, he pretended to be a friend but he really wasn’t … It was just business with [Bas].”
“You pay a guy good money to teach you things and be a good teacher … then they turn around and say ‘I tried to teach you stuff but it’s not working.’ Come on man, you’re not a good teacher,” said Slice.
The highly-respected Rutten is clearly offended that his former pupil would speak out about their relationship in such a way, especially considering Bas took a big gamble on Kimbo when not too many would. In addition, he did it for peanuts.
“I also told him BEFORE I started training him, that he had to understand that when I had a commentary job, that I had to do that, since this was not a ‘money making machine for me’ (try to live in CA for $5,000 in 6 weeks and support a family, haha, I dare you),” Rutten stated. “He and his manager Mike, who’s a great guy, told me they understood that.
“Since I believed in him, and considered him a friend, I said NO to a whole bunch of commentary jobs because I wanted to be there for him for the entire time. Meaning, I actually LOST money training Kimbo. Well, actually, with the last fight (because they re-negotiated), I think I evened it out, but never made money.”
They tried it and the experiment failed, no big deal. However, Rutten did want to clear up that he currently does not think that Kimbo is an ass, he was just acting like one during their time together.
“I didn’t say that he was an asshole, I said that he TURNED into an asshole,” Rutten said in closing. “I actually told him this also about 5 weeks before the [Seth] Petruzelli fight. I told him that I thought he turned into an asshole. He said that he didn’t realize that and apologized, he did that two more times that day and even called me to say he didn’t know he was doing that. Later I called him an asshole because all of the [expletive] that he took for granted. I also told him that I had no respect for him in our last meeting, but why I said that? I won’t even go there.”