Although he wasn’t featured in the night’s last fight, it was understandable why the UFC opted to have Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson’s name and face plastered all over their ads to promote this weekend’s “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale.” Sure Kimbo remains a big draw, but he clearly has a lot of work ahead of him. The good news is that he knows it.
“The goal was to come in and fight, to get the best training I could get to be prepared for a stand-up or a ground game,” Kimbo stated after his scrap inside The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Whether the fight goes to the ground or stand-up, I’m gonna come in and fight and be smart about it. You gotta be smart about it at this level of the game.”
Surprisingly, his battle with Houston Alexander wasn’t the slug-fest MMA fans were envisioning when this 215-pound catchweight bout was initially announced.
Alexander, a renowned slugger in his own right, promised to stand toe-to-toe with the street fighting legend, however instead chose to circle the Octagon and avoid Kimbo’s giant right hand for the majority of the 15-minutes.
Surprisingly, Kimbo had a couple of opportunities to finish the contest on the ground, however quickly realized he didn’t have the proper positioning to submit Alexander and decided to let him go to conserve his energy.
“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 it wasn’t guaranteed,” he recounted. “When I took his back I was going for a chokehold. I was going for the rear naked or ten-fingers. When I realized I didn’t have it … I just went ahead and looked for something else.”
That something else turned out to be a unanimous decision win, his first for the world’s biggest MMA show.
The victory bumped his pro mark to 4-1, however the fact that Kimbo recognized he had submission opportunities, attempted them and let them go when he realized it was a lost cause, shows that the work he and American Top Team are doing is starting to pay dividends.
Time to cash-in, Kimbo.