After telling the mixed martial arts world that he doesn’t consider Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson “a real athlete,” UFC president Dana White told Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole that Kimbo will be one of the 16 contestants on the 10th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“It should be interesting, given some of the things I’ve said about him,” White told Iole in reference to his previous comments about the YouTube legend.
Shortly after Kimbo found himself in the unemployment line when ProElite went belly-up, White raised his nose at the very thought of allowing a street fighter into his Octagon. However, the brash Prez did sarcastically offer Kimbo a chance to compete on a season of their hit reality show … if he dared.
“He can be on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ What’s he done other than get 10 million hits on YouTube? What’s he done to deserve to be in the UFC?” White said this past November. “He won’t win The Ultimate Fighter. The offer’s out there if he wants to take it, but he won’t win it.”
It appears as though Kimbo decided to take White up on his offer, which now explains the UFC’s recent decision to have only heavyweights compete in this season of their Spike TV show.
Initially, UFC officials requested for middleweights and light heavyweights to join their larger counterparts for auditions, however as they inched closer to production time they opted to focus solely on the heavies as Kimbo has enough star-power to carry the entire season.
Iole’s report did not mention how this impacts his current “contract” situation with Strikeforce as Kimbo’s contract was a key topic when the San Jose, California-based company acquired ProElite’s assets. If Strikeforce objects, it is likely that Kimbo will protest that specific contracts are not transferable assets.
It should be noted that, via the acquisition, only he and female superstar Gina Carano have been unable to come to terms with their new employer. All 40 of the other fighters have already hopped on board the Strikeforce express.
Kimbo currently holds an untested 3-1 professional record. His sole blemish came controversially against Seth Petruzelli at “EliteXC: Heat” last October. It took the underdog all of 14 seconds to send Kimbo crashing down, taking EliteXC’s future along with him.
On Saturday, White Tweeted that he had some “great” news today and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Kimbo’s involvement on the show will certainly help bolster the show’s ratings, which have declined since its inaugural season.
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