UFC fans will finally see Kimbo Slice step into the Octagon on Wednesday night when his fight with Roy Nelson airs on The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV, and when Kimbo spoke with the media on Monday, he said he was pleased with how he did.
Kimbo, Nelson and the UFC have carefully avoided giving away any spoilers about the fight, which took place over the summer, but Kimbo did say, "I was impressed with my performance." And he indicated that he expects to have much better performances in the UFC down the road.
Kimbo said he's training at American Top Team -- one of the best MMA gyms in the world -- and that he expects to be better than ever for a likely UFC fight in December.
"I'm training at American Top Team," Kimbo said, adding that he plans to continue working at ATT for the forseeable future, and that coach Ricardo Liborio has been particularly helpful in preparing him.
Kimbo has been a professional MMA fighter for two years, but he acknowledged that his style hasn't changed much since his days as a street fighter: He's still primarily a stand-up brawler who's just trying to learn the basics of Brazilian jiu jitsu.
"I'm a hard puncher trying to learn the ground game," Kimbo said. "You can do a lot, but you can't master anything in two years. In mixed martial arts, the more you roll the more you learn. It's something I'm working on."
American Top Team is known for its strenuous strength and conditioning program, which pushes its fighters through grueling workouts. Kimbo said he's in good cardiovascular shape and weighing about 230 pounds, and he said he'd be capable of dropping down to 205 pounds if the UFC asks him to become a light heavyweight.
"I'm a heavyweight," Kimbo said. "But if the promoters want me to come down, heck yeah I'd give it a try."
In Kimbo's case, the promoter is UFC President Dana White, who spent much of 2007 and 2008 ripping Kimbo as a circus sideshow and not a legitimate athlete. Now that Kimbo is under contract to White, he says the two of them can work together amicably.
"it's not like we sit down together for tea and toast, but we're businessmen," Kimbo said. "He's a promoter and I'm a fighter. We do what we do."
Story credit: MMA FanHouse