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'The Ultimate Fighter': Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson: We have a winner... and a lotta hype

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The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights has proven to be the best TUF season yet. The media star is unquestionably Kimbo Slice, the amateur street  brawler of YouTube fame who continues to evolve into a more formally trained mixed-martial-arts fighter. But the rest of this season’s bunch is entertaining, too. From the profane, hilarious arguments between opposing team captains Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson to the colorful personalities of other fighters such as Marcus Jones, who loves flowers and collects comic books, Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights is a lot of fun to watch.

Last night’s tussle between Kimbo and Roy Nelson had been hyped all week — Kimbo even put in an appearance on Tuesday night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, taking part in a goofy sketch that involved smashing a lot of fake, breakaway furniture.

So what about the showdown this week? Well, as Rampage said of Nelson’s girth, “That’s a big belly.” On visuals alone, anyone would have given Kimbo (trim and cut) the edge over Nelson (rotund and jiggly).

Unfortunately, Kimbo’s ground game remains his greatest flaw; get him on the mat and he’s in trouble. Which was exactly Nelson’s game plan. Once he had Kimbo down, he just laid that massive stomach across Kimbo’s face and Slice was flailing, nearly helpless. After Nelson had him pinned and was pounding Kimbo’s bald pate with one punch after another, the fight was called in the second round, a TKO win for Nelson.

Of course, this being a UFC production headed up by the motor-mouth president Dana White, we immediately saw some future footage that suggested Kimbo may make a quick return to the ring when Marcus Jones experiences some sort of pre-fight jitters.

That’s the thing about TUF these days: It’s so well-cast, with an array of amusing, trash-talking, frequently articulate fighters, that even when a fight like this night’s turns out to be a shoulder-shrugger, you still want to tune in next week, to see who’ll put down who, verbally or physically.

Did you watch The Ultimate Fighter? What did you think?

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