Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot
Punisher Bass: In the opening recap, we’re shown about five seconds worth of footage from Shivers vs. McSweeney last week and it consists of the opening bell, four or five leg kicks James throws, then him getting his hand raised. Good, the less of that the better.
“Can former IFL champ Roy Nelson overpower the street fighting legend? Or…will Kimbo show up to do what he does best?” Mike Rowe asks me.
I don’t know Mike, is it too much to ask for both?
After the intro credits, Kimbo is sitting in the bedroom talking about getting right with God and such to Abe Wagner. If I’m perfectly honest here, between the glassy eyed look and the fresh stitches on his forehead, poor Abe looks like he was recently given a frontal lobotomy. I’m only half surprised he’s not wearing a gown and gluing macaroni to a paper plate while Slice is talking.
NewChallenger: We get a glimpse at the kinder, gentler, more thoughtful Kimbo as he puts things “in perspectives”. It’s not easy being Kimbo.
By the way, now is as good a time as any for me to say that if anyone has a problem with CM Punk keeping his working name, then I don’t want to hear you use the name “Kimbo Slice” anymore either. Make sense?
NC: I mention this because the former Reality Kings bodyguard refers to Kimbo Slice as if it is another person altogether.
“I guess whenever I decide to shave the beard…that’s when I’ll probably put Kimbo at rest. But will Kimbo ever be at rest?” Whoa.
And then of course, this classic:
PB: As Kimbo tapes some b-roll training footage outside, Schaub, Mitrione, and Schoonover are in the kitchen talking about the upcoming fight. Outside, before he’s even finished his jog, Slice is already out of gas and needs the help of his teammate to make it back to the house.
NC: The three guys make a good point about what a huge event this could be anywhere else. Both Nelson and Kimbo could make at least a few hundred grand from it, so for anyone who thinks the UFC exploiting its fighters is a recent development, it isn’t.
PB: Rashad and Trevor talk about how talented Roy is, but how he’s also very much a lone wolf (acting as his own manager and training out of his own house) and how they need to break him of that. They can help him grow as a fighter and they want to, but he has to start listening to their instructions.
NC: It’s his greatest strength and his greatest weakness, something that holds true to this day.
PB: Oh my goodness, it’s “The Dean Of Mean” Keith Jardine! Mr. CrazyNippleTweaker himself! Maybe he caught wind of Kimbo’s head and felt compelled to stop by?
NC: Don’t leave out his starring roles in such cinematic classics as Crank: High Voltage and Gamer!
PB: Fun fact, after shooting an episode of Breaking Bad with Jardine, actor Dean Norris thought he was actually the infamous Techno Viking. He had no idea they were not the same person.
And here’s the walking used baby diaper, Tiki. Take a shot. No, take two this time.
Quinton does the old “you’ve got something on your shirt” gag to Keith. Don’t people normally stop doing that after the 3rd grade?
NC: Yes, but they shouldn’t. Never fails to get a laugh from me. By the way, I’m 30.
PB: Evans keeps asking Jackson if his jaw hurts because Keith is there, to which Quinton takes umbrage. They get in each other’s faces and start smack talking each other, while Tiki stands next to both of them grinning like the village idiot.
The confrontation ends when Jackson says Evans’ breath is horrible so he pulls Tiki in front of him to act like a human shield. Now that’s a job he’s perfect for! Also, take two more shots.
NC: Rashad, ever the counter-puncher, was winning the argument by countering Rampage’s claim that Jardine stepped up so that Rashad wouldn’t have to defend his belt by pointing out that Rampage refused to take a short-notice fight against him at a different date. And Quinton, ever Quinton, chose the path of least resistance.
PB: Ah s**t, looks like I was wrong, now it’s time for McSweeney and Jackson to trade verbal jabs. Quinton tells him he can’t understand what James is saying and that he needs to “Speak American!” I take another shot just for myself.
NC: As far as British accents go, McSweeney’s is pretty mild so I’m not sure what Rampage is going on about. He trains at Wolfslair in the UK!
PB: Is the alcohol starting to kick in or Kimbo trying out for the lead in a Flying Nun remake? Seriously, with that towel on his head (over the nipple cap I might add) it looks like he’s wearing a nun’s habit.
I’m not even listening to the conversation he’s having with Quinton, I’m too distracted by the sight of Kimbo Nun Slice. And just like that it’s time for another training montage.
NC: Kimbo’s headgear isn’t the only thing about his appearance that Rampage gets fixated on. The trademark beard causes Coach Quinton to go on one of his infamous tangents:
“You ever lose a chicken bone in there?” And then he asks Kimbo if he’s a black Jew.
PB: There better not be much more Tiki in this episode, I’m running low on Knob Creek.
NC: Don’t look now, but…
PB: Oh god damn it! “Do whatever you’re comfortable with, there’s no wrong thing you’re gonna do down there”. I don’t care if Tiki was only getting paid in used chewing gum for this gig, it was way way too much. Time for another shot.
Quinton is worried that Kimbo is going to have trouble getting a big guy like Roy off of him, so Tiki calls Zak Jensen over to roll with Slice for a while. Remember how I described Slice’s grappling training as a “pity f**k” last week? Second verse same as the first.
NC: You know, at least Rampage recognized the scenario they should be preparing for. I mean, he offers no actual constructive criticism other than to tell Tiki that he’s not happy with what he’s seen so far, but he’s trying!
PB: Kimbo is struggling for all he’s worth while Zak just kind of sits there using the least amount of energy or skill require to stay on top of him. I’ve seen broken mechanical bulls put up more of a fight.
“I’m fixing it” Tiki says trying to alleviate Quinton’s fears. Take another shot.
NC: I suppose it’s worth mentioning that they…don’t really come up with a solution to the Big Country conundrum.
PB: Did you know that Roy Nelson is fat? No? Well Quinton Jackson is here to tell you in about 20 different ways.
NC: And not one of them is particularly funny.
PB: “Picture yourself knocking this guy out, and I promise you it’s gonna happen!” I don’t think Tiki could pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel. Take another two shots.
Moments before, Quinton was bitching that they didn’t have anyone near Nelson’s weight for Kimbo to train with, now we see Slice talking to Wes Shivers in the house. The fact that no one just had Wes run a couple laps around the cage and then lay on top of Slice as 280lbs of dead weight is just poor resource management.
In the backyard Nelson tells his less experienced teammates that if you’re on top of someone and hitting them clean, it doesn’t matter if they’re light little taps or serious bombs, the ref will have to step in because they’re not being defended intelligently. Foreshadowing?
NC: I was going to say, that whole segment could have used a *spoiler warning* tag.
PB: Another training session for Team Silver, and there’s a lot of huffing and puffing going on, it’s a good thing the UFC Gym isn’t made of straw (it is made of cardboard though) or else this would be the perfect start to a live action Three Little Pigs. Whatever workout they’re doing is apparently too much for Marcus Jones as he walks off the mats.
Quinton is sandwiched between Wagner and Shivers on the bench watching the guys work out, and he asks if Marcus is changing his tampon. I guess Abe and Wes are under medical suspensions with no contact allowed? Or does Quinton figure since they’ve already lost there’s no point in working with them any further?
NC: Do you think Quinton even remembers their names after they lost?
PB: Good point. Marcus says it’s his knee, he’s not injured but it is bothering him, enough to where he needs a break. My own bad knees begin aching in sympathy.
NC: Maybe so, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Marcus’ attitude. You know when you’re trying to talk down a significant other or your kid or something and no matter what you say they take it the wrong way? That’s how it is with Marcus here.
First, Marcus gets further aggravated when one of his teammates steps up to fight next despite Marcus’ desire to do so. Rampage points out that he wants Marcus to be at 100%, which he can’t be if his knee is bothering him.
Marcus takes this as Rampage not believing that he can win, which isn’t anywhere close to what his coach is saying. After some time, Rampage is able to talk the big man down, though not before threatening to put his foot up his ass if he starts to act like that again. Good talk.
PB: The show takes a moment to focus on Jones a bit more. He says he’s a big softie at heart, he plays D&D and collects comic books, he also likes to garden.
NC: I really can’t say enough what a great job these older seasons did of showcasing fighters ahead of time, not just on the episodes where they’re scheduled to fight. There’s a direct connection between this lack of attention to detail and the show’s current state of irrelevance.
On an unrelated note, we get a bonding moment between Marcus and Kimbo and I can’t help but picture what a kickass professional wrestling tag team they would be.
PB: What would they be called? “The Huff N Puff Express” with their finisher “The Big E”?
Oh we’re doing weigh-in s**t now? Slice weighs 230 lbs while Nelson comes in at 264 lbs. Roy may not look like an action figure, but he’s one of those fat guys you really don’t want to mess with.
NC: Alas, Both guys decline to weigh-in with their shirts off.
PB: “What’s gonna happen? I don’t know” Dana says, and I think he’s fibbing. One fighter is a guy who knocks others out with cinderblock fists and once beat Frank Mir in a grappling competition, and the other was knocked out cold by a skinny guy half his size who was hopping backwards on one foot at the time. Remember?
PB: Another training montage for Kimbo, and clearly it’s a mix from several different days since his shorts keep changing from cut to cut to cut.
NC: I’m in awe of the amount of editing that must have gone into making Kimbo look more competent than he actually is.
Wes Shivers sounds like he’s reading a hostage note as he praises Kimbo’s work. Though Wes always sounds like that.
Team Rampage’s Kimbo Slice (3-1) v. Team Rashad’s Roy Nelson (13-4)*
(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)
PB: After some jabs back and forth, with Nelson throwing and landing more, Kimbo tries throwing a leg kick. Would you believe that Roy is actually the faster fighter here? Most of the clock is eaten up with Roy clinching Slice against the cage before getting him to the ground with a nice trip and a little over 90 seconds left.
Nelson might as well be fighting a training dummy here because he goes from side control into full mount in about half a second. Kimbo is totally out of his element here and all he can do is grab hold and start praying for a stand up.
NC: Just as Rampage had feared, that big ass belly is all over his number one pick’s face.
PB: With one minute remaining, Roy goes for a kimura but quickly switches to side control and gets Slice in a crucifix against the cage and begins tagging his now completely helpless foe. Kimbo tries to push off the cage in hopes of shaking Nelson off, and he almost pulls it off but Roy reverses and maintains top position before easily regaining the crucifix.
Nelson starts going to town on Kimbo’s head again while he just lays there flopping his legs, no hip movement or further effort to escape, he’s looking into the face of the abyss and has resigned himself to his fate.
That’s basically the last 30 seconds of the round.
NC: It’s amazing how Roy implements his game plan exactly as he said he would. Once he’s got that crucifix, he can land as many unanswered shots as he wants and it doesn’t even matter if they’re doing any significant damage. The whole thing just looks so bad for Kimbo.
I do wish Roy didn’t get so desperate as the round ended. He was all but begging for Herb Dean to call it.
PB: During the rest period Kimbo is exhausted but is opting to stand with his hands over the cage.
Tiki says “He does NOT want to stand with you Kimbo!” Oh if I actually had a time machine and stun gun… Take two shots.
Quinton tells him that if (If? If? Hahahahahahah) Roy takes him down again, just tie him up until the ref resets them.
As soon as round two starts, Kimbo starts looking for a knockout so that means throwing haymakers only. After 30 seconds Slice tries kneeing Roy in the gut only to be taken down for his trouble, and this time there is no fence to help him.
NC: Oh, that fateful knee. It really looked like he’d hurt Nelson too. If only he hadn’t been compelled to do his best Sagat impression.
PB: I know I keep saying it, but Slice is completely and utterly lost while on his back. He’s not even trying to escape and he’s unable to tie him up for the possibility of getting a standup.
Now the round becomes a carbon copy of how the last one ended. Nelson goes for a kimura which leads directly into the crucifix, and is then followed by him teeing off on Kimbo’s dome. I start counting the unanswered shots in my head moments before I realize that Team Gold is already calling them out for me, pro wrestling style. After about 22 unanswered shots Herb Dean finally steps in and calls it off.
NC: Yeah, but imagine how much better Kimbo would have done if he’d just listened to the advice of his mentor:
Rampage: “Let’s go! Don’t let him do that. You gotta go!” All good options.
PB: Because Roy just humiliated Dana’s shiny and expensive new toy in front of the largest audience in TUF history (more on that in a minute), White is more than a little pissed off at Big Country. He also complains that “Roy did just enough to win and not get hit.”
NC: Are you saying he didn’t appreciate Roy asking him and Lorenzo for a double whopper with no pickles? These guys really did not like each other from day one.
PB: This pisses Dana off even more when he should be happy, since he’s giving a free plug to TUF sponsor Burger King.
Surprisingly, instead of walking off in a huff again, Quinton sticks around after the fight and makes the excuse that Nelson was simply just too big for Slice to get out from under. That’s the only possible reason and not that Kimbo has about as much grappling ability as my dead grandma. I’d be willing to bet that Kimbo would struggle against an old WWF Wrestling Buddy if he tried to grapple with it.
The episode ends with White trying to polish that turd of a performance by saying how ballsy it was for Kimbo to join TUF in the first place. Then he lays this little gem on us, “And one thing about The Ultimate Fighter, it’s never over until it’s over. There could be another opportunity for Kimbo to get back in there and fight again.”
This is where what I call the “Kimbo Kard” was birthed. It’s a cheap ploy they’re going to use every single week from here on out, and they’re doing it in hopes that constantly teasing his re-entry into the tournament will keep the ratings high.
This is how they will begin and end every following episode. If a fighter says he wants to go home, they play the Kimbo Kard. If Wes Sims slips in a puddle of j**z in the bathroom and stubs his toe, they play the Kimbo Kard.
NC: Spoiler: he doesn’t come back.
PB: So the episode ends with Team Gold now 3-0 against Team Silver, and nothing looks like that’s going to change it any time soon.
And I’m sending Tiki the bill for the cost of restocking my liquor cabinet.
PB: This was a landmark episode for TUF, at least it was ratings wise, it set such a high watermark that in the six years since it first aired, no other has ever come close to even matching it let alone top it. Not even having Brock Lesnar or GSP as coaches could do it. It was all because of Kimbo and the casual viewers he brought in, they either didn’t know or care that he wasn’t a very good fighter, they just wanted to see him.
Just how many casuals? Try 2.4 million. This episode was watched by 5.3 million people as it aired, that was up from the 2.9 of the previous week and the 2.8 the week after this. I think it’s a shame that this had to be the most watched fight in TUF history and I also think it’s bulls**t that Dana tried to place the blame solely at the feet of Nelson.
Though I have to wonder, if Roy had knocked him out in 20 seconds, would Dana have been more or less pissed off at the result than he was here?
NC: The only “Nelson wins” scenario that I could see Dana being happy with is if the two slugged it out for three rounds ending in a close split decision. He must have known about Nelson before the show and had to realize that the man was going to play it as safe as possible until he’d made it to the finale. If Roy chose to throw caution to the wind, it might have endeared him to Uncle Dana.
As it stands, they’ve never had a gimmick like putting Kimbo on the show. I would have loved to have seen them do the same with CM Punk, but I couldn’t see him agreeing to do it considering he had a lot more leverage than Kimbo going in. And even then, I don’t think he has the crossover appeal of Kimbo. Say what you want about his MMA performances, he has a mystique that can’t be manufactured.
PB: Can’t be manufactured? What about Dada 5000? If he was any more of a walking talking Kimbo clone, he’d be sued for copyright infringment.
NC: Call me when he gets called up to main event with Ken Shamrock.
Next week…I mean, who really cares? Kimbo already fought.