Photo by Dave Mandel via Sherdog
Kimbo Slice showed a modicum of actual wrestling and jiu jitsu technique to compliment his boxing base in a unanimous decision win over Houston Alexander. Not the brawl anyone expected.
The world's most famous street fighter made his Octagon debut against one-time UFC phenom Houston Alexander. Kimbo Slice rocketed to fame on the back of YouTube videos showing him winning multiple illegal underground prize fights. His MMA career was off to a great start as he headlined the first ever U.S. network live MMA broadcast on CBS for EliteXC. But it all came crashing down a year ago on the second CBS EliteXC show when Seth Petruzelli knocked him out in 0:14.
Then he accepted the UFC's offer to participate in The Ultimate Fighter reality show where he brought the show its biggest season ever. He also lost his only fight on the series to Roy Nelson in the highest rated episode in the show's history. Despite repeated teases for the remainder of the season, Kimbo declined an opportunity for a second fight on the show.
Tonight he had his third chance to make a legitimate professional MMA fighter out of himself.
Kimbo's opponent Houston Alexander had endured a similar boom and bust on a smaller scale. Booming onto the MMA scene with quick and brutal knockouts over Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara in 2007, Alexander was heavily hyped by the UFC. Then he fought Thiago Silva and was quickly finished on the ground. Two more embarrassing losses, including a very quick KO loss to James Irwin derailed the initial Alexander hype train. After picking up a win away from the UFC, Alexander got his biggest opportunity tonight.
The first minute of the most anticipated fight of the night was a dancing contest, not a fight. UFC vet Houston Alexander circled away from Kimbo Slice and refused to engage the street fighter Kimbo Slice. He finally began to throw leg kicks but to little initial effect. Around the two minute mark they finally engaged with Kimbo landing a punch and Houston responding with knees. The rest of the round saw a few more exchanges with Alexander continuing to target Kimbo's legs with kicks. The crowd began to boo.
Alexander came out circling again in the second and Slice was incapable of cutting off the cage trying to bait Kimbo into charging in. He got what he wished for when Kimbo tagged him with a hard jab and then got a takedown followed by full mount from the street fighter. Houston escaped but was soon grabbed again and slammed by Kimbo Slice(!) and a second trip to the mounted position. Then Kimbo took his back and worked for a rear naked choke. Alexander escaped to end the round but definitely lost the round.
In the third round Kimbo quickly took center cage and went after Alexander. Hsoutn finally started to throw punches and they traded ugly punches. Kimbo baited Houston after eating a weak jab. Then Alexander cut Kimbo to the ground with a leg kick. That had Kimbo in trouble but he responded by taking down Alexander and working to pass his guard. Houston gamely clung to 1/2 guard and tried to sweep Kimbo. The ref Josh Rosenthal restarted the fight with slightly more than one minute remaining.
The fight ended with Alexander scoring with an elbow but he couldn't finish Slice.
I'll be looking for the UFC to book Kimbo Slice in a mega-fight against someone like Chuck Liddell in the not too distant future.