September 24, 2009, New York, NY – Kimbo Slice, the former YouTube sensation, and current aspiring UFC fighter, makes his first trip into the famed UFC Octagon against former IFL champ Roy Nelson on the upcoming episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” on Wednesday, September 30 at 10:00pm ET/PT. The third episode of the new season, the highest rated ever thus far, was taped in early June.
Slice, a member of Team Rampage, will be taking on Nelson from Team Rashad, a fighter with arguably the most impressive resume among this season’s cast. The winner of the bout advances and will need two more victories to qualify for the live finale on Saturday, December 5 from Las Vegas and a chance to win a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Tale of the Tape:
Weight: 235 lbs
Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas
Trains: Miami, FL — Team Kimbo
MMA record: 3-1
One of the most intriguing figures in the history of mixed martial arts, Kimbo Slice was born in the Bahamas and moved to Miami with his mother and two brothers. A natural athlete, Slice was a star linebacker at Miami Palmetto High School and was later awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Miami, although he did not play a down there and left after just a year and a half. After college, Slice struggled to make ends meet, and lived out in his car when employment was impossible to find.
Slice eventually found work as a bodyguard and used his natural fighting skills to protect his clients. In Miami, word spread about Slice’s explosive punching power and soon he was a part of an unsanctioned street fighting circuit: all striking, no grappling and the crowd that showed up would decide a winner if both men were still standing at the end of the battle. More often than not, Slice was the one standing, and he became a YouTube sensation as his exploits were videotaped and posted at the speed of broadband for all to see.
Millions of YouTube views later, Slice transitioned into mixed martial arts in order to provide for his fiance and six children. He fought for the now-defunct EliteXC, headlining the first ever mixed martial arts card on broadcast television. He compiled a 3-0 record before losing to Seth Petruzelli in front of millions of viewers.
Weight: 265 lbs
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Trains: Las Vegas, NV — Team Big Country
MMA record: 14-4-0
Roy “Big Country” Nelson wants viewers to take one look at him and underestimate him because of his physique. It makes it all the more sweet for him when the referee raises Nelson’s arm at the end of the bout.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nelson has always been a gifted athlete. He wrestled and played football and baseball at Cimarron Memorial High School before graduating in 1994. He became a martial arts fan after seeing “The Karate Kid” at a young age and began training in karate and kung fu. He began watching the UFC in 1994 and, in 2000, began training in jiu-jitsu with one of the sport’s top coaches, John Lewis in Las Vegas. Nelson also served as a training partner to many of the top mixed martial arts fighters in Las Vegas.
Four years later, he made the transition from trainer to fighter and made his pro debut. With a devastating mixture of striking, ground and pound, and submission skills, he has compiled a 14-4 record and held the now-defunct IFL’s Heavyweight title. “Big Country” sustained two recent losses to notable mixed martial arts heavyweights including a KO to former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski last October and lost a three-round decision to Jeff Monson in March.