Kimbo Slice Loses, Gains Respect

In a surprise to no one who follows MMA, Miami's own Kimbo Slice lost in the second round in a taped match last night to Roy "Big Country" Nelson as part of UFC and Spike TV's show The Ultimate Fighter.

Despite the fact that Nelson's figure appears -- shall we say -- unsculpted, while Kimbo has always looked like he just jumped out of a Grecian urn, we all knew Nelson was the far more experienced and skilled fighter and that Kimbo would have to land a knock-out blow standing up to win. That didn't happen.

Nelson got Slice to the ground and parked his gut on top of Slice's chest and that was more or less the end of it.

The good news though is that temperamental UFC president Dana White -- and a lot of non-Miami fight fans who've been watching the show -- have taken a shine to the ultimately likable Kimbo, and he's been recast as a Horatio Alger-slash-Rocky Balboa-type trying to work his way up the ladder. Which means we'll see more of him.

Here's hoping Kimbo can continue to make improvements, and one day, deliver that signature victory his fans have been waiting for. Until then, he's still MMA's version of Ted Ginn.

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P. Scott Cunningham