On Friday afternoon Kimbo Slice met up with a small group of media for some QT and Q&A at a smelly gym in New York City. He took a couple minutes to sit down with us to try and figure out what all this hype is about and just how big Roy Nelson’s belly is.
SP: Everyone has been talking about this season being the biggest one yet, are you excited to watch and find out how it all came out?
Kimbo: Yeah, now I’ll get to know which guys in the house we’re talkin’ s*** behind my back.
SP: Obviously, going into this thing you knew there was going to be a target on your back, but were you able to get past that and make friends with any of the guys?
Kimbo: There was. When I walked in, there was a target on my front and on my back, but it never bothered me. I don’t want to talk too much about the show because you guys have to watch it to see who was friends and who wasn’t friends. You gotta see it, you gotta see it.
SP: There’s a lot going around about all the clashing personalities this season. Between Rashad and Rampage and then all the NFL guys, there are a lot of people with big personalities but I know there’s at least one other guy in there with a “strong personality." Were surprised to see any unsuspected contestants emerge as antagonists?
Kimbo: I didn’t pay much attention to all that. You gotta understand, at the time, I was just focusing on, you know what I’m saying, any one of these guys is a possible fight. You know, a guy I might fight. That’s where I was, mentally, the whole time.
SP: A lot of people don’t seem to know, or at least don’t talk about the fact that, you have a football background too.
Kimbo: Yeah, I got as far as the Dolphins and trained with them in ’97. I tried out for them. I didn’t make the team, but yeah, I got pretty far.
SP: So what’s your take on all these other NFL guys coming out for MMA now?
Kimbo: I respect the guys for coming in and fighting. Those guys were all fighters already, you know what I’m sayin'? They all have it in them to fight, to be competitive. It’s in their nature. If it’s not football, it’s gonna be that (MMA) and that’s what it’s about. It’s a new era. Football players are crossing over and becoming fighters and after a while hockey players are gonna do the same thing.
SP: Where have you been training?
Kimbo: I train at home. I have a spot and I work out a little bit there.
SP: Did Roy Nelson ever do the Truffle Shuffle?
SP: The Truffle Shuffle.
Kimbo: Is that where he shakes his belly? Nah, I never saw that.
SP: As a coach, Rampage seems like a pretty good fit for you. What was it like working with him?
Kimbo: I worked with everyone in the house, not just Rampage. I worked with a couple of the other coaches. I worked with Tiki (Ghosn), I worked with Junior and I worked with a lot of other guys and everyone was good, you know. Workin' out with everyone was good. Sparring with Rampage was good. Training in the house was real good. I learned a lot.
SP: What do you make of all the attention the show has been getting?
Kimbo: It’s heavyweights, man. It’s bigger than boxing and that’s what it mainly is. I don’t want to say that I’m bringin' all this attention; it’s the heavyweights. People love to watch big dudes just bangin', you know, sluggin' it out. I don’t think people wanna see big guys rolling around and wrestling and punching each other on the floor. The ground game is great but that ain't really my thing. If I get a guy down, I’m gonna signal him to get back up and finish the fight. I don’t want to get on the ground and have people rubbin' up on me. Nah, I don’t want that.
SP: Alright, man, that’s everything I have. Thanks a lot for your time.
Kimbo: No problem.
Kimbo Slice appears on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, premiering on Spike Wednesday, September 16 at 10 p.m.