History in the Making: Roy Nelson vs Kimbo Slice fight breaks records on The Ultimate Fighter

via cdn2.sbnation.com

When it was announced that Kevin Ferguson, better known as Kimbo Slice, was going to be a participant on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10, almost everyone was understandably shocked.

This was the same brawler who UFC boss Dana White claimed "sucked" and "couldn't fight" just a few months prior. And now an entire season of a reality show is going to have him as a poster boy?

But money talks and signing one of the most recognizable fighters in the sport to star in the UFC's flagship television program was a major boon for both ratings and advertising dollars.

But lost in all the hoopla of Kimbomania was the fact that another man with a fighting resume that made Slice's already anemic record look even smaller by comparison was signed onto the show.

Roy Nelson is set to take on Frank Mir this Saturday (May 28) at UFC 130: "Rampage vs. Hamill" in a fight that very well could determine the next title contender beyond Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin.

But before he does, let's take a look back at when he dismantled and derailed Kimbo Slice's hype train in the third episode of TUF 10, cementing himself as a participant in the most viewed mixed martial arts fight in Ultimate Fighter history.

Come on ... you know you want to.

The other 15 fighters on the show found out about Slice's status as their roommate for the next several weeks the same day the public did.

While we were sitting behind our computers, trying to comprehend the bombshell that had just been dropped on us, guys like Matt Mitrione, Brendan Schaub, and Jon Madsen were in the TUF training center when the hulking internet sensation came walking in.

White had promised the fighters a big surprise which Roy Nelson understandably assumed was him.

Belly jokes aside, Nelson was the first house member since Mac Danzig walked the competition in the show's sixth season to have world class fighting experience.

He was a former International Fight League champion, a promotion he amassed a 6-1 record in. After the company folded, he quickly took a fight against former UFC heavyweight kingpin Andrei Arlovski.

A controversial stand up by the referee led to Nelson losing that fight by technical knock out (TKO). Six months later, another controversy and another loss plagued "Big Country's" record.

It was at this point that the Las Vegas native decided to bite the bullet and sign on as a participant in the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter, the first season to showcase heavyweights exclusively.

It was at this point that his career intersected with that of Kimbo Slice's.

Rashad Evans, one of the coaches, selected Greg Jackson teammate James McSweeney with his first pick. Quinton Jackson, the other coach, immediately picked Slice.

Brendan Schaub was the third pick and then there was another. And another. And another.

And still two more fighters were selected until Evans finally chose Nelson, a man who had more wins than most of the other guys had fights.

Selected ninth overall, Nelson apparently didn't impress either coach with what appeared to be a poor attitude, subpar conditioning, and a disregard for physical appearance.

But "Big Country" was given the chance to redeem himself when Team Evans gained matchmaking control and pitted him against Team Jackson's number one pick, Slice.

Having his first pick lose so quickly would be detrimental to Team Jackson and it seemed like his opponent at UFC 114 was going right for the jugular.

Nelson and Slice locked horns in the third episode and "Big Country" himself said that if the situation got too hectic in the stand up, he would have no qualms about taking the fight to the ground.

Let's take a look at this horrifically mismatched -- but still incredibly historic -- bout.

Those who expected Nelson to steamroll Slice are in for some serious disappointment. The bout opens and Slice looks light on his feet, eager to utilize the newfound skills he's attained since getting into the TUF house.

Slice shrugs off a takedown attempt from his opponent after pressing Nelson against the cage and throwing a combination. They jockey for position until "Big Country's" experience takes hold and he's able reverse positions with Slice.

Forcing the former EliteXC star to carry all of his weight, Nelson is finally able to score a trip takedown that drops Slice onto his back.

Even the scariest looking turtle on the planet is still just a turtle when it's upside and helpless.

But Kimbo has at least one trick up his sleeve. He nearly sweeps the big-bellied behemoth by pushing off the cage with his legs. It's not enough to get Nelson onto his back, though, and Slice is once again -- like his fight against James Thompson -- spread out in a crucifix position, unable to defend against a steady stream of strikes.

The strikes themselves are none too powerful and aren't exactly causing a lot of damage but the sheer volume causes the referee to warn Slice that he might stop the punishment.

Fortunately, or not so fortunately, the round ends, which stalls Kimbo's fate for a just little while longer.

As good as Slice looked on his feet, this is truly Nelson's fight to lose.

The second round -- aside from one punch from Kimbo that finds its mark and dazes "Big Country" -- plays out much like the first.

Nelson gets the takedown and with the ease of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt rolling with a first day white belt, transitions quickly back to the crucifix position.

From there, a seemingly endless amount of short punches with no defense offered forces the referee to  stop the bout.

Underwhelming? Absolutely. And that's even detached from the insane amount of hype given to Kimbo and his TUF appearance. Two random guys in a fight that played out the same way would have failed to excite as well.

"Big Country" would go on to the semi-finals and then the finals where he knocked out Brendan Schaub in particularly brutal fashion, making him the only other TUF heavyweight winner aside from his coach, Rashad Evans.

Meanwhile, the TUF producing crew kept ratings up with a "Will he fight again?" storyline with Slice, who was unceremoniously bounced out of the competition in the first round.

And let's be honest: Nelson did himself no favors with the casual fan when he defeated Kimbo the way he did. But it was smart. And it was safe.

Rather than risk getting caught flush by one of Kimbo's right hands, "Big Country" decided to use his technical skills, honed after years of dedicated practice, to his advantage.

The win wasn't fancy or pretty but it got the job done.

That actually describes Roy Nelson pretty damn well, wouldn't you say?

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