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On the scene for the Kimbo Slice pre-fight Tank Abbott open workout

Kimbo Slice Open Workout
I honestly had no idea what to expect on my drive over to the Kimbo Slice open workout today prior to his bout this weekend with MMA veteran, Tank Abbott, at "Street Certified."

Kimbo was scheduled to arrive at 2:30 p.m. ET so I got there an hour early just in case there was a crowd I'd have to fight my way through. This is his hometown afterall.

To my surprise I walked into the gym and was the first one there except for the dj. Yeah, that's right ... the dj who was setting up his equipment.

The gym reminded me of the place Apollo took Rocky in Rocky III to get the "eye of the tiger" back. Kind of a rundown basement-type gym with just the meat and potatoes-type equipment (a cage and heavy bag).

The walls were all black. It was cold. A perfect place for a fighter to train with no distractions (dj excluded).

I studied the place over pretty good, inspecting the cage, reading the "teamwork" posters scattered on the wall and even hit the heavy bag a few times.

By that time, the dj had his music blaring pretty good and sporadic people came in and out setting up camera equipment and lighting. I found a seat on some nearby extra mats and waited for the crowd.

At around 2:15 Gary Shaw walks in blabbering away into his cell phone about who knows what. This guy is straight out of a Martin Scorsese movie. Adidas sweat suit, gold chain, flashy watch, some $1,000 loafers and a huge gut. I'd swear I was standing next to a made man.

He pretty much stayed on his phone the entire time and when he wasn't he was screaming ridiculous things at cameras like Kimbo was going to be the next heavyweight boxing champion after he conquered MMA.

It was funny to actually be standing next to him and listening to his antics firsthand. I counted 10 times he yelled "305" to Kimbo while he was working out. I'm sure by now Kimbo is used to his corny ways, but I was having a hard time controlling my laughter.

Kimbo walked in at about 2:45 with a 12-man posse. He walked around for a minute, said what's up to Shaw and a few others then got in the cage. I have to say I was expecting him to be a lot bigger. Maybe it was the bodyguards with him, but he just didn't seem like the overwhelming presence I expected and wanted to see.

After stretching out a little, he wrapped his hands up and put on the gloves. I was looking around, waiting for Bas Rutten to come out any minute and put on the punching mitts and walk us through what Kimbo was going to do to Tank, but Bas never showed.

In his place was this dude who couldn't have been taller than 5'9" and probably weighed 190 -- an obvious ploy to make Kimbo appear bigger than he was.

Kimbo threw some basic combinations for a few minutes and worked up a little sweat. He basically broke it down into three rounds, pausing for about a minute or two between each. He took it easy on the guy for the most part until the third round.

Thats when he showed off his best weapon -- the left hook.

I swear Ii thought he was going to break the dude's wrist. He knocked the mitt off his hand at least four times. Aside from Shaw's hilarious "305" chants and occasional "Kill him Kimbo" comments, it was pretty cool to see up close the true power Kimbo has in his hands.

It's really impressive.

That was pretty much all Kimbo did as far as working out went. The rest of the time I was there was nothing but Kimbo talking to a reporter from ABC (who was the only one they let interview him) and him just kind of hanging out with his people.

Perhaps it was the rain that kept everybody away, but besides Kimbo himself, Shaw, Kimbo's mom, his girl, his bodyguards, a guy that had to be his brother with the matching gold teeth and beard, a reporter from ABC and some Showtime guys, I was pretty much the only other one there.

I did manage to work my way in for a few seconds for a handshake and an introduction. He was a really nice guy. He posed for a picture and said thanks for coming and that was it.

All in all it was a pretty cool experience, but I left feeling a little disappointed in my first encounter with Kimbo. I kind of just had this image of him in my head as this bad ass dude who would take a swing at me if I looked at him wrong. I expected him to be more "Clubber Lang" and instead he a total professional.

That's not a bad thing. Perhaps Bas Rutten really does have this guy turning into a well-rounded fighter.

We'll find out on Saturday night.

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