It's finally official: Ratings monster Kimbo Slice is set to make his much-anticipated Octagon debut against hard-hitting Houston Alexander at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 Finale, which is slated for "The Pearl" at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 5.
Slice was bounced out of the 16-man tournament-style competition, losing to pre-season favorite, former International Fight League (IFL) standout Roy Nelson, via second round technical knockout. About 6.1 million viewers tuned in to watch Slice compete on Spike TV, smashing the network's previous record by more than 3 million.
Unsurprisingly, producers teased a potential Slice return throughout the remaining episodes. In fact, UFC President Dana White actually approached the former Elite XC posterboy about filling in for a flaky Matt Mitrione in the quarterfinals; however, Slice declined because of arthritis in his knee.
Mitrione ended up fighting (and losing) anyway, but Slice's response shocked White. He indicated that he was trying to be smart and think about his future rather than risking another potential setback at less than full strength. Now we get to see if it was all worth it as he readies for the "Nebraskan Assassin."
He sure sounds as if he is:
"... it's time for the next step in my career.... It's gonna be good.... All I can say is that somebody's getting knocked out. Everybody knows what my stronghold is."
Alexander recently took out Sherman Pendergarst with a barrage of leg kicks and punches at Adrenaline MMA 4 in September, getting himself back in the win column after suffering three straight losses inside the Octagon.
The five-fight UFC veteran came up short against Eric Schafer, James Irvin and Thiago Silva, which was quite a twist of fortune after starting his career with the promotion with two big, and emphatic, victories over Alessio Sakara and Keith Jardine.
With a high-profile opportunity to battle Slice -- a fighter who he knows will likely stand and trade with him -- the Nebraskan can get his name back in the mix literally overnight with an exciting performance.
TUF 10 Finale will feature a showdown between the top two finalists from the Spike TV reality show, Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub, as well as a light heavyweight war featuring Jon "Bones" Jones as he inches his way closer to contention against Matt "The Hammer" Hamill.
Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of the TUF 10 Finale, beginning with the Spike TV telecast at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, we will deliver up-to-the-minute quick results of all the under card action on fight night.
To check out the latest TUF 10 Finale fight card and rumors click here.