TUFF thoughts on TUF 10: Episode 3

UFC TUF 10, Episode 3 CompetitorsBy Katrina Belcher (KatrinaBelcher@mmaratings.net)

It’s time for my weekly TUFF Thoughts. This week I’ve been thinking about Episode 3 of The Ultimate Fighter 10.

TUFF Thought #1 Where were all these people on September 19th for the UFC 103 vs. Mayweather?

According to TV by the Numbers, TUF 10 competed successfully against the big three networks in viewership in that time slot.

“CSI: NY” on CBS drew 12.87 million viewers; “Eastwick” on ABC drew 6.62 million; “The Jay Leno Show” drew 5.99 million and “The Ultimate Fighter: The Heavyweights,” featuring Kimbo Slice vs Roy Nelson/Episode 3, actually broke all records for MMA on Spike TV, with an average of 5.3 million viewers for the whole episode and 6.1 million views for the fight itself, earning Kimbo Slice vs Roy Nelson the title of fourth most viewed MMA fight in U.S. history.

Interestingly, according to Dana White, the TUF show is almost not worth watching until Episode 8: “I wasn’t happy with any of the fights the first three weeks, to be honest. I was disappointed by the way we came out of the gate in terms of the fights. But the fights really get better. By episode 8, believe me when I tell you, you’re going to be going wild…. Hang in there, man. The season’s not over yet. Stay tuned is all I’ll tell you.”

So – all those hyped up ads by UFC, while pretty much totally full of it, managed to accomplish their objective: bring in the numbers.

TUFF Thought #2 – Kimbo Slice is not an MMA fighter.

If you think he belongs in the Octagon, raise your hand. Now all of you with your hands raised – go watch Kimbo on YouTube.

I suppose that like anyone else, he could be, but he’s not one yet. So what’s he doing on TUF 10? I think Kimbo has learned the value of humility – he had to be humble to accept Dana’s offer to go on TUF 10 as a contestant. He really seems to be a nice guy who genuinely wants to take care of his 3 girls and 3 boys by different, ‘er, females. He is no doubt a fighter. But is he qualified to be called an MMA fighter? To fight in the Octagon? Should he ever have been?

Here’s what Dana White from UFC has to say about the Nelson vs. Kimbo fight: “It’s hard to say why, but some people have it and some don’t, and Kimbo definitely does…. The fight (between Slice and Nelson) sucked.” Huh? Well that’s a contradiction.

So Dana thinks Kimbo “has it” – but has what, and based on what, because to date – I’m not impressed. And even though he has it, the fight sucked? Seriously?

And Kimbo gets awarded a place on TUF, even though there are guys out there who deserve it more: they’ve worked their butts off, trained diligently, defined and developed real skills and who, I’m sure, tried out for the show, but weren’t Kimbo Slice. Shameful.

I’d rather see a no-name heavyweight MMA fighter from Iowa on TUF than Kimbo, because he’s never done anything to impress me, and in fact I don’t think he’s earned a place on the show. He actually said he really doesn’t care much about the other guys on the show, because when he’s done, he’ll go back to his nice comfortable big house (allegedly bought with previous fight “earnings” and I say earnings loosely) when the show is over.

Interestingly, given the new record views in #1 above, Kimbo has now fought in three out of the four most viewed fights in American MMA history.

TUFF Thought #3 – Bigger does not mean better.

In a FanHouse exclusive, Roy Nelson made some serious accusations against Herb Dean, calling him a “retard” and claiming he colluded with the UFC management in order to keep Kimbo Slice on the winning track.

Then in an interview with USA Today, Nelson said: “First round was 44 punches to the face, and then Herb Dean doesn’t know how to ref, but we’ve seen that before, and then the next round was 22 punches. You could even see me yelling at Herb Dean, ‘Come on, ref.’ … But the thing is, there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of money … So I think it was more that Herb Dean was afraid to lose his job, because there’s a lot of people with a lot of money that can have a lot of influence with his career.”

I highly doubt Dean was afraid of losing his job, and I seriously doubt he ran around saying “Am I going to get fired? I don’t know? Am I going to get fired?” like Roy said he did. He did a great job of ref’ing the fight, and he made the right call at the right time. I mean – pretty much all Roy did after taking Kimbo down was keep him in a crucifix and slap him on the top of his head. Even Keith Keizer, the Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director, said he felt Herb Dean refereed the Kimbo Slice-Roy Nelson fight perfectly. [See Herb Dean’s rebuttal.]

I’m sure Burger King is very proud of their poster boy’s win, but he’s not setting a real good example – not with his ego, his attitude or his physique. I’ll say it again – bigger does not mean better.

TUFF Thought #4 – It ain’t over for the Kimbo-UFC-Dana White Love Tryst.

UFC co-owner, Lorenzo Fertitta, said “We’ve been very impressed with Kimbo’s performance.” What? So to date, UFC feels Kimbo’s performance has been impressive? Really?

Then Dana White stated publically: “The ratings do not influence our decision; the guy can either fight or not.” The ratings aren’t going to influence Dana or the UFC? Who are they kidding? If he can’t fight, he’s gone? Again?

Don’t believe it. It was obvious at the end of the show on Wednesday night Dana was setting us up to see Kimbo come back later on in the season.

Overall I thought TUF 10, Episode 3 was a huge disappointment. I wish Dancing with the Stars was being televised at the same time – then I could watch a real fighter performing for his audience.

What Do You Think of This Fight/Event?