Kimbo: I have evolved

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:41 PM ET

MONTREAL - Few fighters have skyrocketed to fame as quickly as Kevin (Kimbo Slice) Ferguson.

The YouTube brawler turned mixed-martial-arts fighter was quickly pushed into the main event scene of the now defunct EliteXC promotion. Critics, who felt the organization was built like a stack of cards that would fall the second Ferguson (4-1) lost, were proven correct following his embarrassing knockout at the hands of light-heavyweight Seth (The Silverback) Petruzelli.

Though some thought that would be the last anyone would hear from Ferguson outside of smaller venues, he's still determined to prove his detractors wrong.

“When I rest in peace, I want people to say that guy evolved,” Ferguson said. “He went from the knuckle-heads in the back streets of Miami, to the big leagues of mixed martial arts. I've made sacrifices; I've got to give my kids something to look forward to. You've got to make sacrifices, listen to your trainers and you too can follow in those footsteps.

“I'm still learning, but I am still a threat in mixed martial arts.”

Following his stint on the tenth edition of The Ultimate Fighter, Ferguson defeated Houston (The Assassin) Alexander in a much chastised bout by unanimous decision on the season finale. At UFC 113 in Montreal on May 8, Ferguson faces fellow TUF alumnus Matt Mitrione.

Despite Ferguson's match with Alexander being universally panned, he feels he displayed just how much he's developed as a fighter.

“I didn't run in there like I would have in my street fighting days,” Ferguson said. “It shows growth and it shows the fans that you don't know what to expect from Kimbo. 'He's becoming a mixed martial artist' and that's what I wanted to become. I didn't want to just be a street brawler, being one-dimensional.”

Ferguson admits he disliked Mitrione (1-0) while filming TUF. However, he looks forward to throwing punches at him.

“He was a meat head in the house and got under my skin,” Ferguson said. “Most of the guys were respectful and I was just waiting for some BS to happen. For the most part they were really respectful guys, who just wanted to prove themselves as mixed martial artists and they wanted to get that contract with the UFC.

“I don't expect Matt to run. I expect him to live up to his name of being a meat head. Houston was known to be a striker, so you would expect him to stand there and bang. But he came in with a game plan that was a little different than we expected. A guy like meat head is going to do the opposite. His trainers may be like, 'Take Kimbo to the ground. Take him out of his element,' but him being a meat head, he's going to stand and bang.

"I think that's where he's going to make his mistake.”


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