UFC fans will finally see Kimbo Slice inside the Octagon on the September 30 edition of The Ultimate Fighter, and when Spike shows Kimbo taking on former International Fight League heavyweight champion Roy Nelson, it will be one of the most-watched fights in the history of mixed martial arts.
The Kimbo vs. Nelson bout, which was announced at the end of this week's Ultimate Fighter, matches the man who might be America's most famous MMA fighter with the man who was widely regarded as the most accomplished mixed martial artist of this season on the UFC's reality show.
The fight already happened, but the UFC has done a good job of keeping the result from leaking, which means millions of fans are going to tune in with great anticipation to see whether Kimbo can defeat the toughest opponent he's taken on to date.
How big is this fight? Consider that Kimbo's win over James Thompson was the most-watched MMA fight in American history, with more than 7 million viewers, and his loss to Seth Petruzelli had more than 6 million viewers. Kimbo also delivered The Ultimate Fighter its biggest ratings ever for the Season 10 debut. Nelson, though nowhere near as famous as Kimbo, is well-known to hard-core MMA fans as the former IFL champion. And Nelson also reached some of the casual fans when he battled Andrei Arlovski on CBS on the Kimbo-Petruzelli undercard. This is by far the biggest fight ever to take place on The Ultimate Fighter.
If bets had been taken on this fight, Nelson would have been the odds-on favorite. If this fight had taken place in an arena, it would have been packed, and Kimbo would have been the fan favorite. Instead it took place on The Ultimate Fighter, and when it airs next Wednesday, the favorite will be Spike TV, which is guaranteed massive ratings for one of the most-watched fights in UFC history.