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UFC Twitter Mailbag: Kimbo Slice

It's a slow week in MMA, so it's no surprise that as we open up the latest installment of the UFC Twitter mailbag, it's all about Kimbo Slice.

Many readers took issue with me when I tweeted on Wednesday that I came away impressed with both Kimbo and Roy Nelson. Others are wondering when Kimbo is going to take his MMA training seriously enough to develop into a complete mixed martial artist, and how long it will take Kimbo to be competitive in the UFC.

Your questions and my answers for our UFC Twitter mailbag are below.

plaverty24: Disagreed. Terrible fight. Herb coulda stood them up as much as stopped. Roy was doing no damage.
I think the reason I came away from the fight more impressed than most people did is that my expectations for Kimbo were so low. I've always dismissed Kimbo as a brawler with absolutely no martial arts skills, and I figured Nelson would come out and KO Kimbo as quickly as Seth Petruzelli did last year. The fact that Kimbo lasted into the second round with Nelson -- a guy who has finished seven of his professional opponents in the first -- was, to me, a pleasant surprise.

Again, I'm not saying that was a great fight by any stretch of the imagination. By the standards of a pay-per-view show, it was terrible. But by the standards of The Ultimate Fighter, it was acceptable -- better than Jon Madsen vs. Abe Wagner and James McSweeney vs. Wes Shivers, the other fights we've seen on the show this season.

As for whther Dean should have stood Nelson up, I know some fans feel that way, but I disagree. When a fighter gets his opponent in side control and punches him in the head, the ref has no business standing it up.

sir_roc_obama: Ask Kimbo when is he gonna get a ground game and some stamina.
I absolutely agree with you that Kimbo needs to work on both his jiu jitsu skills and his cardiovascular conditioning. However, I hold out a little bit of hope for Kimbo because I think American Top Team is probably the best gym in the world for an MMA fighter to develop a ground game and stamina. We'll see what he looks like when he fights in December.

footballdiehard: How many years it will take him to be competitive in MMA?
That depends on what you mean by "competitive." If you mean being able to beat a Top 10 opponent, it'll never happen -- it's not realistic to think Kimbo, at age 35, is ever going to reach that level. If you mean being able to compete with someone who's a lesser fighter but still known to UFC fans -- maybe a Houston Alexander or a Stephan Bonnar or someone -- I think it's possible that he could be competitive with that kind of opponent in 2010 if he works really, really hard at ATT.

The bottom line is that Kimbo is nowhere near as good as most fighters in the UFC. But he's a huge draw, and because of that he'll get plenty of chances. I think we'll see Kimbo fight once more this year and probably a couple of times in 2010. If he wins a single fight in the Octagon, he'll have accomplished more in MMA than I ever thought he would.

Want to be part of our next UFC Twitter mailbag? Post a question or comment on Twitter.com, and be sure to start it with @MichaelDavSmith.

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