Abe Wagner’s Ultimate Fighter Blog: Conversations with Kimbo
Following each episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights, Team Rampage member Abe Wagner will share his thoughts on what happened on camera and behind the scenes.
This week’s episode opens with me and Kimbo hanging out in our room and having a pretty deep conversation. A lot of my time in the Ultimate Fighter house was spent sitting in that chair talking to Kimbo sitting across from me in his chair. We talked about all kinds of stuff ranging from philosophies on life to cooking techniques. I was personally surprised at both the depth of his character and the amount of common ground he and I were able to find. I had a pretty bad upbringing myself and he did as well and that was probably the commonality that we started from and our friendship grew from. There was a lot that I took away from our conversations and I like to think that he got the same in return.
This episode is the Kimbo/Roy fight. These guys were both my roommates. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much tension that I could see or feel. Both knew they’d have to fight each other in a day or two, but still things were pretty amicable between them while sharing a room. And in fact, they talked quite a bit to each other leading into the fight. Roy is a self-made fighter (as it says in the episode) and he has a ton of knowledge of the fight business. Kimbo is also pretty savvy to the business aspect of things, and so a lot of those two’s conversation was centered around stuff of that nature. When the topic would turn toward that type of stuff, I would mostly just listen to them and try to soak up as much knowledge as possible from them. Let me tell you, there was more than one night I fell asleep listening to Roy explain the fight business.
Anyway, I wasn’t so much surprised by Roy’s laid-back-ness prior to the fight, but I wasn’t expecting Kimbo to be so at ease sleeping in the same room as the person he was to fight the next day.
A note on a side story, there was no creative editing for Marcus Jones’ portion of today’s episode; he really, truly is a sensitive guy. He wears his heart on his sleeve and that means sometimes he does take things to personally and blows up, but also he is one of the most genuine people you’ll ever want to meet.
Leading up to the fight, my thoughts were pretty much the same as Dana’s; Roy was more experienced and well-rounded, but Kimbo could KTFO him if he landed a few good power shots.
The first round, they came out and more or less felt each other out for the first two minutes before Roy pressed Kimbo to the fence and ultimately scored a takedown. Once on the ground, Roy dominated the position and Kimbo couldn’t get Roy off of him. I re-watched the end of Round 1 a few times and counted forty-some unanswered strikes to close the round out. On the one hand, its not like they were the most powerful punches ever, but on the other hand, intelligent defense comes into play and Kimbo wasn’t doing that. I would say it was a grey area at best and subjective as to whether or not to call the fight at that point. Herb Dean didn’t stop the fight and it continued on to the next round.
Round 2 started out similar to Round 1 and Kimbo landed a few heavy shots that I’m sure stunned Roy a bit, but once again, Roy scored the take down and did the same thing again, this time forcing Herb Dean to stop the fight.
I think it was the strategy of Team Rashad to call out Kimbo as soon as possible, because the longer he stayed in the competition, the more he would learn and not be as green, so they wanted to eliminate him before he improved other aspects of his game.
For more on me, check out www.abewagnerfights.com.