“Rashad (Evans) took us all in the back and said, ‘okay, who would you like to fight? Who do you think you match up good with?’ The whole nine yards. And then you just kind of picked who you wanted. Me, I went in and was like, I want Zak (Jensen). They were like, ‘why do you want Zak?’ I was like, well, he got gogoplata’d by Brad Imes, so I want Zak. They were like, ‘you match better against Kimbo.’ I’m like no I don’t. I match really good with Zak, trust me…You just need somebody that will make Kimbo look better than what he is because he can’t lose to nobody else. That’s kind of how I picked it. From a business aspect, it just makes sense. That’s what I would do if I was running the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter, but as a fighter I wanted Zak…That’s not the easy fight…Me and Kimbo, we talked about it, like how much money we would have potentially lost by fighting actually on the show. We could have headlined shows just by ourselves, so it’s actually kind of funny to go that route, but I’m glad that we did it…I think it’s going to be the fight of The Ultimate Fighter, and then it just gets better because after that you get to see the drama of what happens to me and Kimbo living in the same room together.”
—Roy Nelson talking to MMA Weekly about how his TUF 10 fight with Kimbo Slice was chosen by Team Rashad
There’s no way Kimbo Slice actually beats Roy Nelson, is there?
“Are you going to see Kimbo Slice fight again in the UFC? Yes,” White said.
Asked if that was a decision based on the first episode’s ratings, White said: “No, never. The ratings do not influence our decision. The guy can either fight or not.”
White said one of the strongest endorsements he received about Slice’s skill in the octagon came from former light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who’s a coach in the show and told White he wants to continue working with Slice at his elite MMA training compound directed by respected trainer Greg Jackson in New Mexico.
“We’ve been very impressed with Kimbo’s performance,” added UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta.