TUF 10 Fighters Speak on Experience, Slice

By Loretta Hunt Jul 15, 2009
And so the speculation begins for what I believe will be the highest rated season ever for Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Wading through and meeting some of the new faces among the 16 hopefuls Friday at the UFC Expo in Las Vegas, I kept thinking that the two finalists were only a few feet away with me (shooting ended just a couple of days ago). However, some hit-you-over-the-head vernacular coaching on behalf of Spike and the UFC, as well as the threat of a $500 million lawsuit to whoever squeals, didn’t leave me with any impressions of who advanced all the way.

The generic answer of the day?

“It’s going to be interesting.”

I bet it is, and I’ll be watching. But in the meantime, I tried to get a feel for what is in store with what is sure to be an intriguing personality menagerie.

Here are a few quotes from the players:

On the Experience

Wes Sims: “When they told me to pack my bags, I grabbed a garbage bag -- which is my custom luggage –- dumped all my worldly possessions in it, and on my way I went.”

Zak Jensen: “We all talked about how this is the best camp we’ve ever had. There’s not a lot of gyms that have a lot of heavyweights, so to have sixteen heavyweights in one place working out was an amazing opportunity.”

James McSweeney: “I didn’t really have to audition. They just called me, said they’d seen one of my fights and was happy with it, and it was straight in.”

Demico Rogers: “Heavyweights on twin-sized beds. Horrible. (On staying sane) You have to find your group. You have to get a core group of guys and we hang out and we keep each other grounded. You find your clique and you got to stay together.”

Roy Nelson: “I’m not the favorite. I’m just the fat guy.”

Marcus Jones: (MMA or pro football) “I actually prefer MMA. There’s not as much money involved, but you wake up, you’re doing something that you love, you’re motivated to train. You just look forward to doing it.”

Kimbo Slice: “It was an opportunity that was presented. Somebody knocked on the door and I answered. (It was) the opportunity to fight on that level of the UFC, to prove myself as ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ That’s what it’s about.”

On Kimbo Slice

Demico Rogers: “The one thing I can say about him is that he’s absolutely nothing like how people will think. He’s the nicest, happiest, most friendly guy. He’s like a giant, scary cage-fighting teddy bear.”

Roy Nelson: “Ability-wise, he’s probably one of the better fighters there.”
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