Once Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson lost his fight to Roy Nelson in the third episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights," rumors began swirling about whether or not the former streetfighter would get another shot in the Octagon on the show.
But with just one opening-round fight left to air to set the quarterfinal field, he apparently will not.
Several published reports have surfaced in recent weeks indicating Ferguson will take on light heavyweight striker Houston Alexander sometime after the conclusion of the reality show's 10th season.
The Times has learned from a source close to the Alexander camp that the fight has indeed been agreed to and that it will be contested at a special heavyweight catch weight of 215 pounds on "The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale" on Dec. 5 at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.
According to the source, the fight was originally going to take place at light heavyweight. But Ferguson, the source said, is not able to make the drop to 205 pounds, and the two fighters agreed to the bout at 215 pounds. Ferguson weighed in at 230 pounds for his fight with Nelson on the show, which was filmed over the summer. And on a media conference call two days before that episode aired, he said he was then just short of 235 pounds.
For several weeks, previews for upcoming episodes of the UFC's Spike TV reality series teased to Ferguson maybe getting another crack after his loss to Nelson, perhaps subbing in for an injured teammate. It hasn't happened, and with just one more first-round fight left, airing on Wednesday, that likelihood is slim.
The first published reports last month speculated a fight between Ferguson and Alexander would take place at UFC 107 in Memphis on Dec. 12. And in the media call with Ferguson on Sept. 28, he twice slipped and mentioned his "fight in December." When questioned about it, he and his manager quickly said they could not discuss it -- and that opened the speculation that he would somehow be fighting on either the TUF Finale card or the Memphis show.
But as the mixed martial arts news site MMA Junkie first reported earlier this week, Alexander is on the Nevada State Athletic Commission's schedule on Wednesday to get fighter license approval in the state. Alexander has not fought in Nevada since a first-round TKO of Keith Jardine at UFC 71 in May 2007 and at age 37 must get special approval from the commission.
License approval by the NSAC would apparently pave the way for a fight against Ferguson on the TUF 10 Finale, fighting on a main card along with the already announced light heavyweight fight between Jon Jones and Matt Hamill as well as the two finalists from this season's show.
The UFC has not yet officially announced the fight as part of its TUF 10 Finale card and the consensus is the organization would not do so until closer to the conclusion of this season.
Alexander, a powerful striker, has lost three straight fights in the UFC. He rebounded in September with a first-round knockout of former UFC fighter Sherman Pendergarst on the Adrenaline MMA IV show in Council Bluffs, Iowa, just across the river from his home of Omaha, Neb. For that contest, first reported by The Times in July, the UFC made a rare exception and let Alexander take a fight outside the organization.
Ferguson, who made his name through streetfighting videos that spread virally across the Internet, is 3-1 as an MMA pro. His one loss came at the hands of Seth Petruzelli in a nationally televised main event for the now-defunct EliteXC. His loss to Nelson on the third episode of "The Ultimate Fighter" is not an officially sanctioned fight and does not count against his professional record.