One of the big questions everyone was asking when Kimbo Slice was revealed as a TUF 10 contestant was “Has this guy even been training since the Petruzelli loss last October? And now we have our answer via MMA Weekly: he got a one month ‘camp’ in with his old striking coach Randy Khatami:
Khatami, a trainer at Elite MMA with Bas Rutten, was one of Slice’s chief trainers since the bearded fighter announced his entry into MMA. Early last month, Khatami began working with Slice again after a six-month layoff. Slice told him he would return soon – to what, he didn’t know, but he wanted to be ready.
Rutten had a well-publicized falling out with Slice after his 14-second loss to Seth Petruzelli at EliteXC’s “Heat” in October.
“Bas and I talked it over,” said Khatami. “Bas, he wasn’t happy with the lack of hunger, and the lack of drive and some other things, and it is Bas’ gym, and I’m a part of the gym as well. It’s one of those things where I told him I was going to do it, and here I am doing it now.”
Khatami worked on Slice’s striking while Raul Montolfo, a Carlos Gracie Jr. black belt, prepped his ground game.
While only having a month to prepare for a season of TUF that includes guys like former IFL champ Roy Nelson is sure to raise some eyebrows, I thought it was also fascinating to hear how much Khatami and Rutten talked about Slice’s ‘mental game’. Khatami makes it sound like the split between Rutten and Slice was related to that, and goes on to stress that Slice should do well so long as “he’s mentally there.” I always thought Kimbo’s mega-flop against Petruzelli had more to do with his state of mind than anything else, what with the whole last second opponent change and all. So it should be interesting to say the least how he copes with the TUF house, which has a habit of driving two or three cast members completely nuts every season.