When Kimbo Slice first began training in professional MMA settings, an urban legend was born, even making its way into Fightlore: A Slice of Life. It’s a day Forrest Griffin remembers well.
A drop-in gym session by Kimbo Slice and then-mentor Bas Rutten led to a mini sparring session that through the years has grown, morphed and taken on a life of its own as Griffin was approached and asked to spar with Kimbo. With the streetfighting legend’s severely limited wrestling knowledge in mind, Griffin kept things on the feet and went through the motions of what he felt to be a routine sparring session.
“He was a really nice guy,” Griffin said. “I think Bas brought him in the gym. We were cool. He didn’t try to knock me out. We were just working.”
Opting to distance himself from Slice’s jab and test the waters of Slice’s kickboxing skillset, Griffin started working in kicks. First light, then working the body more and more.
UFC pays Tribute to Kimbo Slice
Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!
UFC pays Tribute to Kimbo Slice
“I remember thinking ‘he’s got good hands.’” Griffin recalls. “So I stretched things out and started kicking him. Kicking him in the leg a little bit then I kicked him in the body; I was kicking him in the body pretty hard.”
After upping the tempo to the body, Griffin took significant velocity off his kicks and landed a head kick that has been intensified in triplicate with each sharing of the tale. A light ‘wake up’ kick to the head has turned into a rumor Griffin has been since been trying to shut down.
“First things first, I did not knock Kimbo Slice out,” Griffin sternly assures. “I remember actually hearing people say, ‘Hey! I heard you knocked him out!’ No. Don’t say that!”
Griffin does admit to ruining Slice’s night with the kick, but it had nothing to do with the strength of the shot. It was all about that location.
“I kicked him in the head, but I kicked him light,” Griffin said. “It was more like a slap kick, but my foot hit his ear and his ear started ringing. After the practice he was like, ‘my f****** head’s still ringing!’”
Not that a former champion, TUF winner, savior of a sport and frontrunner for most likable athlete in MMA history needs the ego boost, but surely rocking a man more famous than YouTube is quite the badge of honor. Well, not for Griffin.
The potential Griffin saw in Slice and his ability to learn left an athlete as humble as the former king of the 205ers wondering if he just discouraged Slice. Immediately after wishing he could have spent more time in the gym with them, Griffin also thought about the man who introduced the two and was even more happy with the way he treated Slice.
“Bas Rutten was old, but he could probably still hurt me,” Griffin laughed. “That was another thing. When you come in with Bas Rutten, Bas was looking out for him.”
Catch the UFC original series Fightlore: A Slice of Life TODAY, as well as Slice’s MMA library, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!