LAS VEGAS - Kimbo Slice showed he is more than a street brawler in posting his first UFC win while former IFL champion Roy (Big Country) Nelson knocked out Brendan Schaub on Saturday night to earn the title of Season 10 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Nelson (15-4) felled Schaub (5-1) with a right to the side of the head and then slammed him on the chin as he lay on his back. Referee Herb Dean quickly stepped in to end it at three minutes 45 seconds of the first round.
"I'm just the fat guy," said the doughy Nelson, joking he was headed to Burger King after the fight.
He may not have a chiselled body but he proved he is dangerous - standing or on the ground. Nelson earned the US$25,000 knockout of the night bonus for his performance.
"I'm ready to step in with any of the heavyweights that we have," he said.
Earlier, Slice won a unanimous decision over Houston (The Assassin) Alexander, proving his time training at American Top Team was paying dividends as he demonstrated some wrestling skills and signs of a ground game.
"I'm still working on it ... it's not easy," Slice said.
The fight at The Palms was expected to be a slugfest but Alexander had different plans. He circled Slice for most of the first two rounds, looking to chop away at Slice's lead leg with kicks while avoiding his power.
When Slice did chase him down, he managed to make him pay. Slice took him down several times in the second round, including once via a monster slam. He mounted Alexander and took his back, but could not finish him.
A tired-looking Alexander was not moving as quickly as the third round opened and seemed to be reverting to his former stand-and-throw style. Midway through the round, Alexander scythed Slice to the ground with a leg kick but Slice got up and took Alexander down again.
The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 for the 35-year-old Slice.
"Thank God man, I want to catch my breath first," an exhausted Slice said after the fight.
The six-foot Nelson weighed in at 263 pounds while the 6-4 Schaub was 240.
Schaub fought off an early takedown and seemed to hurt Nelson with his punches. But Nelson got into a clinch and tripped Schaub, taking side control. Schaub regained his feet and the two exchanged blows.
Nelson threw the last two that mattered, however.
Light-heavyweight Jon (Bones) Jones was disqualified for an illegal elbow against Matt (The Hammer) Hamill. Jones had dominated the fight and thought he was going to have his arm raised when ring announcer Bruce Buffer came in to announce the verdict.
The end was quick and brutal. Jones (9-1) tripped Hamill midway through the first round and punished him with more than 40 elbow strikes to the head, carving his face open. The fight was finally stopped after Jones had a point deducted by referee Steve Mazzagatti for a straight downward elbow and Hamill (9-3) was unable to continue.
Hamill got the win after officials made use of the recently approved instant replay to examine the fight's ending.
Hamill, who said he suffered a shoulder injury in the fight, looked like someone had taken a can opener to his nose.
Alexander and Slice both came into their fight with the reputation of musclebound strikers who have been exposed on the ground.
Alexander burst on the UFC scene with highlight-reel knockouts of Keith (The Dean of Mean) Jardine and Alessio Sakara only to drop his next three fights to Thiago Silva, James (The Sandman) Irvin and Eric (Red) Schafer. All five bouts ended in the first round, with Irvin finishing Alexander in just eight seconds.
Slice, a former Internet street fighting sensation whose MMA career in the now-defunct EliteXC failed to lived up to the hype, joined the TUF cast with much fanfare. But the Kimbo bubble burst quickly when he was soundly beaten by Nelson on the third episode.
Slice, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, came down from heavyweight to meet the 37-year-old Alexander at a catchweight of 215 pounds. Alexander normally campaigns as a light-heavyweight (205 pounds).
Slice (4-1) weighed in at 212, four pounds more than Alexander (9-5 with one no contest).
Earlier, lightweight Frankie (The Answer) Edgar had his hands full early with Matt Veach, who bloodied his face and scored a pair of power slams in the first round. But Edgar's superior striking eventually won the day as he stunned Veach with a right and then had his way with him on the ground before finishing him off via rear naked choke at 2:22.
Edgar (11-1) improved to 6-1 in the UFC at the expense of Veach (11-1). The two won the fight of the night bonus and $25,000 apiece for their efforts
Canadian lightweight Mark Bocek (8-2) won his third straight in the UFC, submitting newcomer Joe (The South Side Strangler) Brammer at 3:36 of the first round.
The 28-year-old from Woodbridge, Ont., took control when the fight went to the ground. Brammer (7-1-1) managed to got to his feet but he had Bocek attached to his back and the Canadian was able to lock in a standing rear naked choke.
"It's three in a row for me now," said Bocek, who was given an extra $25,000 submission of the night. "I'm looking for a name, I'm looking for a tough test."
Welterweight Dennis (Superman) Hallman's return to the UFC was spoiled by a late knockout by John (Doomsday) Howard. Hallman (57-12-2) was leading on points when Howard swung for the fence, scoring a desperation knockout with five seconds remaining in the fight.
Howard (13-4) is now 3-0 in the UFC. For Hallman, it was his first fight in the Octagon since UFC 55 in October 2005.
Light-heavyweight Brian (All-American) Stann won a decision over newcomer Rodney (Sho'nuff the Master) Wallace.
Matt Mitrione knocked out Marcus (Big Baby) Jones in a matchup of former NFL defensive linemen and TUF 10 heavyweights.
In other bouts featuring TUF 10 alumni, Jon Madsen won a split decision over Justin (The Viking) Wren and James McSweeney used his knees to stop Darrill Schoonover via TKO at 3:20 of the third round.