This is so heartbreaking! MMA legend Kimbo Slice has tragically passed away at just 42-years-old. His sudden death is making us take a look back at this larger than life character.
We’re still in shock over the loss of Kimbo Slice. The MMA legend suddenly passed away reportedly from heart failure at age 42 after collapsing at his Coral Springs, FL home June 6. Kimbo — real name Kevin Ferguson — was one of fighting’s most colorful characters so here are five things to know about the late brawling legend.
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1. Kimbo was 100 percent South Florida, and proud product of the 305.
While he was born in the Bahamas, his family moved to Cutler Ridge, FL when he was a young child. He attended grade school through college in South Florida and even after he became a well-known fighter, the Miami area was the place he always called home.
2. Kimbo gained his initial fighting fame though early internet videos.
He began his career in unsanctioned mutual combat street fights, usually taking place in the backyard of various South Florida homes. The videos were distributed through the Internet, mainly through adult website Sublime Directory and YouTube which gained him a massive fan following that led to him being signed by Elite Xtreme Combat in 2007.
3. Kimbo Slice is a nickname he took after his first taped street fight.
In his very first taped fighting video against opponent Big D, Kimbo — then still Kevin Ferguson — left a gigantic cut on D’s right eye which led Internet fans to call him Slice. He already had the nickname Kimbo since he was a child, so his official fighting name from then on became Kimbo Slice.
4. Kimbo won his very first professional fight in a powerful way.
Kimbo made his sanctioned MMA debut against former WBO Heavyweight champion boxer Ray Mercer at Atlantic City’s Cage Fury Fighting Championships 5, in June 2007. The match was scheduled to be a three-round exhibition utilizing all professional rules of MMA combat, and Kimbo famously took down Ray with a guillotine choke 1:12 into the first round.
5. Kimbo was in the midst of a comeback at the time of his death.
After brief fighting experiences with Elite Xtreme Combat and the UFC from 2007-2010, Kimbo signed with Bellator MMA in Jan. 2015, nearly five years after his last professional fight. He defeated Ken Shamrock at Bellator 138 in June of that year with a first round knockout, and went on to crush DaDa 5000 at Bellator 139 in Feb. 2016, only to have the decision reversed when he tested positive for a banned steroid.
Our thoughts go out to Kimbo’s family, friends and fans after his sad passing.