A Brief History
Internet backyard fighting sensation Kimbo Slice has been reported dead at age 42. Slice was taken to his local hospital earlier today where he expired a short time later of an undisclosed condition. Slice, born Kevin Ferguson in 1974 in The Bahamas grew up in Florida where he starred as a high school football player, good enough to get scholarship offers and ultimately a tryout with the Miami Dolphins.
Massively muscular and intimidating in appearance, Slice worked as a bouncer and bodyguard/driver before gaining fame as a backyard fighter on internet videos. It was there he picked up the name “Slice” when during his first video fight he sliced open the eye of his opponent. (“Kimbo” had been his nickname for some years.)
Slice rode his internet notoriety to fighting in mainstream MMA events where, despite a lack of particular success, his infamy and appearance garnered huge audiences for the promoters. Slice proved less than adept at the highly skilled nature of MMA compared to the brutal and more basic backyard bare knuckle fighting, and his performance during the 2009 season of The Ultimate Fighter highlighted the deficiencies in his technique. Undeterred, Slice worked hard to improve and more or less failed to impress, despite drawing enormous audiences. Switching to professional boxing, Kimbo won all 7 of his boxing matches from 2011 to 2013, 6 by knockout, regaining some of his intimidating reputation.
Slice‘s last MMA fight against Dada 5000 in February of 2016 resulted in Dada nearly dying of heart failure as the two obviously out of shape heavyweights lumbered around the ring exchanging sloppy looping punches. Dada also suffered a broken orbital bone, showing that despite the lack of technique, Slice was indeed landing lethal punches. Unfortunately, the fight was later ruled a “no contest” when Slice tested positive for a banned steroid drug. Most fans found the fight to be a travesty of out of shape unskilled fighters past their prime, many of whom blogged that they would not watch another Slice fight.
Despite the drug test failure, Slice was booked to fight in London on July 16, 2016, the fight taking place outside the US because of the drug related suspension. Obviously there are plenty of fight fans who would indeed have watched another Kimbo Slice spectacle, if only for the curiosity factor if not for pure fighting appreciation, and promoters willing to invest in such a bout.
Slice also parlayed his fierce appearance into parts in 4 movies and a television movie as well as his internet, MMA, and boxing ventures, and had a tentative Pro Wrestling match in Japan as well, that was nixed by a training injury.
Slice leaves behind 6 children and a fiancé as well as millions of loyal fans and a Mixed Martial Arts community that mourns the loss of this colorful and dynamic personality.
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