Kimbo Slice: biography
June 6, 2016 brought a shocking piece of news for MMA fans: Kevin Ferguson known professionally as Kimbo Slice died. The American Heavyweight boxer earned his fame thanks to mutual combat street fights broadcast on YouTube and then became a professional joining UFC and Bellator MMA.
Childhood and youth
Kevin Ferguson was born in Nassau, Bahamas, on February 8, 1974. When the boy was little, the family consisting of the mother and three sons moved to the United States; they settled in Cutler Ridge, Florida. It was a difficult time: Kevin changed several schools and set his status among peers with fights. In 1992, he had to live in a car for a month: Hurricane Andrew had destroyed his house.
Little by little, the future athlete’s character changed: he realized that physical strength was good outside fights. Kevin entered Miami Palmetto High School and took an interest in sports; he was a promising middle linebacker. After graduation, Ferguson received a sports scholarship and attended Bethune-Cookman University and the University of Miami; he studied law and criminal justice. In 1997, the young talent was qualified to Miami Dolphins but failed to perform in the first lineup due to his legal issues.
For this reason, Ferguson quit his studies and got hired as a bouncer in a local strip club. Soon, he was offered the job of a limousine driver and bodyguard for the owner of Reality Kings, the company that specialized in pornographic movie production and promotion. Later, when Kevin was a mixed martial artist, the company members became his official circle known as Team Kimbo.
In 2003, Ferguson tried himself street ultimate fighting broadcast on adult websites. During his first match, he gave his opponent, Big D, a big eyebrow injury and received the nickname “Slice”. It was added to his childhood nickname “Kimbo”.
Mixed martial arts
In 2005, the athlete began to practice martial arts at Freestyle Fighting Academy; Marcos and David Avellan coached him and focused on his street ultimate fighting techniques.
At some point, the sportsman took an interest in mixed martial arts and signed the contract with MMA. He debuted against the former WBO Heavyweight champion Ray Mercer at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 5 in Atlantic City. Slice had prepared and changed his coaches a month before: Bas Rutten and Randy Khatami trained him.
The high-quality preparation predetermined the result: Kimbo defeated his rival in the first round and then challenged David “Tank” Abbott, the professional wrestler from California, who was present there and accepted the offer. The show was scheduled for October 12, 2007, but promoters’ disagreement led to its cancelation. Instead, Kimbo signed a contract with ProElite and crashed the American Bo Cantrell. In a while, Slice got the opportunity to face Tank and also surpassed him.
On May 31, 2008, Slice debuted in EliteXC: Primetime broadcast on television. He faced the English fighter James Thompson and tore his ear; some fighters believed that Kimbo’s victory in the third round was questionable. He received much criticism for dirty tricks which made it difficult to find a new opponent. Slice was going to meet with Ken Shamrock in October 2008, but the latter withdrew from the show in the last minute.
Promoters replaced the famous fighter and offered Slice additional $500 000; he had a match against the American well-prepared Seth Petruzelli and lost. According to Petruzelli, EliteXC paid him so that he did not use some harsh techniques on the star of online streaming. A new investigation took place, and Kimbo’s reputation was damaged again. Later, Petruzelli recanted his statement, and everything was hushed up. However, many athletes believed that this scandal resulted in EliteXC’s bankruptcy in 2008.
The break in the official events was marked with an unexpected outcome: Slice became an actor. He participated in Circle of Pain, Locked Down, and The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption.
In 2010, Kimbo tried himself as a professional boxer and had several matches in the United States and Australia. In 2015, MMA announced the contract with Slice for several fights. The athlete defeated Ken Shamrock and then faced Dada 5000 at Bellator 149. The rivals had been acquainted since the street fight times; their opposition lasted for three rounds until Kimbo won with a technical knockout. Still, the sportsman tested positive for nandrolone and was fined $2500.
When the scandal subsided, the President of Bellator Scott Coker announced the rematch between Kimbo Slice and James Thompson on July 16, 2016. However, the event never happened due to Kimbo’s early death.
The information about the athlete’s personal life is not as detailed as that of his career. Slice was engaged to his girlfriends and had six children with her.
The sportsman’s eldest son followed in his father’s footsteps: Kevin Ferguson Jr. performs as Baby Slice. His professional debut took place in the late 2010s when he joined Bellator.
Performance-enhancing drugs had a negative effect on the athlete’s health. Several days before his death, the man went to a hospital with nausea and acute abdominal pain. Doctors diagnosed him with a lot of diseases, including cardiac failure and hepatosplenomegaly symptoms.
Intensive treatment proved to be beneficial, and Ferguson’s wife took the man home. His condition deteriorated on June 6, 2016; he was hospitalized in critical condition and passed away without regaining consciousness. According to the official data, Kimbo died of acute heart failure.
Kimbo Slice’s net worth was $500 000 by the moment of his death.
Titles and achievements
- 2007 - EliteXC – Renegade winner
- 2008 - EliteXC - Street Certified winner
- 2008 - EliteXC – Primetime winner
- 2009 - UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale winner
- 2015 - Bellator 138 - Unfinished Business winner
- 2008 – Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh
- 2009 – Blood and Bone
- 2010 – Circle of Pain
- 2010 – Locked Down
- 2012 – The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption