Kimbo Slice, MMA Fighter, Dead at 42

MMA fighter Kimbo Slice (real name Kevin Ferguson) has died at age 42 in Coral Springs due to undisclosed reasons, according to reports. 

The CEO of Bellator MMA gave a statement: "We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family. One of the most popular MMA fighters ever, Kimbo was a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport. Outside of the cage he was a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man. HIs loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo's friends, fans and teammates."

Slice was born in the Bahamas and grew up in Miami. He became famous in the early 2000s as a backyard brawler and street fighter after YouTube videos showed him pummeling men in yards and parking lots.  He moved on to a career in professional mixed martial arts and also boxed and wrestled.  

In 2008, in just 14 seconds, he lost a much-ballyhooed fight with Seth Petruzelli. The fight was called by the referee when Kimbo seemed to stop defending himself against Petruzelli's punches, leading to accusations that Slice had thrown it. Still, he was known as a charismatic man, and many of his fights drew massive crowds. 

Slice had once been homeless and had also worked as a bouncer in the porn industry. He had six children. 

Upon news of his death, fans paid their respects on Twitter: 

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Deirdra Funcheon