Kevin Ferguson, commonly known as ‘Kimbo Slice,’ was an MMA fighter and cult icon who died on June 6, 2016. After millions of people saw his homemade movies of backyard knockouts, he would capture the attention of the media and businesspeople. Kimbo’s legacy and journey to stardom began soon after he became renowned on the internet.
Ferguson, who was born in Nassau, Bahamas’ capital city, emigrated to the United States with his mother and two siblings when he was six years old. The Ferguson family struggled to live in Miami’s poor and violent neighborhoods. Ferguson had to coexist with crime, drug trafficking, and gang violence throughout his infancy and adolescence.
Ferguson was a promising high school linebacker in 1992. He hoped to be accepted to top institutions in the country where he could show off his skills playing American Football while also getting an education. Ferguson’s fate, however, was different.
The same year, Hurricane Andrew, Florida’s most damaging hurricane, would forever ruin Ferguson’s life. Aside from his family’s home being entirely damaged, the hurricane’s aftermath resulted in the cancellation of that year’s collegiate football draft. Ferguson’s ambition had come to an end.
Ferguson was sleeping in the back of an abandoned 1987 Nissan Pathfinder two years later, with no possibilities in life. This was the turning point in Kevin Ferguson’s decision to resurrect his other ego, which had been dormant since his adolescence. Kimbo Slice was born at that moment.
Becoming Kimbo Slice
Ferguson became a sweet and caring man as a result of his upbringing with his mother and two siblings. However, reality did not match his personality. Life was difficult in the south of Florida, but he vowed to confront it with his hands up. He was Ferguson at home, a cherished son and a caring brother; on the streets, he was Kimbo, respected and feared.
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) June 7, 2016
When things got rough again for Ferguson, he understood what he had to do: fight back. And that is exactly what he did. Ferguson began his career in Miami as a bouncer for various striptease clubs and a bodyguard for a pornography production company. Ferguson’s altered identity would be reactivated there.
Ferguson began to engage in unofficial mutual combat street bare-knuckle fights. People began to wager on these fights, and he began to profit. Ferguson is shown in the first video knocking out a man named Big D. People began nicknaming Ferguson ‘Slice’ since his opponent ended the bout with a gaping cut in his right brow. He determined that ‘Kevin Slice’ was not his style, but ‘Kimbo Slice’ was.
Kevin Ferguson Vs. Kimbo Slice: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Kimbo Slice soon rose to prominence as an internet cult figure. He was admired by fighters of all types, who saw in Kimbo abilities that were more spectacular than an ordinary clandestine street warrior.
He began to take his practice more seriously. Kimbo Slice had a particular interest in MMA while being taught by Bas Rutten, where he would eventually build a strong reputation as a professional fighter. Kimbo Slice made his MMA debut in 2007 at Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5 against Ray Marcer.
Kimbo Slice would be competing for Elite XC a year later. It was there that he began his most famous MMA feud with sports superstar Ken Shamrock. The feud began after Shamrock pushed Kimbo’s back. They were supposed to fight in October of that year, but the battle never took place. By the end of the month, the promotion would be bankrupt.
Dana White steps in. The UFC president recognized the potential audience Kimbo Slice could bring to his promotion and did not hesitate to call him and offer Kimbo a contract for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. Kimbo Slice accepted and became a member of TUF in 2009.
He’d have two fights there: a loss to Roy Nelson and a decision win over Houston Alexander. Kimbo Slice was given one more chance to prove he could be a top professional-level MMA fighter after that, but his loss against Matt Mitrione in UFC 113 effectively ended his UFC career.
Kimbo Slice would make a stunning return to MMA in 2015, one year before his death, to face his longtime foe Shamrock at Bellator 138. Kimbo’s life was summed up in the fight: a struggle from start to finish.
Shamrock pressed for a submission for the majority of the first round until Kimbo came back on his feet and performed what he does best. He began to fight back. He knocked Shamrock out with a powerful punch to the face, much to the surprise of the audience.
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How Did Kimbo Slice Die?
Kimbo Slice was hospitalized at a hospital close to his Coral Springs, Florida, home on June 5, 2016. He didn’t have long to experience the first symptoms before passing away from heart failure. He was still under contract with Bellator and was just forty-two years old. The MMA world lost a cult figure, and it was a devastating loss.
Kimbo Slice was a true sensation and one of the most well-known figures in UFC history. Among the boxers he encouraged to follow their dreams and never give up were Jorge Masvidal and many others. To a certain extent, Kimbo Slice personified these aspirations, proving that one could become an MMA hero through sheer determination.
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