MMA world reels following confirmation of Kimbo Slice death
Once described as 'The King of the Web Brawlers' by Rolling Stone magazine, Kimbo Slice has passed away at the age of 42.
Slice, who was christened Kevin Ferguson, was taken to a hospital in South Miami, Florida, late last night, where his death was confirmed soon after. Police had been called to his house but no foul play was suspected with his passing.
Born in the Bahamas, Slice moved to America as a child. It was there that he found fame - in his early 30s - as a devastating street brawler. Many of his unsanctioned fights, which often took place in back yards, gyms or on the sidewalk, made their way onto the internet and earned him a cult following.
His MMA debut was at Cage Fury Fighting Championship in June 2007 and his first professional bout, for Elite XC, followed five months later.
It was not long before the UFC came calling. He lost to Roy Nelson during The Ultimate Fighter but came back to fight on the finalé card two months later. He defeated Houston Alexander and got himself onto the main card for UFC 113, in May 2010, but lost to Matt Mitrione.
That was the end of Slice's UFC career but he moved on to Bellator, defeating Ken Shamrock before being involved in one of the most bizarre fights in recent MMA history against Dada 5000.
Dada 5000 reveals more scary details of health issues following Kimbo Slice knockout https://t.co/lgUjdXyjZ9
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 6, 2016
Slice looked to have knocked his opponent, who claimed his heart stopped twice in the contest, out but a 'No Contest' was eventually declared. Slice was found to have tested positive for nandrolone.
Bellator president Scott Coker released a statement after Slice's passing was confirmed:
'We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and 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 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."
Tributes, anecdotes and those infamous Slice brawling videos have been pouring in.
This old Kimbo story put a smile on my face. Maybe it can for you too. https://t.co/KtFqIhDHUJ
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) June 7, 2016
Will always remember Kimbo Slice for the journey of soul-searching he went through on TUF 10. A very misunderstood man who will be missed.
— Darragh Murphy (@DarrMurphy) June 7, 2016
R.I.P Kimbo Slice, A Street Fighting Legend pic.twitter.com/wtexhtZEy6
— The Daily Dose (@dailydose) June 7, 2016