*There’s sad news coming out of the MMA world. Legendary fighter Kimbo Slice has passed away at age 42. According to reports, he suffered a heart attack and couldn’t be revived.
A representative for the Coral Springs Police Department told MMAjunkie that Slice – whose birth name was Kevin Ferguson – was admitted to Northwest Medical Center in Margate, Fla on Monday (06-06-16). TMZ Sports first reported the fighter had been hospitalized and was in a “dire” situation.
In a statement, Scott Coker of Bellator MMA, the promotional company that Sliced was signed to, praised the “beloved member of the Bellator family” who was “one of the most popular MMA fighters ever.”
Coker’s full statement:
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 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.
Ferguson, who turned his YouTube stardom as a Miami-based bareknuckle boxer into a professional MMA career, almost immediately became one of the sport’s biggest draws upon his 2007 pro debut. He headlined a series of highly rated EliteXC shows on CBS and was one of the sport’s biggest stars despite fighting outside of the world’s top MMA promotion, according to USA Today Sports.
However, he eventually signed with the industry-leading UFC after EliteXC’s financial collapse, which came shortly after Slice’s first career loss – an embarrassing 14-second TKO defeat to Seth Petruzelli.
After a stint on the heavyweights-only 10th season of “The Ultimate Fighter 10” in 2009, he went 1-1 in the organization.
The bearded slugger then turned his attention to a pro-boxing career, where he went 7-0 against mostly overmatched opponents, before returning to MMA with a Bellator deal in 2015.
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— Dave Gaston (@Davegaston48) June 7, 2016
— MMA Nick (@MMA_Nick) June 7, 2016