MMA fighter Kimbo Slice died Monday, June 6, 2016, he was age 42. According to ESPN, Slice had been hospitalized in Margate, Florida for undisclosed reasons. According to the Coral Springs Police, foul play does not seem to be a factor.
Slice was born in the Bahamas on Feb. 8, 1974, but grew up in South Florida. He is survived by six children, and he credited his MMA career for allowing him to send them to college. One of his three sons, Kevin Ferguson Jr., made his MMA debut in March.
His birth name was Kevin Ferguson he was a former bodyguard and YouTube sensation. A heavyweight 6-foot-2-inch fighter weighed in at 225 pounds. Slice’s professional record was 5-2 with four takeouts.
Slice was signed under Bellator MMA. His first fight was scheduled to be in Bellator 158 on July 16, 2016. His opponent was going to be James Thompson. However, due to his death at the age of 42, this MMA fight will not take place.
Before becoming one of MMA’s greatest fighters he was homeless for a short time. He worked as a limousine driver, a bouncer in a strip club he rose to fame through his street-fighting videos he would post onto his YouTube channel MMA fighter.
When he first started out in his career the MMA world did not fully embrace him as MMA had not gained the popularity it has now. UFC President Dana White stated Slice would not last 2 minutes in the cage.
However, he was immensely popular. In his third professional fight, he lasted four rounds and had a take-out against his opponent James Thompson in 2008. The fight aired on CBS. This was the first MMA fight on prime-time network television.
According to “The Los Angeles Times,” he had been diagnosed with heart failure and was in need of a transplant. On June 3, he had been complaining of chest and abdominal pain, shortness of breath and nausea.
Doctors discovered Slice had a mass on his liver and congestive heart failure, he was later placed on a ventilator. He died before doctors could transfer him to another hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and place him on the transplant list. There was no history of drug use. However, according to other sources, Slice had used steroids.
His last fight against opponent Dhafir Harris, known to his fans as DADA 5000, was on February 19, 2016. At the time, he was found to have an elevated level of testosterone and tested positive for steroids. For the past seven years, he trained with the American Top Team. He trained four days a week for a couple of hours a day.
Slice had many promotions with Bellator and UFC he became one of MMA’s most popular fighters attracting numerous fans and television audiences to the ever-growing popular sport.
Reports state there were no police or EMS calls placed before he went to the hospital. His fellow fighters from Bellator and UFC said it his was his charismatic and larger than life personality that attracted his fans and they credited him with getting more fans to watch and follow MMA and the fighters.
Outside of the octagon, Slice was a humble giant that loved his family he was frequently spotted at his children’s sporting events. Slice, who died prematurely at the age of 42, wanted to be a role model for kids and show them how he turned his life around. When his children watched him train, they saw the loyalty, determination, and commitment he had for the sport. He had hoped to instill the same ideals in his kids and fans.
By Brandy Combs
Edited by Cathy Milne
ESPN: Kimbo Slice dies at 42
Los Angeles Times: Kimbo Slice needed a heart transplant before his death
Daily Mail: MMA legend Kimbo Slice was waiting for heart transplant when he died aged 42
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