Kevin Ferguson, most commonly known as Kimbo Slice, was an American mixed martial artist, boxer, wrestler, as well as actor. Owing to his mutual combat street fights which went viral on the internet, he gained immense popularity and the name ‘The King of Web Brawlers’. Born in Nassau, Bahamas, Slice opened up about his various jobs during the early years of his life, including that of a nightclub bouncer, limousine driver, and bodyguard. Eventually, when he was older (at the age of thirty), he developed an interest in Mixed Martial Arts. Slice made his MMA debut quite late for a wrestler against Ray Mercer, a former WBO Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist. After Slice emerged victorious, defeating the latter in the first round with a Guillotine Choke, he started gaining popularity. Once he became known as a prominent MMA fighter a few years later, he also made his debut in boxing and wrestling. Slice had entered Hollywood by acting in a few films such as ‘Blood and Bone’, and ‘Circle of Pain’. His successful career was unfortunately short-lived as he left this world at the age of 42 due to heart failure.
Kimbo Slice: Bio, Career and Personal Life
1. Childhood & Early Life:
Kimbo Slice was born as Kevin Ferguson in Nassau, Bahamas on 8th February 1974. As an infant, Kimbo shifted to the US along with his family. He was raised along with his two brothers in Florida.
Kimbo Slice went to several schools such as Cutler Ridge Middle School and Richmond Heights Middle School. His first wrestling competition took place at the age of thirteen, when he had to defend a friend.
After his schooling he graduated from the University of Miami, where he studied criminal justice. He also attended Bethune-Cookman University. Later he did a lot of different jobs including that of a nightclub bouncer, limousine driver, and bodyguard.
2. Career in Combat Sports:
Kimbo Slice began his career by taking part in unofficial mutual combat street fights. He was given the nickname ‘Slice’ after he left a cut on his opponent’s right eye during a battle. The fight went viral on the internet.
In 2005, after he got into the idea of competing in MMA, he began his martial arts training at the Freestyle Fighting Academy. His first battle was against Ray Mercer, who was a former WBO Heavyweight Champion as well as an Olympic gold medalist boxer. The battle took place on June 23rd, 2007, at the Cage Fury Fighting Championships, where Slice defeated Mercer in the first round with a Guillotine Choke.
In 2008, Slice debuted at the ‘EliteXC: Street Certified’, where he battled Tank Abbot. Slice once again won against his opponent and emerged victoriously. Slowly, his fan base started growing more and more.
After Kimbo earned himself multiple other victories, the legend rightfully made the decision to compete in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). The MMA fighter took part in the show ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights’. In his first battle of the show, Slice faced Roy Nelson, by whom he was defeated. Later, he faced Houston Alexander at the ‘Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale’. After a fierce competition, Slice emerged victorious through a unanimous decision.
Almost ten years ago, Slice had opened up about his interest in pursuing a career in boxing. He made his boxing premier after exactly one year, against James Wade. The battle took place at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma. Slice won the battle via KO in the first round itself. Over the next few years, he fought multiple other opponents as well.
In February 2011, the legend made his debut in professional wrestling. He faced former Sumo wrestler Shinichi Suzukawa at the Inoki Genome Federation’s ‘Genome 14’ event, which was located in Fukuoka, Japan. However, he had to pull out of the match due to an unforeseen accident.
In January 2015, it was announced by Bellator MMA that Slice had signed a multi-fight deal with them. His first battle was against Ken Shamrock, where he knocked out the latter in the first round. Some observers, however, noted that the battle appeared to be fixed.
The next year, his battle against Dhafir Harris, popularly known as Dada 5000, gained massive attention, as the two were bitter rivals. Even though Slice won the battle after he knocked out Dada, it was later revealed that Slice had failed the pre-fight drug test, because of which the result of the match was changed to a no-contest.
3. Acting career:
Kimbo Slice has also acted in a few films. He played a supporting role in the 2009 American martial arts film ‘Blood and Bone’, which was directed by Ben Ramsey. The film starred Michael Jai White, Eamonn Walker, Julian Sands, Matt Mullins, Bob Sapp, Kimbo Slice and several other actors and martial artists.
The story revolves around the character named Isiah Bone, who after coming out of prison makes a name for himself in the underground wrestling scene. The film was met with average reviews.
Kimbo Slice played a supporting role in the action fantasy movie ‘The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption’. Directed by Roel Riene, the film continued the story of Mathayus, who after becoming the Scorpion King, sees his kingdom facing several calamities. The film starred Victor Webster, Bostin Christopher, Temuera Morrison, Kystal Vee, and Selina Lo alongside Kimbo Slice. The film was a commercial success. It received mostly mixed to negative reviews.
4. Personal Life:
Kimbo Slice’s girlfriend was Antoinette Ray. They dated for a very long time and the couple had six children.
The two were planning to get married being parents; however, Slice passed away before the marriage could take place.
On 5th June 2016, Kimbo Slice was admitted to a hospital near his home. On 6 June 2016, he passed to another life due to heart failure.