Street Brawler and MMA Pioneer Kimbo Slice Dead at 42
Mixed Martial Arts fighter Kimbo Slice has died in a Florida hospital. He was 42.
Slice, whose birth name was Kevin Ferguson, was hospitalized Monday in Margate, Florida, for undisclosed reasons, according to Coral Springs Police. A cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but foul play is not suspected.
Slice’s manager, Mike Imber, eulogized his friend in a message to the Associated Press saying: “We lost our brother today.”
The fighter rose to fame in one of the most unconventional ways – as a YouTube star in the primitive days of the video sharing website.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 225-pound brawler would later become a pro fighter signing to various fighting circuits before joining UFC after winning The Ultimate Fighter competition reality show in 2009.
His stint with UFC did not last long; he tried his stint at professional wrestling before returning to MMA in 2015, signing with Bellator promotions.
The Florida native was scheduled to fight in London next month.
Fans and colleagues of Slice have paid their respects to him on social media.
Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal was stunned by the news:
Slice’s MMA adversary Ken Shamrock, who he defeated in a bought last year, said:
We battled inside the cage, warrior vs warrior. Outside the cage, we have loved ones. REST IN PEACE KIMBO SLICE. May God Watch Over You.— KEN SHAMROCK (@ShamrockKen) June 7, 2016
UFC CEO Dana White also paid his respects:
RIP Kimbo pic.twitter.com/Q4kZ4xhff8— Dana White (@danawhite) June 7, 2016