Kevin Ferguson, better known as Kimbo Slice, was a Bahamian-American mixed martial artist, boxer, professional wrestler and occasional actor. He became noted for mutual combat street fights which were spread across the Internet, leading Rolling Stone to call him “The King of the Web Brawlers”.
Kevin Ferguson, AKA Kimbo Slice, was born on Feb. 8, 1974, in the Bahamas (Nassau). Slice spent his early years in Cutler Ridge, Florida. He lived with a single mother (Rosemary Clarke) and two brothers. Later, Slice starred at middle linebacker at Miami Palmetto High School before eventually taking up at Bethune-Cookman University and the University of Miami, where he was able to net an athletic scholarship. Slice left college after a year and a half. Though he netted a tryout with the Miami Dolphins and made their pre-season squad, that was as far as his football career went.
Being athletic, it was only a matter of time before he began looking for another outlet to express himself physically.
The Internet Street Fighter
After college, Slice (then Ferguson) worked as a bouncer for a strip club before taking up with RK Netmedia, a Miami based pornography production and promotion organization as a bodyguard.
In 2003, Ferguson fought for the first time on tape. “The backyard was just a location that was picked,” he told TouchGloves.com. Needless to say, Slice beat his opponent down in the way he would later become famous for. In fact, his only recorded internet fighting loss came against Sean Gannon, a former Boston police officer.
Slice began training with MMA legend Bas Rutten prior to his taped match with Sean Gannon. Though that fight didn't work out for him, Slice continued to train with Rutten before taking on former boxing champion Ray Mercer in an exhibition match at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 5 on June 23, 2007.
Slice won easily by first-round guillotine choke. From there, he took up with EliteXC, an organization that used his internet fighting background to make him a superstar. His debut with the organization came on 11/10/07 at EliteXC: Renegade, where he took out Bo Cantrell (submission by way of punches) in only 19 seconds.
Kimbo Slice Helps End EliteXC
The fact that the inexperienced Slice was fighting in main events and making a good deal more money than established MMA veterans was controversial, to say the least. Still, he won fights in EliteXC against Tank Abbott (KO) and James Thompson (TKO).
In his next fight, he took on Seth Petruzelli at EliteXC: Heat when his slated opponent, Ken Shamrock, got injured just before their scheduled fight. In a stunner, Petruzelli landed a right hand that floored Slice and followed things up with another on the canvas before the referee called things after only 14 seconds had gone by. This loss contributed to EliteXC's fall.
Slice was a fighter who would stand up and brawl with his opponents, much like he used to on the internet. He was an athletically gifted and powerful boxer/puncher that has KO power in both hands. That said, his ground skills are several steps behind his stand up and still a work in progress. Further, he's not a man that's known to throw a lot of kicks, despite his work with Bas Rutten.
Slice passed away on June 6, 2016, near his home in Coral Springs, Florida.
February 8, 1974
June 6, 2016
- Kimbo Slice was a pretty good American football player. Other than putting up his dukes and throwing down, Kimbo Slice was good at football. In fact, he played for Miami Palmetto High School and was becoming a prospect linebacker. He ended up receiving an athletic scholarship to Bethune-Cookman University and the University of Miami. He was even on the Miami Dolphin’s preseason squad but didn’t make the starting lineup.
- Kimbo wanted to be a cop but became broke & homeless. Beyond his beard, Slice began to study criminal justice. He was enrolled in college for only a year and half before he had to stop because he became broke. He was so broke that he lived out of his car for over a month. He ended up getting a job as a security guard and a bouncer at a strip club.
- Kimbo worked in the adult entertainment industry. Rumors had flown around that Kimbo Slice was also an adult film star. But in reality, he actually became a limousine driver and bodyguard for Miami-based adult entertainment production company, Reality Kings. Although he had never done the deed on film, it’s said that he has been a background extra.
- Kimbo was working on a film career. With his bigger than life personality, Slice was able to use it to get himself into film. He was featured in films such as Blood and Bone which starred Michael Jai White, Locked Down which starred Vinnie Jones with had fellow MMA fighters Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin & Cheick Kongo, and The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption starring Billy Zane, Rob Perlman and Dave Bautista.
- Kimbo is a family man and his son is also an MMA fighter. Slice may have been known as a fighter, but at the end of the day he was a family man first. With his companion Antoinette Ray, they had six children. His oldest son Kevin Ferguson Jr. is now professional MMA fighter. Nicknamed “Baby Slice,” he won his first match via TKO this year.
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