Kimbo Slice: A Fighter in Every Sense
On June 6th, 2016, street-fighting legend, UFC veteran, professional boxer, Bellator competitor, and colorful personality Kimbo Slice, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, passed away suddenly at just forty-two years of age. Needless to say, the foundation of the MMA community shook to its core upon learning of the breaking news. Kimbo Slice was beloved not only because of his once again intriguing and unique personality (which also contributed to his consistently high television ratings), but because of his exciting in-cage style, as well as his tenacious and willing attitude. Nothing demonstrates this willing attitude more than Slice’s general career. He was willing, in his early combat days, to step up to the plate and compete against the toughest fighters on the street. From the street, he was willing to enter the cage—and learn the countless different martial arts and fighting styles associated with the endeavor. Once inside the cage, Slice fought further for validity as an MMA athlete, competing on The Ultimate Fighter and fighting in the UFC, and then, Bellator. Whatever the venue, crowd size, rules, or opponent, Kimbo Slice was willing to compete. He truly was a fighter in every sense. From his younger days forward, Slice fought and fought; he even had a contest lined-up for next month’s Bellator 158—a rematch against James Thompson. Accordingly, as Kimbo Slice loved fighting and was very good at it, the best way we can honor his memory is by appreciating his fights, which are timeless. More specifically, by honoring his professional fights, wherein the most eyes and pressure were on him against the most skilled opponents.
Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson— EliteXC: Primetime, 5/31/08
After racking-up an undefeated two-and-zero professional record, including a KO win over UFC veteran Tank Abbott, it became abundantly clear that Slice was ready for a bigger challenge, in the former of a better opponent and on a larger stage—CBS, to be precise. When Kimbo Slice met James Thompson at EliteXC: Primetime on May 31st, 2008, it was the first MMA show to be held on primetime television; its average rating of nearly five million viewers was impressive, as was its main-event peak of nearly seven million viewers! Most impressive of all, though, was Kimbo Slice’s win, which came in the form of a dramatic third-round TKO. The fight was so intense that Bellator felt inclined to book the rematch—this was the aforementioned bout Slice had lined-up next.
Kimbo Slice vs Houston Alexander—Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, 12/5/09
Following his run on The Ultimate Fighter, which saw him fall to the eventual winner (and heavyweight staple) Roy Nelson, Kimbo Slice was given a fight at the show’s finale against Houston Alexander—a skilled veteran and knockout artist. Slice left it all in the cage and came out ahead, winning via unanimous decision and fulfilling his dream of competing—and winning—in the UFC.
Kimbo Slice vs Ken Shamrock— Bellator 138, 6/19/15
Recently, Slice locked-horns with UFC veteran and MMA legend Ken Shamrock in Bellator, after a long layoff from the cage in favor of time inside the boxing ring. After being trapped in a deep rear-naked choke, Slice somehow found his way out and collected the first-round TKO with ease. The vicious and dramatic win reignited interest in Kimbo Slice’s MMA career. Kimbo Slice will be remembered as a solid fighter, interesting individual, and kind person forever; he may have passed, but his memory—and his highlight reel—will live on.