Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kimbo Slice - RIP

Days after losing the greatest fighting legend, we sadly have another shocking death of a popular pugilist. It has been reported that MMA fighter Kimbo Slice suddenly died last night from heart failure. He was 42 years old.

Real name Kevin Ferguson, Kimbo broke out in the fighting world thanks to several viral videos of him engaging in street fights. His fierce look matched up with his sheer knockout power and helped earn him a contract with EliteXC.

Though he was etched into history by being in the main event of the first ever primetime MMA special, his prowess in the ring was extremely less than stellar. His punches were deadly but his technique was poor and his cardio was atrocious. He squeaked by with a few controversial wins until infamously losing to replacement fighter Seth Petruzelli 14 seconds into the fight. The promotion would soon fold soon after.

Dana White and UFC signed Slice to a contract to participate in the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. Focused squarely on heavyweights and partially intended to make him an even bigger star, the show immediately saw its money burn right up, as Kimbo was unceremoniously defeated in the very first contest. He showed some improvement at the finale, beating Houston Alexander by unanimous decision and making the highlight reel thanks to a vicious back suplex, but after losing in PPV debut match against Matt Mitrione, he was released by the promotion.

Despite his professional setbacks as a MMA fighter, his friendly demeanor and great exterior presence still made him a popular commodity. His post-UFC career saw him participating in several direct-to-video films and nearly saw him enter into professional wrestling. He started to compete in boxing, where he earned his record of 7-0.

At the start of 2015, Kimbo was announced as signing with new rival MMA promotion Bellator. His first match was against legend Ken Shamrock and saw him winning due to TKO. Unfortunately, the match itself was lambasted by viewers and critics as being fixed. His second fight was against fellow street fighter Dada 5000. Despite much fanfare and promotion, the fight was unequivocally a disaster. Both quickly blew up and spent the entire time resting on each other or whiffing their punches. After two arduous rounds, Kimbo was able to get Dada to flop on the canvas and be defeated by his own exhaustion. Kimbo's victory was short-lived as his drug test revealed that he took anabolic steroids and was subsequently reprimanded.

Kimbo Slice was intended to fight Josh Thompson in July for Bellator but his sudden demise has made the upcoming event moot. Kimbo was not a good pound-for-pound fighter but he was a bonafide star, able to create his own niche in the sport of MMA and bring in the casual crowd.

He will be missed.

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