Early Monday afternoon, TMZ reported that MMA fighter Kevin Ferguson, better known as Kimbo Slice, was admitted to Florida’s Northwest Medical Center near his home in Coral Springs, Fla., in a “dire situation.”
By Monday evening, reports surfaced that Slice had died and were confirmed by his fighting team, American Top Team.
“One of the most popular MMA fighters ever, Kimbo was a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport. Outside of the cage, he was a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man,” said promoter Bellator MMA President Scott Coker. “His loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo’s friends, fans and teammates.”
Slice’s rise to fame came from his street-fighting videos in the early 2000s. His videos on YouTube garnered millions of views as he rose to MMA cult status.
Slice turned pro in 2007, and after several unsuccessful tries at winning the Ultimate Fighter, he retired for five years.
Slice’s most recent fight was in February, during which he defeated Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris, but his win was overturned after Slice tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.