5 Things You Should Know About the Late ‘Kimbo Slice’

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Kevin Ferguson carved out a niche all his own in mixed martial arts. You probably know him as “Kimbo Slice.” His career born out of a series of high-traffic YouTube videos that featured his unsanctioned bare-knuckle brawls in Miami boatyards, Ferguson fought eight times — 10 if you count exhibition bouts against Ray Mercer and Roy Nelson — in MMA, appeared on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter reality series and exposed a whole new audience to the sport.

Ferguson threw out his anchor at American Top Team, endearing himself to former World Extreme Cagefighting champion-turned-trainer Mike Thomas Brown. The Bahamian-born heavyweight died in June 2016 at the age 42, leaving behind a legacy that was hard to quantify but no less compelling. Ferguson compiled a 5-2 record with one no-contest, his wins over Bo Cantrell, David “Tank” Abbott, James Thompson, Houston Alexander, and Ken Shamrock offset by losses to Seth Petruzelli and Matt Mitrione.

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Here are five things you might not know about “Kimbo Slice,” a larger-than-life character who was nothing if not remarkable.

1. He has Olympic bloodlines.

Slice was the cousin of Rhadi Ferguson, a four-time national judo champion who competed in the discipline at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Ferguson himself fought three times as a mixed martial artist, including a kneebar submission against John Richard at a Strikeforce Challengers event in January 2011.

2. MMA was not his only combat sports pursuit.

Boxing was also near and dear to Slice’s heart. He amassed a 7-0 record as a professional boxer, scoring six knockouts. He made what would be his final appearance in the ring on Jan. 30, 2013, when he knocked out Shane Tilyard in the second round of their encounter at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in Australia.

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3. He made the most of his opportunities.

Slice’s mixed martial arts career encompasses a grand total of 50:12 of actual fight time. He competed in three different organizations: EliteXC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Bellator MMA.

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4. Being an underdog was all but foreign to him.

Perhaps owing to his intimidating appearance and reputation as a street fighter, Slice opened as a favorite in seven of his eight professional MMA bouts, according to BestFightOdds.com. His clash with Alexander at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” finale serves as the only outlier: Slice opened as an even bet against “The Assassin” in what would be the first of his two outings inside the Octagon. He closed as a favorite against every opponent, save for Mitrione (-145) and Alexander (-230).

5. His level of competition left a lot to be desired.

Though it was commensurate with his skill and experience, the quality of Slice’s opposition was subpar at best. The eight men he fought own a cumulative record of 114-89-3.