Baku, June 7, AZERTAC
Kimbo Slice, the bearded street fighter who parlayed his internet popularity into a mixed martial arts career and worldwide fame, has died aged 82, according to The Guardian.
Slice, whose real name was Kevin Ferguson, was taken to a hospital in Margate, Florida, near his home Monday, Coral Springs Police Sgt Carla Kmiotek said.
The cause of death was still unclear. Kmiotek said there is no active police investigation, and no foul play is suspected.
Slice was a Bahamian-born ex-football player and strip club bouncer who began competing in unsanctioned street fights in 2003. Videos of his violent knockout victories in those bouts became wildly popular online, both for his punching power and his distinctive, intimidating appearance.
Slice was the star of the first MMA show broadcast on network television, beating Thompson by third-round knockout in May 2008 on CBS with the defunct EliteXC promotion.
For all of his glowering in-cage swagger and viral fame, Slice was extraordinarily honest about his fighting abilities. He acknowledged being an MMA newcomer with much to learn about his new sport, never claiming to be anything but a big puncher providing for his family while constantly trying to learn the sport’s other disciplines. He studied MMA and eventually competed in several promotions, including the UFC and Bellator, which staged his two most recent fights.
Slice’s death also was confirmed by Scott Coker, the CEO of Bellator, which promoted his return to MMA last year after a five-year absence. Slice beat Dhaffir “Dada 5000” Harris with a third-round knockout at Bellator 149 in February in Houston, but the result was overturned after Slice tested positive for steroid use.