The mixed martial arts world lost one of its most recognizable figures late Monday when Kimbo Slice died at age 42.
The father of six, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, left an indelible mark on the sports world. The backyard brawler turned cage fighter gained worldwide fame by starring in unsanctioned bare-knuckle fights on Youtube before transiting to MMA.
Slice competed in EliteXC before appearing on The Ultimate Fighter and fighting twice in the UFC. He then accumulated a 7-0 pro boxing record before signing with Bellator MMA last year.
“We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family,” Bellator president Scott Coker said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Fighters, fans and others took to Twitter to send condolences.