American Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Kevin Ferguson, aka Kimbo Slice has died Monday June 6, at age 42.
According to reports, the fighter died a short while after being taken to a hospital in South Miami, Florida, Monday night.
He had been scheduled to rematch James Thompson at MMA event,Bellator 158 in London come July 16.
Bellator MMA president, Scott Coker in a statement about the fighter’s death expressed shock and sadness over “the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family”.
Continuing, he described Kimbo as “one of the most popular MMA fighters ever, who was a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport”.
“Outside 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,” Scott Coker said.
A sergeant at Coral Springs Police in Miami, Carla Kmiotek, said that the fighter was admitted to hospital on Monday night. She also said officers were dispatched to his home and said there was no suspected foul play.
About Kimbo Slice
Kimbo Slice was born in Nassau, Bahamas, in 1974 but moved to the US as a child. He rose to fame through his YouTube street fighting videos, which made him an internet sensation. Rolling Stone called him The King of the Web Brawlers.
Slice made his professional MMA debut on November 10, 2007, for the now-defunct promotion EliteXC, knocking out Bo Cantrell in just 19 seconds.
In 2009 he signed with UFC but lost his first fight in the 10th series of The Ultimate Fighter against Roy Nelson.
He signed with MMA organisation Bellator last year beating Ken Shamrock and Dhafir Harris. However, the fights were turned into no contests after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid, Nandrolone, in February.
Kimbo Slice was forced to pay a $2,500 (£1,722) fine and his fighting licence was revoked in Texas.
His heavyweight rematch against James Thompson next month was being billed as the main event at Bellator 158 at London’s O2 Arena on 16 July.
The pair’s original fight in 2008 was the most-watched fight in the history of mixed martial arts with 7.28 million viewers.
Kimbo Slice won in the third round after the referee controversially stopped the Elite Xtreme Combat contest.
The fighter also won seven boxing bouts between 2011 and 2013 and also acted, appearing in The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption in 2012 as Zulu Kondo.
Watch video clips of the fighting escapades of the giant fighter weighing 225 pounds and towering 6 feet 2 inches:
The fighter is survived by six children and and long-time engaged girlfriend, Antionette Ray.
May his soul rest in peace as we express our condolences to his family and friends.