We all know the story of Muhammad Ali and his passing last week at the age of 74, leaving behind an incredible legacy inside and outside of the boxing square. For whatever reason in life, sad events seem to come in pairs and threes. Yesterday, another pioneer in the world of sports has passed away. Kevin Ferguson, better known to the world as Kimbo Slice passed away at the age of 42 from an apparent heart attack.
Kimbo’s journey to stardom had more twists and turns than a Kubrick film. Born in the Bahamas, Kimbo had the apparent track to being a top-flight football player. He played the linebacker position for Miami’s Palmetto High and held multiple scholarships from universities before the infamous Hurricane Andrew demolished the school, causing universities to pull potential offers. After a failed attempt to make the NFL, Kimbo scrambled to find a new career. Landing a job as a bouncer in a strip club, Slice began to participate in street fights that were recorded and uploaded to various outlets, including YouTube. His videos were among the first that we call “viral,” giving Slice instant popularity among fans. The popularity turned into a career in the world of mixed martial arts, landing with the UFC. He had some brief success with the company, and went on to fight with Bellator, another promotion in the sport. Slice participated in boxing and wrestling as well.
In today’s world of personalities attempting to get rich with the “viral video” concept, Slice was an innovator. From a potential football star to a bouncer to a popular name in mixed martial arts, Kimbo Slice earned every bit of popularity that came his way. He may not have the legacy of Muhammad Ali, but his name will continue to be mentioned when talking about the incredible rise of MMA.