ONE of the most celebrated warriors of the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), the fearsome Kimbo Slice, has passed away at the age of 42.
He checked into a hospital in Margate, Florida on Monday (June 6) and today, the fighting world was shaken to its core with the news of his passing. Although the reasons behind his death remain unclear, sources claim that foul play is not suspected.
Slice’s many fans were eagerly anticipating his upcoming appearance at London’s O2 arena next month, where the fighter was due to participate in the promotional event Bellator 158 in a highly touted rematch against James Thompson.
The last time he participated in this event the result was controversial, as he was tested positive for anabolic steroids and elevated testosterone after originally taking down Dhafir Harris (Dada 5000) in three rounds.
He lived a vibrant and colourful life. He demonstrated a lot of athletic promise from a young age, playing as a linebacker in high school, but after eventually failing out of college, destiny took him on a wild ride that included stints as a limo driver, strip club bouncer, and bodyguard. Eventually videos of his athletic prowess and fighting ability went viral on YouTube, giving him a fast track onto the MMA scene.
Slice silenced any naysayers early in his professional career, when his third professional fight, a fourth round TKO against Thompson aired on CBS, making it the first MMA fight on prime-time network television. His starpower and reputation only continued to grow over the years, with the two Bellator events in which he participated, Bellator 138 and Bellator 149, setting new rating records for Spike TV.
In the wake of his passing, various friends and relatives expressed their condolences. Scott Coker, CEO of Bellator, described Slice as “a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man” who “transcended the sport.”