It seems as if celebrities have been dropping like flies as of late, and the trend continued Monday evening with the passing of mixed martial artist Kevin Ferguson aka Kimbo Slice.
Just days after the tragic death of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, Slice, 42, was admitted to a hospital near his home in Coral Springs, Fla., and died soon afterward. While the cause of death remains unclear, authorities believe it was a medical complication rather than a result of foul play.
A native of the Bahamas, Slice moved to Florida as a child and pursued a career in football, but was unable to make the most of a short pre-season stint with the Miami Dolphins in 1997. After working for several years as a bouncer and bodyguard, he began participating in unsanctioned street fights, which were filmed and posted online.
Internet fame propelled Slice into professional MMA competition beginning in 2007. He competed briefly in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but fought most recently in the Bellator MMA circuit. He was scheduled to fight James Thompson in July, but his career will end with a record of 5-2.
Slice also had a successful foray into professional boxing from 2011-14, winning all seven of his fights, six by knockout. He even considered competing in a wrestling match in 2011, but pulled out due to injury.
Scott Coker, CEO of Bellator MMA, released this statement after the announcement of Slice’s death:
We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family. 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.
Slice leaves behind six children and his wife, Antoinette Ray. Check out video of his bout with David "Tank" Abbott below: