Kimbo Slice (born February 8, 1974) is a Bahamian-American
mixed-martial arts fighter. He is best known for several street fights which
have spread primarily on the internet, leading Rolling Stone to call him "The
King of the Web Brawlers". Kimbo left the underground fighting scene and signed
a professional contract with EliteXC in 2007. After EliteXC declared bankruptcy
in 2008, Kimbo became a free agent. Kimbo will be part of the tenth installment
of The Ultimate Fighter which will go by The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.
Kimbo Slice was born in Nassau, Bahamas. Kimbo Slice soon moved to the United States and grew up in Cutler Ridge, Florida, raised alongside his two brothers by a single mother named Rosemary Clarke. He went to Bel-Air Elementary School and when Kimbo Slice was 13 years old, he was involved in his first fight, trying to defend a friend. He continued his studies with Cutler Ridge Middle School and later with Richmond Heights Middle School. He attended Miami Palmetto High School, where he was the star middle linebacker. In 1992, his house in Perrine, Florida was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew and he continued living in his 1987 Nissan Pathfinder for a month.
For college, he attended both Bethune-Cookman University and the University of Miami, where he had an athletic scholarship and studied criminal justice. He was there for only a year and a half. In 1997, he had a tryout with the Miami Dolphins and was part of the pre-season squad, but was unable to get a place in the first team. Kimbo Slice is said to have served 10 years in prison. He is also the cousin of US Judoka Rhadi Ferguson.
Kimbo Slice started working as bouncer for a strip club until highschool friend and current manager, Mike "IceyMike" Ember, offered him a job as limousine driver and bodyguard for RK Netmedia, better known as RealityKings, a Miami-based pornography production/promotion company responsible for a number of popular adult subscription websites. Kimbo still maintains close ties with RealityKings who now accompany him, as his fight entourage, under the name Team Kimbo.
In 2002, he was charged for carrying a concealed weapon and in 2003, he began his career in unsanctioned street fights. They were distributed through the Internet, mainly through the adult website SublimeDirectory and YouTube. In his first taped fight against a man named Big D, Kimbo Slice left a large cut on his opponent's right eye which led Internet fans to call him Slice, becoming the last name to his already popular childhood nickname, Kimbo.
His only on-tape street fight loss was against Sean Gannon, a former Boston police officer who also trains in MMA. The popularity of the fight propelled both men into the MMA spotlight.
To prepare for sanctioned MMA fights, Kimbo was trained by retired MMA fighter Bas Rutten and boxing instructor Randy Khatami at Rutten's school, EliteMMA, in Thousand Oaks, California. Kimbo made his MMA debut against former WBO Heavyweight champion and Olympic gold-medalist boxer Ray Mercer at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 5, in Atlantic City on June 23, 2007. The match was scheduled as a three-round exhibition utilizing all professional rules of MMA combat. Kimbo defeated Mercer with a guillotine choke at 1:12 into the first round. In a post-fight interview, Kimbo stated that he would like to fight David "Tank" Abbott. Abbott, who was a spectator, stood up from his seat and accepted the call out. One of the matchmakers for CFFC asked Kimbo for his assurance so that an October 12 bout at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 6 between Kimbo and "Tank" Abbott could be organized. This event was later canceled due to a promotion dispute. On October 11, 2007, ProElite announced that they had signed Kimbo to a deal and that he would make his debut on the November 10, 2007 EliteXC. He was originally set to make his professional MMA debut against Mike Bourke, a reformed street fighter, but a shoulder injury from Bourke led him to face Bo Cantrell. Kimbo defeated Cantrell 19 seconds into the first round by submission due to strikes.
On February 16, 2008, Kimbo fought Tank Abbott in the main event at EliteXC: Street Certified. He won by KO 43 seconds into the first round due to strikes. At the fight his weight was announced at an all-time low of 234 lb (106 kg), a far cry from his street fighting days of 280 lb (130 kg).
On May 31, 2008, Kimbo fought in the main event of the first ever mixed martial arts event shown on prime time network television, EliteXC: Primetime. Though one of the judges had each fighter winning one of the first two rounds, Kimbo's opponent James Thompson won both on total points by repeatedly taking down Kimbo and grounding and pounding. In the opening seconds of the third round, however, Kimbo threw a haymaker to Thompson's left ear, which ruptured Thompson's cauliflower. This was soon followed by three unanswered punches to a standing Thompson, which led to a referee stoppage and the controversial win for Slice. Fellow EliteXC competitor Brett Rogers was particularly critical of Slice's victory, calling Slice's performance "garbage" in a post fight interview. Frank Mir was also critical of Slice, stating in an interview that "every time Kimbo Slice fights, it sets (mixed martial arts) back".
On October 4, 2008, a Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock fight was supposed to take place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida as part of CBS' Saturday Night Fights. However, Shamrock received a cut to the left eye during a warm-up only hours before the fight was to take place. This left the head of fight operations, Jeremy Lappen, to choose a replacement for the fight. Options were Seth Petruzelli, Aaron Rosa and Frank Shamrock. Lappen decided that Petruzelli was the best option for the main event. Kimbo agreed to take the fight after receiving a raise in pay, and took in $500,000. Petruzelli defeated Kimbo by TKO 14 seconds into the first round of the bout.
Interviewed on the popular radio show The Monsters In The Morning two days after the fight, Seth Petruzelli said that when they offered him a spot in the main event, EliteXC promoters added monetary incentives to dissuade him from using certain fighting techniques against Slice, in an attempt to protect their relatively unproven Internet star.
“ The promoters kinda hinted to me and they gave me the money to stand and throw with him, they didn't want me to take him down. Let's just put it that way. It was worth my while to try and stand up punch him. ”
This added to the controversy surrounding the representation of Kimbo as a top flight martial artist by CBS and EliteXC. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation started a preliminary investigation on the events surrounding the fight and its outcome.
However, Petruzelli clarified his position hours later, claiming in a follow-up interview with MMA website FiveOuncesofPain.com that his previous comments on The Monsters had been misinterpreted.
“ What was meant to be said was that I wanted to keep the fight standing for myself because I knew that was what the crowd, the promoters, and everyone wanted to see because that’s more exciting than just taking someone to the ground. That was my thing only. I wanted to keep it exciting so I decided to keep it standing. It had nothing to do with anybody else. That was all me. ”
On October 23, 2008, The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation concluded its investigation of the bout and found no wrongdoing. By the end of October 2008, EliteXC was forced to file for bankruptcy. Many in the mixed martial arts community, including Jay Thompson, executive consultant to the company, attributed EliteXC and ProElite's failure due to Slice's loss to Seth Petruzelli.
Kimbo Slice currently lives with his family in Miami, and is a single father to six children; three boys and three girls. The boys names are Kevin Jr., Kevin II, and Kevlar while the girls names are Kassandra, Kiara, and Kevina. He is engaged to long-time girlfriend, Antionette Ray. Kimbo Slice was featured on The Iron Ring, a television series airing on BET which features MMA prospects. Kimbo was part of the selection process for the participants. He made his official acting debut when playing Bludge on Nickelodeon's holiday special, Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh.
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