He wasn’t going to tap. No way this motherfucker from the mean streets of Miami was going to give up. You’d have to bend that arm all the way back, tear it out of his socket, beat him with it and then beg him to stop coming after you. A fighter like him doesn’t quit. Not after what he’s been through. Hurricanes. Poverty. Internet Stardom. This is Kimbo fucking Slice, and he don’t quit.
Kimbo Slice wasn’t born in the Bahamas. He was born in the basements of teens looking to get a nut off. Coming across a viral video posted on a porn site, millions of blood lusting teens launched Kevin Ferguson into a life that he never dreamed possible. Growing up with a name and face like Kevin Ferguson’s, you weren’t going places. Not unless you hit as hard as a MACK truck. Thankfully for him, he hit harder than that. A beast at linebacker for the Miami Palmetto High School football squad, he was a rising star. But then Life stepped in and socked his dreams square in the nuts. Because that’s how Life is sometimes. Hurricane Andrew blew in and tore through South Florida. Kevin’s home was caught in the storm. After a lost season, he walked-on Bethune-Cookman’s football team. He then found a way onto campus of The U. Little over a year later he was living out of his car. Nothing to his name except for a handful of scars and shattered dreams, Kevin feared he’d end up just another statistic from the Dade. That was in ’94.
Working the door at a strip club, Kevin ran into an old high school buddy, Icey Mike. Mike was doing good for himself, an entrepreneur and master promoter for Reality Kings Netmedia- a porn company. Yeah, you’ve seen their site. Mike gave Kevin a shot, hiring him as a bodyguard and limo driver. Team Kimbo was born.
One video and two million hits later, Kimbo Slice was an internet superstar. Kimbo Slice packed dynamite in his fists. Like Mike Tyson, he was satisfying people’s appetite for blood and flash KO’s. In backyards, on concrete playgrounds, and abandoned warehouses, Kimbo was tearing up goons. You ever seen a grown ass man cry? Kimbo was a street fighter and he quickly arrived at heights that pros in the UFC were killing themselves to reach. Featured in ESPN the Magazine before appearing on late night with Jimmy Kimmel, Kimbo Slice couldn’t escape the cameras. He carried the weight of an entire mixed martial arts league on his back. Literally. EliteXC was created for the sole purpose of exploiting Kimbo’s celebrity and when he lost, the league quickly folded. All the MMA purists and haters joined in chorus to dismiss Kimbo Slice. The Butterbean of MMA. But the people loved him and when there’s money to be made…
In 2009, the UFC challenged Kimbo to become a real fighter. Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights was crafted to showcase Kimbo, put him through professional training, and break ratings record highs. Kimbo lost in the preliminary rounds, but that didn’t stop Dana White from keeping that mean mug on screens as much as possible. For all the talk of how unrefined his skills are, Kimbo was a natural in front of the cameras. Playing up the street brawler turned professional, he was playing out a Hollywood movie. In May 2010, Kimbo was given his first PPV fight. It would be his last.
As Kimbo lay on the canvas eating fist after fist, he no doubt thought of how far he had come. No doubt thought of all the sleepless, hungry nights in that beat-up truck. No doubt thought of how lucky he was to have come this far. Then he probably thought, “When is it gonna be over?” The American Dream, from rags to riches, was already accomplished. Kimbo Slice held it in a headlock for as long as he could. He knew eventually he’d lose his grip, but he held on. Making sure he earned enough money to help raise his six kids.
It’d take a brutal beating for Kimbo to let go.
Because when you reach the impossible to reach zenith, there is nowhere else to go but down. And here is where Life comes in to laugh in your face. To tell you that your fifteen minutes are up and that it’s time to pack your bags, because I’m only allowed one poor sap to play my cruel joke on. You were just another one of the “lucky” ones to have been chosen, but look behind you and see that there’s no shortage of future stars out there. Now get your ass outta here.