Kimbo Slice, the mixed martial arts star whose real name was Kevin Ferguson, died Monday after a medical emergency. He was 42.
Ferguson was taken to a hospital in Margate, Florida, on Monday, The Associated Press reported
A cause of death wasn't immediately confirmed, but an unnamed family source told ET
the he died of heart failure.
Slice, a former strip club bouncer and bodyguard, was born in the Bahamas and raised in Florida. He drew Internet fame competing in unsanctioned street fights beginning in 2003 before competing for UFC and Bellator and earning a 5-2 professional record.
"We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice," Bellator CEO Scott Coker told the AP. "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."
Ferguson starred in the first MMA event broadcast on network television in May 2008. Broadcast on CBS, he beat James Thompson in that fight.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound heavyweight last fought in Houston in February and was scheduled to fight Thompson again in July during Bellator 158 in London, ESPN reported
Ferguson was a football standout at Palmetto High School in Miami, but lost his chance to win a scholarship to play college football when Hurricane Andrew cut the season short, ESPN said. He flunked out of Bethune-Cookman University and spent some time homeless.
He is survived by six children, including Kevin Ferguson Jr., who made his MMA debut in March.
Twitter users shared many condolences.
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