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Kimbo Slice, MMA Fighter, Dies at Age 42

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

MIAMI, FL - MAY 15: Kimbo Slice, a professional boxer and mixed martial artist, attends Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2013 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

MMA fighter Kimbo Slice, whose birth name was Kevin Ferguson, died Monday at the age of 42.

Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report shared a release from Bellator President Scott Coker confirming Slice's death:

TMZ Sports reported earlier Monday that Slice was taken to a hospital near Coral Springs, Florida. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting and Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com confirmed that report.

On Tuesday, Linda Trischitta and Wells Dusenbury of the Sun Sentinel reported Slice was diagnosed with heart failure and was told he would need a transplant. Trischitta and Dusenbury cited information Northwest Medical Center in Margate, Florida, reported to the Broward County medical examiner's office.

Trischitta and Dusenbury added Slice "was found to have a liver mass and congestive heart failure and was placed on a ventilator in intensive care."

Slice trained at American Top Team, which also reacted to the news:

American Top Team @AmericanTopTeam

The ATT Family and South Florida community lost a legend today. RIP Kimbo. https://t.co/sjs8ctyJMd

Slice's last fight came Feb. 19 in Houston at Bellator 149. He defeated Dhafir Harris, known as Dada 5000, in three rounds, but the victory was overturned to a no-contest after Slice "tested positive for the steroid nandrolone and also had an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio," per Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting.

Harris released a statemet on Slice's death on Tuesday:

This is a tribute to The Life and Legacy of Kevin Anthony Ferguson also known to the World as (Kimbo Slice). A homegoing celebration (NOT OF HIS DEATH) but of his life! GOD Linded him to us and to the world for 42 years and he inspired a movement that captivated a nation and for that I was inspired and will forever be grateful. Because if it wasn't For Kimbo Slice! There would not be a Dada 5000! Sure we had our Differences and before we Fought I for gave him for every one of them. Kimbo Slice was and will be forever known for his epic and ferocious battles in the backyard that led him to National and international stardom. he is the true definition of a warrior a Husband and a Father, a son, a brother, a uncle and a cousin. That was taken way to soon! So my deepest sympathy and condolences goes out to his grieving family during these tough times. May GOD continue to bless and be with you all. Kevin although God may have called you home! you inspired me also a nation to believe and Achieve greatness and that anything is possible. At that Kevin Anthony "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson! (Job well done) You Showed the World that a guy from the Back yard circuit Can make it in Professional Sports. And may your sole rest in Peace For ever! amongst the Lord Amen.

According to Slice's Bellator profile, he was 5-2 with one no-contest in eight fights. Before his UFC career, he gained fame for appearing in street and backyard fights streaming on YouTube. Those bouts highlighted his strength and overwhelming power as he used his punching ability to outmuscle opponents.

Per Ryan Frederick of F4WOnline.com, Slice's fight against James Thompson in May 2008 was the first MMA event broadcast on network television. Slice defeated Thompson at EliteXC: Primetime before losing to Seth Petruzelli in October of that year at EliteXC: Heat.

Frederick noted Slice appeared on The Ultimate Fighter and faced off against "Roy Nelson in the most watched fight aired on cable during that TUF season." And before he signed with Bellator, Slice was 7-0 as a professional boxer, per Frederick.

Slice was scheduled to face Thompson in a headlining match on July 16 at Bellator 158 in London, per Okamoto.

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