Kevin Ferguson better known as Kimbo Slice, is a Bahamian born American boxer, mixed martial artist and occasional actor. He became famous for street fights which were spread across the Internet, leading Rolling Stone to call him “The King of the Web Brawlers”.
Slice left the underground fighting scene and signed a professional contract with EliteXC in 2007. Slice competed in The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, where he lost in his first fight to series winner Roy Nelson. In his UFC debut, Slice defeated Houston Alexander in the The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights finale. Slice has since become a professional boxer.
In 2005, Slice started training martial arts at the Freestyle Fighting Academy under Marcos Avellan and David Avellan. At first, Slice was training exclusively for street boxing, focusing on bare knuckle techniques, dirty boxing from the clinch, and elbows – but then he began to develop an interest for MMA. Slice signed to make 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. A month prior to the fight, Slice switched camps and was trained by retired MMA fighter Bas Rutten and boxing instructor Randy Khatami at Rutten’s school, EliteMMA, in Thousand Oaks, California.
To prepare for sanctioned MMA fights, Slice was trained by retired MMA fighter Bas Rutten and boxing instructor Randy Khatami at Rutten’s school, EliteMMA, in Thousand Oaks, California. Slice 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. Slice defeated Mercer with a guillotine choke at 1:12 into the first round. In a post-fight interview, Slice 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 Slice for his assurance so that an October 12 bout at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 6 between Slice 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 Slice 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 Slice 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 a critic of Slice, stating in an interview that “every time Kimbo Slice fights, it sets (mixed martial arts) back”.