kimbo slice

In 1994, 20-year-old Kevin Ferguson was living in his Pathfinder, his home leveled by Hurricane Andrew. He eventually got a job as a bodyguard for the porn site Reality Kings (home to “Moms Bang Teens”) and never really left: In 2015 he discussed how he still coordinated security for them.

In 2003 the first video appeared, of him scrapping in a Miami backyard. More followed and soon came the name “Kimbo Slice” as he engaged in neighborhood bouts where he staked up to $5,000 and dared anyone to take it. (Only one fighter beat him.)

An Internet sensation, he graduated to nationally televised mixed martial arts bouts and a brief run in the UFC through a season of The Ultimate Fighter. He never really did find success in the sport, with even his wins more weird than triumphant: He defeated “World’s Most Dangerous Man” and UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock… when Shamrock was 51. UFC President Dana White offered the harsh (but accurate) assessment: “Kimbo is always going to be the toughest guy at the barbecue but not in the UFC.”

Yet this quote misses why millions became obsessed with Kimbo in the first place: While he (and usually his opponents) lacked technique, he had the heart to take on and beat down damn near everyone who dared step up. With his passing at just 42, we look back at some of greatest his low-production-value, high-amounts-of-pain fights.

Doubleheader: Kimbo in his true element: going bare knuckles in a parking lot filled with boats. The first bout against “Afropuff” ends pretty quickly to be followed by a more epic showdown with “Big Mac.”

Vs. “The Bouncer”: It’s a proper backyard showdown against a man who, brawling on a hot Miami day, inexplicably wears pants instead of shorts.

Vs. “Chico”: Kimbo’s fights often occur against guys who are big but don’t necessarily look in shape. This guy seems ready to go but gives up a lot of size. Uh-oh.

Vs. “Adryan”: Half of this clip is of Adryan lying on the ground after the knockout as his friends prove to be utterly, utterly useless.

The Loss: Cop Sean “The Cannon” Gannon was the only man to beat Kimbo. First sign Slice might be in trouble: Unlike so many of his scraps, the fight takes place indoors.

Bad Move: Not an actual fight, but a feature for Reality Kings where guys agreed to get punched by Kimbo: Turns out about like you’d expect.