MMA fight legend Kimbo Slice dies

Street-fighting legend Kimbo Slice has died after being rushed to a Florida hospital.

American Top Team - the facility where Slice trained out of in Coconut Creek, Florida, posted a tweet that said the fighter passed away after he was admitted to hospital on Tuesday.

He was 42 years old.

According to a report by TMZ, Slice, real name Kevin Ferguson, was taken from his home in Coral Springs by emergency services before being admitted into care.

It is currently unclear as to the reason for Ferguson's lapse in health, however some reports indicate a possible heart attack.

Ferguson leaves behind six children. His eldest son, Kevin Ferguson Jr, is also an MMA fighter. Otherwise known as "Baby Slice", the 23-year-old made his MMA debut in March this year at an event held by Warrior Nation Xtreme Fighters Alliance.

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, confirming Ferguson's death and offering a kind tribute to the fighter.

"We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family," Coker wrote.

"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, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo's friends, fans, and teammates."

Sergeant Carla Kmiotek of the Coral Springs Police Department told that Ferguson had been hospitalised locally while officers had been dispatched to his residence to prevent a potential gathering outside. Officers were reportedly in the process of gathering information from family members.

The Bellator MMA fighter last fought for the franchise on the co-main event of Bellator 149. However after defeating American Dhafir Harris, the result was overturned when Slice tested positive to anabolic steroids.

The 42-year-old first rose to prominence as a cult figure through a series of backyard fighting videos posted on YouTube in 2003. He started his professional career in MMA in 2007 after signing a contract with Elite Xtreme Combat.

The heavyweight enjoyed a brief stint in the UFC after navigating his way onto the card for the Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, where at a catchweight of 215lbs (97.5kg), he beat Houston Alexander via decision in December 2009.

Tipped at the time as a potential future heavyweight title contender, Ferguson's UFC career was short lived. He was beaten in the second round of his debut bout at UFC 113 by Matt Mitrione.

Following the loss, Dana White immediately announced the franchise's intention to remove him from their roster.

"That's probably Kimbo's last fight in the UFC," White told MMA fighting in 2010.

"He's done," White said. "We're probably going to cut him."

Following Ferguson's death, White paid his respects by posting a picture to his Twitter account of the fighter wearing his first set of UFC gloves.

Rather than continue with MMA after bowing out of the UFC in 2010, Ferguson turned to boxing, where he made seven professional appearances, going unbeaten with six of his wins by way of knockout.

The fighter's last bout in the ring was in Sydney in 2013, when he knocked out Aussie fighter Shane Tilyard.

Retiring with a record of 7-0, Ferguson returned to MMA, signing with Bellator MMA on a multi-fight deal in January last year.


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