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Kimbo Slice (1974 - 2016)

Getty Images / Los Angeles Times / Mel Melcon / Contributor

Kimbo Slice (1974 - 2016)

Kimbo Slice, a mixed martial arts fighter, died June 6, 2016, after he was hospitalized for an undisclosed illness in Coral Springs, Florida, according to multiple news sources. He was 42.

The death was confirmed by Scott Coker, president of Bellator MMA.

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

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Slice was born Kevin Ferguson Feb. 8, 1974, in Nassau, Bahamas, but moved to southern Florida with his family when he was young.

The 6-foot-2 athlete found fame as a result of underground mutual-combat street fights that were posted to the internet. Rolling Stone magazine referred to Slice as the King of the Web Brawlers.

He turned pro in 2007. Although he lost his first fight, he later joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship and defeated Houston Alexander in "The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights."

Slice is survived by three sons and three daughters. He is also survived by his longtime girlfriend, Antoinette.

Slice often credited his mixed martial arts career with enabling him to put all of his children through college. One of his sons, Kevin Ferguson Jr., debuted as a mixed martial artist earlier this year.

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