Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson made a name for himself through backyard fight videos on Youtube. He racked up a catalogue of knockout videos and drew the interest of the public.
He parlayed his popularity into a mixed martial arts career, debuting in the EliteXC organization in 2007. After reeling off three consecutive wins, his hype came to a crashing halt at EliteXC: Heat in October 2008.
He was scheduled to face Ken Shamrock in the main event of the fight card, but Shamrock was forced out of the fight on event night due to a cut he received while warming up backstage. Kimbo instead faced light heavyweight Seth Petruzelli.
Just 14 seconds into the fight, Petruzelli dropped Ferguson with a jab and quickly finished the fight with a series of strikes on the ground. “The Silverback” was originally slated to face Aaron Rosa on the preliminary card.
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Kimbo has wanted the fight with Shamrock that dematerialized seven years ago ever since the fight fell through.
“I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to fight this guy again if the opportunity ever presented itself,” he said during a recent media conference call.
Neither Shamrock nor Ferguson has competed in an MMA fight in the past five years. Shamrock is 51 years old.
“I tip my hat to Ken Shamrock, who’s still fighting at 51, even though I’m a stud and I’m going to knock his punk ass out,” he said. “I tip my hat off to Bernard Hopkins who’s still fighting in his fifties. That’s really not even that old and I’m right around the corner from there.”
Ferguson entered MMA primarily as a brawler with knockout power in his hands, but was a one-dimensional fighter. He claims that’s no longer the case.
“I’ve always had love for MMA,” he said. “Now that this opportunity came, I have the love for the training and the passion to fight. I’m a well rounded martial artist now in the cage, I’m no longer one dimensional.”
On the surface, the match-up seems to be a one-off deal for both fighters, but Ferguson asserted that he has plans to compete beyond the Shamrock fight on June 20.
“This is not a one-time deal with me. We’re going to see how long we can go with it. I’m in it for the long haul.”