Prior to signing a deal with the UFC, famous street fighter Kimbo Slice was told by boxing Hall of Famer Mike Tyson to “never go pro.”
The legendary bare-handed brawler, real name Kevin Ferguson, met the former undisputed heavyweight champion at a concert in Miami where he passed on his words of wisdom.
Before his death at the age of 42 in 2016, Slice won the love of fans around the world when a series of his Miami street brawls was posted on YouTube and he became a daily sensation at the following day. In 2006, Rolling Stone described him as “the king of web brawlers” as his fame continued to grow and he began a career in professional mixed martial arts in 2007.
After spending time with Elite XC, Slice joined the UFC reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, for a series that followed the heavyweights and his superstar status was confirmed. UFC president Dana White practically created the tournament for the brawler to make a name for himself and join the company. In fact, his legend was confirmed when “Iron Mike” recognized him and offered him advice on his budding career.
As part of the UFC’s “Fightlore” series, a close friend shared how they both realized his fame extended beyond internet fame when Tyson wanted to talk to him when he got them. spotted at the Miami Arena.
“[Tyson] it’s like, ‘Hey man, I’m a huge fan of your work.’ I’m just blown away that this is happening, Fergs even managed to shake his hand.
“I’ll never forget that,” Tyson said, “Can I give you some advice?” He says, “Never go pro. “
Slice, who then took UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal under his wing, fought twice for the UFC, earning a debut victory over Houston Alexander before losing to Matt Mitrione. Bellator chairman Scott Coker then brought the Bahamian native to his organization, but Slice tragically died of heart failure before he could make headlines for Bellator 158, which was targeted for the 02 Arena in London.
The former bouncer, brawler, and bodyguard managed to escape the life that threatened to trap him as he was young on the streets of Miami, but his decision to ignore Tyson may have been his best choice. career.