FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Legendary MMA fighter Kimbo Slice has died.READ MORE: Miami-Dade County Implements Cyclist Safety Measures Along Rickenbacker Causeway
The 42-year old, who lived in a gated Coral Springs community, died Monday night. Family members say he died of heart failure.
The Bahamian born fighter, who grew up in South Florida as Kevin Ferguson, became an internet sensation in the 2000s when his street fighting and backyard brawling videos went viral on YouTube. It didn’t take long for him to take it to the next level. He fought on the first MMA show, which aired on CBS, and won. He held a 5-2 career MMA record.
His death stunned those who worked out with him in an upscale Coconut Creek gym.
“Shocked, just shocked, he’s a relatively young man and relatively healthy from what I understood,” said Richie Guerriero with American Top Team.
In a 2008 interview with CBS4, Kimbo Slice said he felt constant pressure to perform.
“And that’s what life is about now, beating the odds, you know. For those who said I told you so, you know, proving them wrong and the ones who said I know you could do it, you know proving them right,” said Slice.
He also performed some minor roles in several movies, but his main stage was the fighting ring.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Muggy, Hot Weekend Ahead
Billy Corben, produced a documentary on extreme fighting that featured a lot of Kimbo Slice.
“It’s a brutal, violent thing. You’re taking a lot of blows to the body, to the brain and so I don’t think that it’s entirely surprising that people die young,” said Corben.
Another famous Perine fighter Dada 5000 was the last person to fight Kimbo. He beat Dada but was stripped of the victory after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
“A lot of those individuals. They do the things they feel they need to do which is probably not in their best interest,” said Dada 5000.
It’s not known if the drug nandrolone that can cause fatal internal bleeding and heart failure contributed to Kimbo Slice’s death at 42.
Slice also fought for Elite XC, UFC, and Bellator MMA throughout his 9-year career, which also included stints in boxing and professional wrestling. He was scheduled to fight at a Bellator London event on July 16th.
“His loss leaves us all with extremely hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo’s friends, fans and teammates,” said Bellator CEO Scott Coker in a statement.MORE NEWS: Coral Springs Police: 3 Separate Crime Scenes Tied To One Suspect
Ferguson leaves behind six children.