Everyone’s favorite “street-certified, cage-tested” fighter Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson’s future in combat sports has been up in the air ever since he was TKO’ed by his fellow TUF 10 alum Matt Mitrione at UFC 113 and then cut from the promotion.
The 37-year-old rose to fame through the internet; videos of his Miami streetfights attracted heavy traffic and a match against one-time UFC fighter Sean Gannon was enough to attract minor-league attention. EliteXC picked Kimbo up for their heavyweight roster and built him to be their biggest draw. Following wins over Bo Cantrell, Tank Abbott and James Thompson, Slice was matched against aging UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock. Shamrock pulled out of the fight at the last minute and was replaced by Seth Petruzelli.
The undersized Petruzelli knocked Slice out within the first fifteen seconds of the fight, an event which infamously triggered the demise of EliteXC. From there, Slice would join the cast of The Ultimate Fighter and parlay that experience into two fights in the UFC. He went 1-1 before getting cut, taking out Houston Alexander and then being beaten by Mitrione.
Now, Slice has hooked back up with his old EliteXC bosses Gary and Jared Shaw and intends to enter the world of professional boxing. The Miami-stationed fighter recently reflected on his MMA career and spoke about his impending boxing debut with “Chainsaw” Charles McCarthy for CageJunkies.com.
“Man, you know, it’s like this: the UFC thing was good for me, but I’m ready to put that s*** to rest. If they wanna say retire, retire,” said Slice. “I’ll leave it alone right now. It coulda been my thing, I guess, if I’d had more time at it. Certain things I just — I don’t know, it just wasn’t clicking. I was just ready to get in there and just knock somebody’s damn head off.”
Slice explained that his desire was always to stand and throw hands with his opponent and that he never quite caught on to or got interested in the grappling aspect of MMA. In boxing, he sees a sport where he can stick to his guns.
“I feel like I’m in my world now, I feel like this is my world,” he said.
Don’t look for Slice to start imitating Bernard Hopkins anytime soon though, as the Bahamas-born brawler has no intentions on using his technique to defeat his opponents.
“I’m not trying to get in there and box anybody. I’m trying to get in there and knock you the hell out,” said Slice. “That’s why I’m coming. I’m not coming with the sweet science of boxing. I’m coming in as a fighter. I’m coming in to fight with you, to bang with you. To knock you down, to knock you out. If the refs don’t get there in time enough I’m gonna hit you on your way going down.”
Slice will face 39-year-old James Wade –who sports an 0-1 record — at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Florida tonight.