Former street fighting legend Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is the epitome of a rags to riches story. Although he may not have come from much, the slugger is on a mission to prove that anything is possible with all-out dedication.
“I made sacrifices. I made commitments. It gives the kids something to look forward to,” Kimbo said during this week’s UFC 113 media day. “You’ve gotta make sacrifices, commitments, listen to your trainers and you too can follow in those footsteps.
“That’s what I’m trying to bring out here.”
Did you hear that? It was the collective scream of every mother in middle America dreading the thought of their children one day saying to them, ‘I’m gonna be the next Kimbo, mom.’
Ferguson started his professional career as bouncer for a strip club until high school friend and current manager, Mike Ember, offered him a job as a limousine driver and bodyguard for Reality Kings, a Miami-based pornography production company responsible for a number of popular adult subscription websites.
Reality Kings now accompanies him as his fight entourage, under the name Team Kimbo.
Inside the cage, Kimbo owns a respectable 4-1 record, however his sole blemish came with significant consequences. When Seth Petruzelli shocked the world and dropped Kimbo in October 2008, he took EliteXC’s future with him as the company went belly-up shortly after.
That night seems like eons ago for the YouTube sensation. He’s now fully dedicated to the famed American Top Team in Florida. The talented club has pushed him beyond limits he never knew existed, forcing him to realize he was nowhere close to being a true mixed martial artist before.
“I had a smart training camp. I didn’t run in there like my street fighting days,” Kimbo said of his preparation for UFC 113. “[I wanted to] make sure I don’t get hit with something I didn’t see coming.
“It shows growth, it shows the fans that, ‘You don’t know what to expect from Kimbo. He’s growing, he’s becoming a mixed martial artist.’ That’s what I wanted to become. I didn’t want to be a street brawler, one dimensional.”
And when it’s all said and done, how would Kevin Ferguson like to be remembered?
“That I’m down to do my thing and be the best at it,” Kimbo stated. “When I die, I want people to say, ‘That guy evolved. Evolved from a knucklehead in the backyards of Miami to the mainstream and the elite in mixed martial arts.”
Kimbo will write the next chapter in his life when he meets Matt Mitrione at UFC 113 tomorrow night inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.