Ode To Kimbo Slice: Gone, But Remembered

Kimbo Slice is gone.

The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has unceremoniously dismissed the Florida pugilist after he lost his second UFC fight on Saturday Night. Kimbo was beaten in classic form – outlasted and convincingly. The thing is, in an odd Hip-Hop sort of way, Kimbo was “us.”

The quintessential underdog, the dude honed his skill in Florida backyards and parking lots. He fought for “piddly” money to get his food on the plate. He wasn’t supposed to be at the meteoric heights of the UFC to begin with, but somehow he made it. He wasn’t even close to being the best fighter, but everybody loved the Kimbo Slice saga.

You love to hear the story again and again….

Kevin Ferguson, Slice’s real name, rose to prominence after his street brawls grew virally on the internet and in the underground DVD world. He was big, Black and appeared to be your worst nightmare in a dark alley. But, rise..Kimbo did.

He adapted, trained and took his natural skill to professional Mixed Martial Arts. The defunct EliteXC bet the farm on Kimbo, who had become a mainstream spectacle, and when he lost, they went out of business. (He was paid $500,000 for his 14-second losing effort again Seth Petruzelli) Dana White, the head of the UFC, had publicly dissed Kimbo and his skills as a fighter. He saw the loss against Petruzelli. Yet, White gave him a shot. No matter what people thought of him, Kimbo Slice was interesting. Quite simply, he got viewers and put bodies in seats.

But in the UFC, Dana White is god and so White giveth, White taketh away. But Kimbo Slice was never supposed to be in the UFC. He created a path that was not trodden and one that won’t be followed anytime soon. How Hip-Hop of him. “We” always find away against all odds, no matter how far-fetched the outcome seems.

I rooted loudly for Kimbo Slice. I wanted him to win each and every time he fought. Why? For one, the story is familiar. Two, I heard the snickers. I saw their noses turn up when he was mentioned. It was odd witnessing haughtiness in a brutal sport like MMA. It could even be argued that those conceits got exactly what they wanted to prove in the first place – that Kimbo Slice wasn’t worthy. Exploit him a bit, get some voyeurs to watch the sport and kick him out as fast as possible. Laugh at him as he weakly covers up from a flurry of punches from ex-football player Matt Mitrione.

Maybe…maybe not.

The story of Kimbo Slice isn’t over yet, but his time in the UFC is. He’s outta there. Now time will again tell how Hip-Hop he really is. He’s lost the battle, but he’s still got one hell of a war to tend to.

Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur can be found at twitter.com/chuckcreekmur