During last night's broadcast of UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson, the UFC released a tribute video for the one and only Kimbo Slice, who died in a Florida hospital at just 42 years old after suffering from heart failure. Slice was scheduled to compete in against James Thompson at Bellator 158 on July 16th prior to his shocking passing.
Kimbo's time in the UFC was brief, but it was memorable and highly publicized. Following his loss to Seth Petruzelli in EliteXC, Kimbo (real name: Kevin Ferguson) signed on to become one of 16 heavyweights on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. The season premiere drew in an astonishing 4.1 million viewers. Slice would fight (and lose to) Roy Nelson in the 3rd episode, which averaged 5.3 million viewers, peaking at over 7 million with DVR viewership. Current TUF needs an entire season to reach 5 million viewers total.
Despite the early exit, Kimbo was given a spot on the TUF 10 Finale card against Houston Alexander. Sure, this GIF is etched into the memories of everyone who watched the fight live, but we were treated to the Kimboplex, which you can see at the top of the video. The TUF 10 Finale averaged 3.7 million viewers and peaked at 5.2 million.
Kimbo would appear on PPV at UFC 113 in May 2010, when he lost by TKO to fellow TUF 10 cast member Matt Mitrione. It was the last time Slice would compete in the UFC, and it was his last MMA fight until his Bellator debut in 2015.
On a related programming note, before Bellator: Dynamite 2 on Friday, June 24th, Spike TV will air a one-hour special on Kimbo Slice at 7 PM ET/PT.