MMA Star Kimbo Slice Dies

The sudden death of popular MMA fighter Kimbo Slice Monday will force Spike TV and mixed-martial arts outfit Bellator to revise its big July fight card.

Slice died Monday night after being hospitalized in Florida for undisclosed reasons, according to The fighter, whose birth name was Kevin Ferguson, was 42 years old.

“We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family,” said Bellator president Scott Coker in a statement.  “One of the most popular MMA fighters ever, Kimbo was a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport.”

Slice was scheduled to headline Spike’s telecast of the Bellator 158 event in a rematch against James Thompson. Neetwork officials would not comment on what changes it plans to make for the event, but the event will go on as planned. 

Slice’s fight against Dada 5000 during the Feb. 19 Bellator 149 event helped the telecast drew 2.2 million viewers, a record for a Spike-televised Bellator event.  

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.