Kimbo Slice may not have been an original from the early ’90s like Ken Shamrock or Royce Gracie. Kimbo may not have been a Chuck Liddell, a Tito Ortiz or Forrest Griffin that sustained and lifted MMA into the relative mainstream. But despite his background and with only eight professional MMA fights, Kimbo was still a legend.
Kimbo was the guy you booted up ridiculously slow internet for as your friend hunches over your shoulder, waiting for the little loading bar to fill as sun glared on your old-school CRT monitor. Who was this man? This monster? He was a blurry, but real, action star fighting two dudes back-to-back in a boatyard. He was capturing hearts and liberating consciousnesses. The internet was ready for Kimbo Slice. The world was ready for Kimbo Slice.
And so, the world mourns his death at age 42 on Monday. In his short, but improbable rise, Kimbo Slice transcended into a weird, pop culture star in various corners of the world. A modern day gladiator. Everyone likes a guy who could punch somebody’s eyeball out of their head. And, it just so happened that he was a nice guy. A family man. Kimbo Slice was embraced by many, and now he’s mourned by many. From fighters to entertainers, to fans.