Kimbo Slice was the 'Mike Tyson' of street fighting who inspired Jorge Masvidal to take up MMA

  • Tom Ward

Before there was Jorge Masvidal, there was Kimbo Slice.

After all ‘Gamebred’ was one of the disciples of the ‘Mike Tyson of street fighting’ who became famous for taking part in hundreds of backstreet brawls in Miami until his death in 2016.

Kimbo – real name Kevin Ferguson – started uploading videos on YouTube in the early 2000’s which helped attract him millions of followers on social media.

His huge following earned him a brief stint in the UFC and professional boxing before he joined Bellator MMA in 2015.

And it wasn’t long before Masvidal eventually followed suit.

Speaking to MMA Junkie in 2016, Masvidal spoke about the first time he bumped into Slice, which ended in a surprise trip to a swanky restaurant.

He revealed: “The first time that I fought Ray, you can see it on the video, [Slice] is the unofficial referee.

“He gives Ray water, he gives me water, before and after the fight.

“I didn’t even know he was Kimbo’s protege until after the video came out.

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“He was super cool before the fight, and after it he was like, ‘Wow man, I can’t believe you beat that dude, he’s so much bigger than you, and I know that dude’s nasty.’

“He was going nuts. He took me out to eat dinner and at the time I was dead broke. He took me to this fancy-ass place and at the time I was like, ‘Damn, this dude’s balling.’

“And it was just cool as [expletive]. I thought we were going to have to do some thugged-out [expletive], like run out on the bill, but he paid for the whole thing. I was like, ‘Man, this is some crazy [expletive].”

Like many others before him, Masvidal only had positive things to say about Ferguson – claiming that he only ever behaved like ‘a gentleman’.

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He added: “He already had millions of hits on YouTube and stuff – and I was a nobody, I was just some regular dude at the gym training, wanting to fight.

“And since day one he was cool with me. He would come up to me, ask me questions. Not that I knew more, he knew more, it’s just at the time the amount of notoriety he had already was crazy.

“He was always such a humble dude. Anybody would come up to him and start chatting him up, and he’d chat you back, spend 15 to 20 minutes. It was a gentleman thing.

“Especially when he started fighting, it wasn’t like today these social media outlets, when he was trying to get pictures of him doing something nice. He was just a gentleman – like a good dude.”

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