His father was beloved by mixed martial fans around the world. Now Kevin Ferguson Jr., the son of Kimbo Slice and known as “Baby Slice”, tries to carry the legacy. In his second professional fight, he scored his first career win by defeating D.J. Griffin at Bellator 179 in London earlier this month.
“You know what happened last year, the passing of his father,” Bellator president Scott Coker, who was a friend of the late Kimbo Slice, mentioned after the show. About ten months ago, Kimbo was supposed to have a fight against James Thompson which would haven taken place on July 16, 2016 at London’s O2 Arena. But Slice died of heart failure on June 6.
Thus it was something special for his son to compete in London und impress the crowd that was noticeably behind Baby Slice. “To have him fight here where his father was supposed to fight was a special moment for him,” Coker stated. “He was so happy. He is such a great kid.”
“I definitely felt a lot of emotions,” Baby Slice said after the event. When fans watch him fight they see shades of his famous father, and Baby Slice feels the same way. “When I look in the mirror I see me, but I also see him at the same time,” the 25-year-old explained. Even the devastating left hook he hit Griffin with looked reminiscent of his father’s striking style. “He taught me my striking at the beginning.”
But Baby Slice wants to achieve more than Kimbo. That is why he puts emphasis on his ground game, which was a weakness of his father who remained a brawler throughout his career. “I wanna continue the legacy and take the legacy to the next level,” Baby Slice said. “I defended triangle; I defended armbar. So I show that I have some ground skills.”
However, there was more to Kimbo’s legacy than what he did inside the cage. Some could even argue that most of his fights were not entertaining and of high quality. But Kimbo was a larger-than-life figure that became famous through backyard brawls on YouTube. And instead of playing the street thug, Kimbo was beloved because of his genuine personality and a philosopher in his own right. “Your mind, your heart, and your balls gotta be in one accord,” he once said.
If his soft-spoken son continues to stay humble, work hard and win fights, he could step in his father’s footsteps. “He is a really genuine, nice person,” Coker said. “When he signed with us, it really was something special to me that he wanted to carry on the legacy.” Despite the hype, the promotion wants to build Baby Slice up slowly and give him opponents of his caliber. He is still an inexperienced mixed martial artist, but he may have the potential to fulfill the promise that he will carry the legacy and even take it to the next level.