by Kami Ashley
So it’s been a while since my last article and it’s not because I just haven’t felt like it; there just hasn’t been much worth me discussing and I‘ve been busy with college. But this is…
Friday June 25th, 2010, at Westgate Mall in Amarillo, Texas, Kimbo Slice made his appearance to not only support the West Texas Shark Fights and fighters, but to scout out Amarillo to be his future home for training and eventually participate in Shark Fights. Now at first I was skeptical and hung up on the fact that Amarillo has never been big enough for any other celebrity (Leann Rimes, Snoop Dogg, or Usher and they said this themselves. Don’t believe me? Go look it up) so my greatest thought was “Nah. He ain’t gonna show”. Well he did but he was over an hour late because of some crazy fans who discovered his location. But for me and my family it was really worth it.
Let me give you a rundown/bio for Mr. Slice.
* Born Kevin Ferguson in Nassau, Bahamas on February 8, 1974
* Kevin moved to Cutler Ridge, Florida as a child and was raised by his mother
* At age 13 his first fight happened when he was trying to defend a friend
* He was the star middle linebacker at Miami Palmetto High School
* In 1992 his home was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew and he was forced to live in his car for a month
* He attended Bethune-Cookman University and the University of Miami on an Athletic Scholarship and he also studied Criminal Justice
* In 1997 he tried out for the Miami Dolphins where he was part of the pre-season squad but was unable to get a place in the first team
* In 2003 his career began in an unsanctioned street fight that was posted to Youtube
* The name “Kimbo Slice” stemmed from that same fight where he sliced his opponents right eye and Kimbo was his childhood nickname
* The popularity of his street fight with Sean Gannon propelled him into the MMA spotlight.
* He was trained by retired MMA fighter Bas Rutten and boxing instructor Randy Khatami
* Kimbo Slice starred in the hit TV show The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, with Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans as the coaches. Kimbo was defeated by Roy Nelson.
* Kimbo Slice is currently not under contract with anyone at the moment
* Kimbo Slice is a single father to 6 children; 3 boys and 3 girls and is engaged to Antionette Ray
* Kimbo Slice currently resides in Coral Springs, Florida
* Kimbo’s cousin is 4 time national Judo champion Rhadi Ferguson
Now here is a Black man that has not only stayed out of trouble as a child, teenager, and adult, but made a name for himself in the sports industry and households around the world. Trust me, he is completely different in person from what you see in the interviews on TV. He is a very soft spoken, kind, and almost shy man for his size and notoriety. The interesting part of meeting him was he felt like family and he treated us like family. We didn’t get a chance to get his autograph or pictures with him inside the mall, but luckily my brothers found a way for us to get to meet him without the crowd, and we were blessed to be able to take pictures and chat for a bit.. I believe that because we waited for him out back by the loading docks (and dumpsters) of Dillard’s and had nobody else with us, he saw that we really were interested in him and what he does and we weren’t just “super fans or stalkers” like most of the individuals in the mall. He made time for us even though he didn’t have the time in his schedule. We didn’t get to ask very many questions especially all the important ones because we had been discovered about 5 minutes after he came outside to leave. But I do plan on emailing or writing his fan site with my questions because I really want to know if he plans on making a big impact on the young black males in Amarillo since they can’t stay away from drugs or jail. I think it would be fantastic and encouraging if he made Amarillo his training site and reached out to the young black men here and just gave them a crash course in channeling their childish, ‘ got to get into all kinds of trouble just to say I’m bad’ behavior and stand up and be responsible, worthy young men. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was truly a blessing.
Now here’s a rundown/bio for Shark Fights
* Shark Fight Promotions, LLC is based out of Amarillo, Texas
* It is a Fight Promotion Company dedicated to driving the growth of mixed martial arts through the production of high quality MMA events and by effectively showcasing MMA fighters.
* Amarillo and Lubbock have the largest group of fighters combined
* West Texas is the only place anywhere that has hometown, Texas grown, Texas trained, and Texas bred fighters.
* The various fighting styles include MMA, Brazilian Jui Jitsu, Kick Boxing, Freestyle, and many more
* Shark Fights has one Brazillian fighter, Edgar Santos, who trains and teaches at the MAAC in here in Amarillo
* Amarillo’s own John King is a BLACK fighter who also trains at the MAAC
Shark Fight Promotions is not exactly what you would call marketing violence. Mixed Martial Arts is a sport and form of art. Some people may see it as brutal and unnecessary but this is just how entertainment sports wise goes. MMA is an excellent way to shape up and learn new things especially what people learn from their elders and pass down through their family.
Mixed Martial Arts is all about using any move or technique learned in basically any martial art to defeat an opponent, therefore it can be difficult to place its exact creation or inception in history. Of course, the earliest contact sport or martial art with very few rules (or a no holds barred concept) was called Pankration and was started in Greece around the year 648 B.C., taking its place among other sports in the Olympic Games. Wrestling is a great example of this because it is basically grappling with your opponent and finding the best ways to defeat and conquer and come out on top as the winner. We all know what wrestling is I hope. Ok, so take wrestling and pair it with Taekwondo, KickBoxing, Jui-Jitsu, Karate, Vale Tudo, Judo, Kajukenbo, Freestyle, and whatever else you want to mix up in there, and you have Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Most of the guys come in contact with my brothers because they train and work out with them here in Amarillo at the MAAC and go to high school together. These guys are mostly well tempered, they don’t get into trouble, and they all do MMA because they enjoy it. I haven’t heard of anything bad about them on the news because they stay up out of trouble. If they don’t they are not allowed to train and workout at the MAAC. So all in all, MMA is a good thing for young males because it keeps them happy, very little temper issues on the outside, and most importantly OUT OF TROUBLE.
Copyright 2010 – Kami Ashley. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.