kimbo slice
Kimbo Slice was an internet sensation before becoming a MMA fighterGetty

Professional Mixed Martial Artist (MMA) Kimbo Slice has died aged 42, confirmed Bellator MMA. Slice was admitted to hospital on Monday (6 June) for undisclosed reasons near his home in South Florida, according to the Coral Springs Police, who had been dispatched to his residence to prevent a potential gathering outside. The cause of the death remains unknown.

"We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family. One of the most popular MMA fighters ever, Kimbo was charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport," said CEO of Bellator MMA Scott Coker, as quoted by ESPN.com.

"Outside of the cage he was a friendly, gentle giant and devoted family man. His loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo's friends, fans and teammates."

Slice, whose birth name was Kevin Ferguson, was a former backyard brawler and an internet sensation that came to prominence in 2003 for destroying several opponents in unsanctioned street fights following which he was signed on by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

He last fought at Bellator 149 on 19 February, defeating Dhafir Harris in a three-round decision. The result was later overturned after Slice was tested positive for anabolic steroids and an elevated testosterone rate. He was scheduled to headline the Bellator 158 event on 16 July against James Thompson on 16 July.

Fans and fellow fighters took to Twitter to express their condolences. He is survived by six children and was engaged to long-time girlfriend Antionette Ray.