We spoke to the eldest son of the great, late Kimbo Slice, ahead of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut. Kevin ‘Baby Slice’ Ferguson Jr. started his MMA career with a single amateur bout. The fight only lasted 83 seconds and it was clear that he would be a force to be reckoned with, once he emerged on the professional scene.
Slice has had a rough time trying to make his debut. His previous two scheduled bouts (at Bellator 160 and Bellator 162) were cancelled due to Slice injuring his back and, more recently, his opponent missing weight by an unbelievable 17 pounds.
After searching for an opponent, Bellator has matched Slice up with Aaron Hamilton, a young prospect with a professional MMA record of 0-2. While this may seem like an easier fight on face value, Hamilton will be desperate to prove himself, and that his record doesn’t reflect his skill level. This fight will take place on the preliminary card of Bellator 165 on November 20th (in Australia).
The Neversphere: Hey Slice, how are you man?
Slice: I’m good, I’m good. How are you – wait, where are you located again?
The Neversphere: I’m down here in Australia.
Slice: Oh Australia! Man I gotta come out there! I’ve never been there before; I think it’d be cool.
The Neversphere: Definitely, I’m sure you’d love it out here. The only problem is that flight…damn near 24 hours on a plane.
Slice: I’m used to that man, I’m used to flying. I’ve been to Thailand, so it’s nothing.
The Neversphere: True. I can’t do it man, I hate flying so much! But anyway, how’s camp treating you? November 19 and Bellator 165 are coming fast.
Slice: Everything’s been good man, training’s been going good y’know? Now it’s just about cutting these last couple of pounds and staying healthy.
The Neversphere: And how’s your transition to pro-MMA been?
Slice: It’s been easy man, I don’t even see a difference honestly, this is like my first real training camp…everything’s been new to me but now I’m getting the hang of it.
The Neversphere: You’re training out of Team Body Shop in California?
Slice: Yeah yeah, Team Body Shop with Joey Davis, A.J McKee (The Mercenary), and Anthony Taylor; those are the top guys right now, we’re going to take over Bellator.
The Neversphere: I don’t doubt it. This is the third fight you’ve been scheduled for this year. The previous two were cancelled, first due to injury, then your opponent missed weight by 17 pounds…What was your reaction when Rick Bing missed weight by so much?
Slice: I guess I could say I was upset for about 30 seconds…after that I was like, ‘awh well, I guess I’m going to go eat now.’ That made me feel much better…I was able to eat what I wanted to eat. I wanted to get in there and fight but everything happens for a reason. I got better, I’m way better than I was in October, so it worked out for the best…I made weight one pound under.
The Neversphere: There’s always a positive. So your next opponent, Aaron Hamilton, is coming in off two straight losses, I imagine he’s going to be desperate to take home a win. What do you think of his skills and how do you think he matches up with you?
Slice: I’m not really sure; I haven’t really watched any tape on him. I let my coach and manager watch, and my coach trains me according to his style. I’m just going to go in there and do what I was taught, what I was trained to do. I don’t really care what he brings to the table, honestly.
The Neversphere: Any predictions for how the fight will go?
Slice: Oh yeah, my prediction is I’m going to walk away with the ‘W’. Whether it comes by submission or knock out, I’m going to take home that ‘W’.
The Neversphere: Having said that, I’ve heard that you’re not just into your striking – you’re working on your wrestling, your jiu jitsu; that you don’t mind working off your back. You’re clearly trying to be a well-rounded mixed martial artist.
Slice: Oh yeah definitely man. I don’t want to be known just for my knockout power…which is what the fans want to see. I don’t mind knocking someone out, but if it goes to the ground then I don’t mind submitting you or beating you up on the ground until the ref stops it. At the end of the day it’s about getting the win, getting that ‘W’.
The Neversphere: You definitely showed that you have knockout power in your hands in your last fight. I think it was 83 seconds, or something like that?
Slice: Yeah, yeah. It’s funny ‘cause my Dad’s first fight went for a minute and 24 seconds and mine ended in a minute 23, so you know, I beat him by one second [Laughs].
The Neversphere: No way…how’s that for a coincidence? Speaking about you father, your nickname is obviously an homage to him. I’ve always been curious, what was it like growing up with one of the most recognisable men on the planet?
Slice: I mean – at first I didn’t really understand all the fans and all the people that were behind him…I just saw a father, my Dad. It wasn’t like he was famous. I guess the kids don’t see that. I grew up with him when he was no one, so it was kind of hard to put all of that in perspective.
At this point…now I understand, it means more to me, you know?
The Neversphere: For sure, it must have been a trip when those YouTube videos got big…and you know…next minute he’s fighting professional MMA, I imagine it would have been an amazing time for the family.
Slice: Yeah man, I went from sharing a room with my brothers and sisters, to having my own room, a two-car garage…it was a trip man…it was a trip.
The Neversphere: It’s amazing that such great things can come from the sport we love.
Slice: Right! And I’m doing what I love to do, the fact that I get paid to go in there makes it even better for me.
The Neversphere: When it comes to MMA, what did you learn from your Dad, was he teaching you how to throw punches as a kid?
Slice: Oh yeah man, I started boxing at…maybe like 13? The hands were there. Now I’ve just added kicks, the elbows and the ground game to it.
The Neversphere: I heard a while ago, before your amateur debut, that you were considering removing the ‘baby’ from ‘Baby Slice’ but you’ve kept it. Is ‘Baby Slice’ here to stay?
Slice: Oh yeah yeah. ‘Baby Slice’ is here to stay. Most guys call me ‘Slice’, but when it’s time to fight ‘Baby Slice’ is there.
The Neversphere: Yeah man, I don’t mind that nickname to be honest.
Slice: Yeah man, I like it. I was thinking Kimbo Slice Jr but that would only work if I was a heavyweight. My Dad was like 260 and I’m 175, so ‘Baby Slice’ works.
The Neversphere: I’ve got a bit more of a general MMA question for you. What do you think about the changes to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts coming into play at the start of 2017?
Slice: I feel like it will work for me. I’m new to this sport, so whatever they change will work for me, no matter what…
I feel like we should be able to stomp on the ground, like how they did it in Japan…
The Neversphere: Yeah? It would make the fights more realistic…
Slice: …And get the referees out of there; I think there should be no ref.
The Neversphere: Fair enough, the fight ends when it’s clear that it has ended?
Slice: Right, it ends when it ends – someone’s going to sleep, or someone’s quitting.
The Neversphere: I guess they need the ref in there to keep the politicians and athletic commissions happy?
Slice: Ah right right, yeah.
The Neversphere: One last question for you Slice. At the Neversphere we cover music as well as MMA, so I have to ask, what’s your walk out song and does it have any special meaning to you?
Slice: I’m coming out to Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock.
The Neversphere: Good choice man, I love that tune!
Slice: Yeah I love that song. My Dad used to listen to it when I was a kid; it was one of his favourite songs. So I’m going to come out to that…until I make it to the main card, then I might come out to something classic – Fold My Flag by Trick Daddy.
The Neversphere: Both solid tracks. Well, thank you for giving me some of your time, I appreciate that it’s a hectic time for you at the moment. Best of luck for November 19, we’ll be cheering you on from down here in Australia.
Slice: Alright man, thank you.