‘Baby Slice’ could easily fall victim to the perils of excess and ego, having already become something of a star for Bellator MMA, but he’s staying humble ahead of Friday’s Bellator 197.
Kevin Ferguson Jr.’s lineage brings with it a wealth of expectations. Yet ‘Baby Slice’ — son of the late Kimbo Slice — has slowly been building into a solid prospect over in Bellator MMA. At 2-1 in the promotion to date, Slice, who started competing shortly (picking up an amateur win) before his father’s untimely death, returns on Friday at Bellator 197, taking place in St. Charles, MO.
If the Chicago card a week later (Bellator 198) is all about the drawing power of established (and perhaps fading) stars, Bellator 197 is very much about the next generation. Both Slice and A.J. McKee, standouts from Team Bodyshop, are part of that story. Yet Slice, like his father before him, is an impressively humble figure given his quick ascension to the spotlight. Something that shone through when he addressed with media ahead of Friday’s event.
Slice (or Ferguson if you prefer) told reporters he doesn’t mind fighting abroad, having gone overseas for a couple of fights so far. “I like traveling, it’s fun to me, so either way, as long as I’m fighting,” he told the assembled media including Cageside Press. After all, in the cage, “everything’s the same.” Yet he’s back stateside for this one.
He also spoke of his journey to fighting, something Ferguson Sr. wasn’t always keen on. “I always wanted to fight,” he said. “My dad didn’t want me to, but deep down, I knew I was going to fight, for sure.” He made his amateur debut in March 2016, picking up a win. His father, sadly, would pass away just months later, never getting to see his son turn pro and go 2-1 in Bellator.
Thus far, Slice has kept up a steady pace. It’s not something he worries about, however. “I let my manager, my coach, and the Bellator staff, I let those guys handle everything,” he explained. “If they think I’m ready and prepared then I’ll be ready.”
Were it up to him, he might opt to be even more active. “It all depends on how the fight goes,” he said when asked if he’d prefer to see more action. “If it goes quick, then yeah, fight me again in a month.” A war, however, would mean time off. “Everyone needs a break.”
As Baby Slice pointed out, however, “I’m still learning, still growing. I’ve only been training a year and a half, so I have a lot of room to grow, a lot of learning to do.” It’s a humble, cautious approach — a good thing for a young fighter (just twenty-five, and early in his career) to have.
Catch ‘Baby Slice’ take on Devon Brock at Bellator 197, Friday April 13 at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. The main card airs live and free on Paramount Network.