Kimbo Slice died on Monday night at the age of 42 and immediately the fight community began remembering the heavy-handed heavyweight who took an improbable road to MMA stardom.

Slice's story is one of the American dream. In 1994, he found himself homeless, living out of a 1987 Nissan Pathfinder for a month while washing cars and eventually he found work as a limo driver, which eventually turned into a job as a strip club bouncer. That led him to getting a job as a bouncer for a friend's porn company, which would become his entry into the fighting world.

Known by his given name Kevin Ferguson at the time, his first foray into fighting for money was in a Miami backyard in 2003. The video was put up on his friend's porn site and took the internet by storm, thus birthing Kimbo Slice.

Slice's videos quickly became a hot commodity on the internet -- I can remember groups of us in high school crowding around a computer to watch grainy footage of Slice's most recent fight. His street fights and backyard brawls became the thing of legend and for four years he was the undisputed king of internet fighting.

Just Google "Kimbo Slice YouTube fights" and you can witness the carnage and intensity for yourself.

As Slice's popularity and legend grew, there were plenty who wondered how he would fare in a sanctioned, professional fight. In 2007, four years after he first took to the backyards of Miami to fight, Slice made his MMA debut on Elite XC on CBS in a fight that drew over four million viewers. Slice continued to draw ratings as he won his first three fights all by stoppage in Elite XC, bringing his knockout power from the backyards to the cage.

Kimbo Slice knocks out Tank Abbott.
Kimbo Slice punches Jason Thompson.

Slice lost his fourth fight to Seth Petruzelli via a first-round knockout and moved on from Elite XC as it folded to UFC to compete on The Ultimate Fighter. He lost early on in the competition but fought twice in the UFC Octagon, earning a 1-1 record before being released.

He took time off, participating in some boxing matches, before he reemerged as a fighter with Bellator in 2015, knocking out Ken Shamrock.

Kimbo Slice knocks out Ken Shamrock. Vice Sports via Spike

What turned out to be the final fight of Slice's career happened to come against Dada 5000, another Miami street fighter turned MMA fighter. That fight failed to live up to the hype coming in and ended with Dada 5000 passing out due to renal failure, resulting in a TKO victory for Slice that was overturned after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid after the fight.

Despite the positive test, Slice was scheduled to take on James Thompson for a second time, the first as Bellator fighters, in London this July. Slice had made it. From homeless to bouncer to bodyguard to internet sensation to the biggest draw for a major MMA promotion, he was the American dream of MMA having pulled himself up from the lowest of lows to reach mainstream success. As SB Nation's Luke Thomas put it on Tuesday, Kimbo Slice was mixed martial arts.

Slice took over the sport that is billed as modern day gladiators. He wasn't a technically sound fighter, who spent years of training to earn black belts in multiple skills. He was the everyman who just so happened to have sledgehammers for hands and a natural calmness when placed in the chaos of a fight, and he took those skills and parlayed them into a successful career and did so on his terms.

Kimbo Slice passed away on Monday night at age 42. USATSI