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Kimbo Back In The Spotlight | September 11, 2009 | 04:37 PM EDT

Kevin Ferguson, also known as Kimbo Slice, is one of the most marketable athletes in recent history.

The name and the look is part of the lore.

Then throw in the crazy street fights that lifted him off YouTube and into arenas across the country.

Kimbo fought a couple fights for Elite XC, a mixed martial arts brand whose only big name was Slice himself.

And soon after he lost to a last minute replacement in 14 seconds in October, the company went under.

After the fight, 36 percent of SportsBiz readers said that Slice was still marketable, and I knew that this guy wasn’t just going to disappear off the face of the earth.

He didn’t.

The UFC is giving him a chance, as he’ll be a big draw in “The Ultimate Fighter” competition, a 13-week battle on Spike (premieres Sept. 16) that could give Kimbo a spot in the world’s premiere mixed martial arts organization.

We sat down with Kimbo –- well it was over the phone because I’m too scared of him -– to talk a little business.

Darren: Where did you get the name, Kimbo Slice?

Kimbo: Kimbo was my childhood name. Slice was from what I did to someone in one of my fights.

Darren: It’s a great name. How important is that to your marketability?

Kimbo: It plays a role for sure.

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