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Scott Coker: I probably had 200 people call me 'saying I'm ready to fight Kimbo Slice'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

TEMECULA, Calif. -- Kimbo Slice is back in MMA. And the line has already formed of fighters wanting to take him on.

"Honestly, I probably had about 200 people call me last night saying, 'I'm ready to fight Kimbo Slice, put me with Kimbo Slice,'" Bellator MMA president Scott Coker joked Friday night.

Bellator announced the signing of Slice, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, during the Spike TV broadcast of Bellator 132 on Friday. The acquisition was initially reported Thursday by Combat Press.

Slice is one of the most infamous names in MMA history -- a running gag, yet someone who drew extremely well. The wildly popular YouTube street fighter helped Elite XC get major ratings and was the main reason for record numbers for the UFC's The Ultimate Fighter: heavyweight season.

Of course, the 40-year-old is also woefully inexperienced in mixed martial arts and was the reason why Elite XC crashed and burned following his stunning loss to Seth Petruzelli in 2008.

Slice's record stands at 4-2. He departed MMA after being cut from the UFC after a loss to Matt Mitrione in May 2010. Slice's lone UFC victory came against Houston Alexander, who is now with Bellator.

Since leaving MMA, Slice has competed in boxing, drawing criticism because some people believe his bouts have been fixed. The Bahamas native and Miami resident is 7-0 as a pro boxer with six knockouts.

"Bellator is up there in the tops and they're giving me the opportunity to fight on primetime and Spike TV," Slice said on the broadcast. "You know you can't resist Spike TV.

"You gotta think, I'm still hungry out there. I haven't got my fill yet. Whoever steps up to the plate, they got to bring it. I'm coming to get it."

Coker said Bellator is targeting a summer return for Slice, but nothing is set in stone. Slice has been training at American Top Team, but even Coker is not sure for how long. Bellator reached out to Slice a few months ago, Coker said, and a deal was only finalized Wednesday.

"We'll take our time," Coker said. "We don't even know when he's gonna be ready to fight. So we got some work to do to see what the target date will be. And then we'll go find an opponent that we think will be a lot of fun to watch and drive some big ratings."

Slice will still be able to box in between fights with Bellator, Coker said, but once he signs for a bout with the MMA organization his sole focus must be on MMA. Coker said he isn't sure if Slice will be a main-event attraction.

"We haven't really talked about it, but my guess would be there would be other fights that might be the headliner," Coker said.

Slice's win over James Thompson in May 2008 drew nearly 7 million viewers on CBS. Obviously, Bellator is hoping to catch lightning in the bottle with the name fighter.

"We said all along that we were going to do fights at the world-class level like we just saw tonight," Coker said of Bellator 132. "The main event [between Patricio Freire and Daniel Straus] was awesome. It was amazing. But we're gonna do some fun fights. We just thought that fit really nicely in our future plans."