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Kimbo Slice, manager explain longstanding beef with Dada 5000

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Kimbo Slice doesn't respect his Bellator 149 opponent Dhafir Harris.

That much is abundantly clear.

Speaking on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Slice and his manager, Mike Imber, shined a spotlight on their background with "Dada 5000," revealing an unpleasant, ugly history.

"We actually all went to high school together," Imber said. "When Kimbo finally got his chance and he ended up going to fight pro, it was his decision, along with one of our good friends who passed away, Big Sean, to bring on a few of our buddies to ride with us. He [Dada 5000] wasn’t a bodyguard. Kimbo didn’t need a f*cking bodyguard. We just brought some of our old people from the neighborhood with us."

After joining Slice's crew, Harris decided he wanted to give fighting a shot. They obliged, but, according to Imber, Harris quickly decided he wanted no part of the combat life.

"What ended up happening was, we were in Vegas for a convention, he was with us and we set up a fight for him there," Imber said. "The day of the fight, he came walking into our hotel room and was like rolling his ankle around and said his ankle didn’t feel good and he didn’t want to do it.  He had to back out.

"Obviously that didn’t sit well. These people that were in Vegas, they weren’t the type of people to back out from, and then we let it go. We got back home and we actually let him do one of these [street] fights, which was the clip that you saw, that, I don’t know, maybe he thought it was buried somewhere. It’s never been seen, and I shared it with you because one of his big things was that we were afraid he was going to take Kimbo’s shine from him. Well, if you share that video with your viewers and yourself and whoever else, I think it speaks for itself. It didn’t seem like there’s anything there."

After two disastrous experiences trying to land Harris a fight and let him showcase his value as a fighter, Slice and Imber tried once more, this time setting up a match against Kelly Sessions, a well-known fighter from the neighboring town of Goulds, Florida.

"This guy Kelly Sessions was known to be a nasty brother with some mean hands, and we set up this fight, and the day of the fight, guess what? Dada no-shows," Imber said.

Another local fighter, Rene "Level" Martinez stepped in to take Harris' place against Sessions, winning despite giving up nearly 60 pounds to Sessions, by Imber's recollection.

"Part of this recurring theme is, the people that are around Dada now, all they know is what he told them," Imber said. "They drank his Kool-Aid just like he’s drinking his own Kool-Aid."

Slice, however, isn't waiting in line to fill his glass. He sees Harris much as Imber does, and he looks forward to their Feb. 19 showdown in Houston to finally settle a score long in the making.

"First of all, we went to school together. We grew up in the same f*cking neighborhood," Slice said. "This man, this [dude] knows me. He knows a great deal about me. He knows I’m the type of person that grew up in that neighborhood being a fighter. I’m the type of n***** that will put hands on you. He knows that much about me. He didn’t grow up like I grew up.

"Even though we’re from the same neighborhood, this f****** n***** knows what type of n***** I am…So for him to be running his mouth the way he’s running his mouth, Ariel, he’s made this sh*t super personal. Super personal."

A huge source of Slice's and Imber's discontent comes from the 2015 documentary Dawg Fight, which was written by and stars Harris and his backyard-fighting organization. The two felt Harris and director Bill Corben didn't accurately represent them throughout the film, causing inaccuracies and harm along the way.

"If he [Corben] would’ve tried to talk to either myself or Kimbo together, we would’ve let him know what he was dealing with," Imber said. "He didn’t really fact check. Dada claims he’s like a street-fighting legend or something. He claims he’s 38-0. He’s never had more than two fights in the backyard, and if he’s had any more than two fights, where are they at? Where’s it at? It’s nowhere. Who’s even said they’ve seen it?

"You can check our stories. You can ask Level, Level Martinez. He’s the one that stood up and fought Kelly that day. This guy [Harris] wasn’t even anywhere in the neighborhood. So, yeah, this makes it personal because in that documentary they try to make it seem that we were afraid that he was going to take something away from Kimbo. They don’t even know us. We would love to put people on. We’re not afraid of anyone taking anything, but the fact of the matter is, there was nothing to take because he didn’t have sh*t. We didn’t even want him part of our team because he couldn’t f*cking fight. When he backed out of the second fight, we really wanted nothing to do with him. That’s the true story of why we parted ways."

In the end, Slice recognizes his Bellator 149 showdown as an opportunity to put it all in the past, to finally catch up to the man who allegedly avoided him at all costs up to this point.

And he's going to relish every second of it.

"I’m grinding differently. I’m training differently," Slice said. "I want to shut this [man] up, break his jaw, like, I’m seriously focusing on breaking his jaw. Seriously focusing on breaking his ribs. I mean, god***, I wish the ref [wouldn’t] even be in the ring. We don’t really need one…He’s going to quit himself.

"To be honest with you, I’m going to be straight-up honest with you — I am down to fight this motherf***** in or out of the ring at this point. He just needs to watch his self…If we are ever in the same room because of Bellator putting this here together, he needs to watch what he says. If he even looks at me hard, I’m [going to] hit him in his mouth."

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