Ken Shamrock says his heart aches for Kimbo Slice -- saying the guy made a tremendous impact in the world of combat sports ... but never got the respect he truly deserved.
Shamrock -- who fought Slice (and lost) last year -- says Slice made one helluva splash in MMA and boxing ... but still had to battle extreme negativity from haters -- even when he won his fights.
"Even when he won a fight it seemed like he was never good enough," Shamrock says.
"When you really care about your fans and you really care about what you do then those things that come at you from a negative position ... it hurts ... especially when it comes in thousands of people with negative thoughts. It stings, it hurts."
Shamrock says he never spoke with Slice directly about it -- but says it was obvious Kimbo was affected by the negativity.
In the end, Shamrock says Slice should be remembered as a warrior.
Kimbo Slice has died ... TMZ Sports has confirmed. He was 42.
We broke the story, Slice was hospitalized early Monday near his home in Coral Springs, FL. He passed away a short time later.
The CEO of Bellator MMA confirmed the news ... saying, "We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family."
"One of the most popular MMA fighters ever, Kimbo was a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport."
"Outside of the cage he was a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man. His loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo's friends, fans and teammates."
Details surrounding Kimbo's death are unclear. We're working on it.
Kimbo -- real name Kevin Ferguson -- last fought at Bellator 149 back in February and defeated Dada 5000 -- but the victory was overturned when Slice tested positive for a banned steroid.
Back in 2003, Slice became an Internet sensation for his backyard fighting videos -- destroying several opponents in unsanctioned street fights. He later signed a deal to fight in the UFC.
Slice competed on "The Ultimate Fighter" in 2009 ... and while his MMA career never really blossomed, he was undefeated as a boxer, with a 7-0 record.
Slice also did some acting -- appearing in 2012's "The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption."
MMA legend Wanderlei Silva says he was hit by a car while riding his bike earlier Wednesday -- but it doesn't appear the injuries are life threatening.
Someone posted a statement confirming the accident on Wanderlei's official Twitter page ... saying Silva was biking home from a training session when he was hit.
According to the statement, Silva will require surgery on his shoulder ... but the extent of the damage is unclear. No word on where Silva was at the time of the accident, or if any arrests have been made.
MMA fighter Jordan Parsons has died ... days after he was struck by a Range Rover in a hit and run incident in Florida. He was 25.
"It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a dear member of the Bellator family, Jordan Parsons," Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said in a statement.
Parsons was 11-2 as an MMA fighter -- and was a part of the famed Blackzilians training group with stars like Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and Rashad Evans.
"Jordan was an exceptional athlete and a rising star in the sport. But more importantly, he was an exceptional young man," Coker added.
"Jordan was hard-working, dedicated, intelligent, and a pleasure to be around. He represented all the reasons we love this sport. It is a terribly tragic loss and our thought and prayers go out to his family, friends and teammates."
Parsons was struck by the car while crossing a street early Sunday morning. Officials believe Parsons may have been wearing headphones and was unable to hear the car approaching.
Cops are still looking for the driver of the car that hit Parsons and have vowed to prosecute that person to the fullest extent of the law.
Despite the fact he flat out LIED -- Dana White tells TMZ Sports Conor McGregor's not in his dog house ... and he's considering re-booking the UFC superstar as early as UFC 201 in August.
White was leaving Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills ... on his way to support Paige VanZant at "Dancing with the Stars" ... when we asked WHY he thinks McGregor posted the fake fight confirmation on Twitter Monday morning.
"I don't know ... I don't know why he did," White said ... "I still have not talked to him."
Watch the clip. White once again praises McGregor as a guy who's saved countless fights for the UFC in the past, and even though he won't fight at UFC 200 ... it sounds like he definitely wants Conor back in the octagon before the end of the year.