On Thursday, June 18, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, the headliners for Friday night’s Bellator MMA: Ken vs Kimbo Battle, weighed-in for the much anticipated grudge match pitting two icons of the fighting sports, a 41 year-old street fighter by the name of Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and the 51 year-old Ken “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Shamrock.
The fight’s not exactly on the same par as the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao tilt, but there are a great number of fans looking forward to the match. How about all those fight fans who paid a dear price for their ticket nearly seven years ago. After a fluke accident caused the cancellation of their first fight, many thought this day would never come. When Shamrock couldn’t go in 2008, his protégé Seth Petruzelli stepped in and knocked the street fighter, Kimbo Slice, out cold. That led to the demise of EliteXC, which had banked on Slice being this huge star.
In contrast, Shamrock went from the mixed martial arts to WWE, and then back to the UFC. Along with his step-brother, Frank Shamrock, the two men have had Hall of Fame careers.
Well, who’s going to win on Friday night? It’s undeniable that Slice is quite the boxer and Shamrock is the more rounded MMA fighter. By showtime, Slice, the taller of the two and 7-0 as a professional boxer should outweigh Shamrock by at least 30 pounds. Even though Slice has a 4-2 record in the cage and is undefeated as a pro-boxer, he’s reached this plateau by fighting boxers with a combined record of 16-29 and more than a few of his MMA foes lacked credibility. The last time Slice fought was back on May 8, 2010, a second round TKO loss to Matt “Meathead” Mitrione.
Shamrock last fought on November 25, 2010, against the 46 year-old, 275 pound Mike “The Rhino” Bourke from La Habra, Calif. In that one he didn’t get out of the first round. He was stopped at the 2:00 minute mark of round one by a guy who at that time had only three KOs in 25 matches.
In the co-main event, there’s a battle for the featherweight title between the defending champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (23-2, 8 KOs) and Daniel Weichel (35-8, 5 KOs). In Freire’s last fight, he fought locally at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. winning a fourth round submission victory over Daniel Straus to improve his Bellator record to 13-2.
In Weichel’s last scrap, he won his fourth straight under the Bellator banner, winning a split decision victory over Pat Curran.
In a critical heavyweight match between two larger than life fighters, Bobby Lashley (12-2) is looking to continue his undefeated streak in Bellator by thrashing a very game Dan “The Man” Charles (9-2). Lashley was originally slated to face James Thompson, but an injury derailed that match-up.
One of MMA’s most promising prospects Henry Corrales (12-0) is looking to keep his unblemished record alive by defeating the former featherweight champion Daniel Straus (22-6). The more experienced Straus has only three losses in his last 22 fights.
In the opening televised bout, San Diego’s Mike Chandler (12-3) from the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. is hoping to return to lightweight glory when he faces Derek Campos (15-4). The Missouri native has been involved in a great many historic battles inside the cage and if his comments at the weigh-ins are any indication, he plans on making his homecoming special.