On October 4, 2008, a freak accident robbed the MMA world of one of the most anticipated fights in the history of the sport. On June 20, Bellator MMA will right that wrong.
Street fighting legend and YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice and “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” Ken Shamrock, have agreed to renew their rivalry and will now meet in the main event of “Bellator MMA: Unfinished Business,” which takes place at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center and airs live and free on Spike TV.
Additional information, including ticket prices and an on sale date, will be announced shortly.
“I remember how excited I was when this fight was originally announced, and how disappointed I was when it didn’t come to fruition at that time,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “I’m very happy we were able to put this one together because I know these guys still have a lot of unfinished business to take care of, and when they do, it will be something special.”
The two superstar each played featured roles in the two most-watched MMA contests in U.S. television history, as Slice’s 2008 win over James Thompson peaked with a remarkable 7.281 million viewers, and Shamrock’s 2006 tussle with Tito Ortiz earned 6.524 million viewers.
Slice also fought in the third most-watched contest, as his bout with Seth Petruzelli – who replaced Shamrock on that 2008 evening – scored 6.451 million viewers.
Slice and Shamrock were originally supposed to fight in 2008, but in one of the most bizarre incidents in MMA history, Shamrock suffered a cut over his eye during pre-fight warmups and was ruled ineligible for the contest just hours before it began.
For Slice, a chance to revisit the matchup provides an opportunity to rewrite history.
“Ken Shedrack, I owe you this ass whooping,” Slice said. “No more running! No more hiding!”
Meanwhile, Shamrock is an MMA Hall of Famer and multiple-time world champion who is universally recognized as a true pioneer of the sport. Competing professionally since 1993, Shamrock has fought the absolute biggest names in the history of MMA, including Rich Franklin, Don Frye, Royce Gracie, Matt Hume, Ortiz, Bas Rutten, Kazushi Sakuraba and Dan Severn, among many others.
Now in the twilight of his career, Shamrock believes his drive and determination have him in the best form of his career.
“I am back,” Shamrock said. “It’s good to be performing again for my fans. I feel great, and my health is great. Age should never be a factor if an athlete is healthy, in great shape, and has the drive to continue their sport. I will quit fighting when I want to.”
And for Shamrock, the frustration of that bizarre 2008 night has lingered for years. Now is a chance to prove he would have been the one with his hand raised.
“Kimbo Slice and I have some unfinished business,” Shamrock said. “I am a fighter – that’s who I am. Fighting has always invigorated me. Never give up.”