Bellator has announced the latest of their ‘tentpole’ events set for Friday, February 19th in Houston, Texas and they are wheeling out some grizzled ‘Hall Of Famers’ of the sport for the occasion with a trilogy fight between Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock set to headline Bellator 149.
Gracie is of course a true legend of legends in the sport as the winner of the UFC 1 tournament in which he showed the world just how effective Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu could be.
During that historic tournament back in 1993 he defeated Shamrock in the semi-finals with a rear-naked choke in just 57 seconds, and after then going on to rack up a perfect 11-0 record over the course of the next few tournaments he met Shamrock (who by this time was 17-3-1) in a 1995 superfight which led to 36 minutes of fighting before it was declared a draw due to there not being any judges.
And here we are some over 20 years later talking about an upcoming rematch between these two legends who by the time the fight rolls around will have a combined age of 101.
Shamrock has been more active than Gracie in recent years, but that’s not saying much – competing just once in the past five years, resulting in a first round KO loss to Kimbo Slice at Bellator 138 this past June, while Gracie hasn’t fought since he tested positive for steroids following a decision victory over Kazushi Sakuraba over eight years ago.
So it’s fair to say that will be something of a freak show, as will the other fight so far announced for the event between former backyard brawlers Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000.
Kimbo rose to fame when his bareknuckle street fights went viral online in the early 2000’s leading to an opportunity to fighting in MMA. Years later his former bodyguard Dada 5000 looked to follow in his footsteps, sporting a similarly distinctive look and running his own ‘Backyard Brawls’ promotion which also paved the way for him to fight in the cage.
The 41 year-old Kimbo has fought at a higher level than his opponent, compiling a 5-2 record including a spell in the UFC, while 38 year-old Dada 5000 is 2-0 fighting only in smaller, regional promotions.