Saturday June 20, 2015– The long-awaited, highly anticipated matchup between mixed martial arts legend Ken Shamrock (28-16-2) and bare-knuckled brawler Kimbo Slice (5-2) definitely didn’t disappoint. The energy from the packed crowd at Scottrade Center in St. Louis was palpable, as fans from all walks of life had waited since 2008 to see the two enter the cage, with Slice claiming victory by TKO at 2:22 in round one.
When the opening bell sounded, the founding father of MMA looked to shoot for the takedown on Slice immediately, maneuvering into a position to secure a win with a rear-naked choke. But as promised, Slice refused to tap.
Before the crowd could blink, the two fighters were upright and exchanging blows. Slice was able to land a lethal right hook that stunned Shamrock, sending him immediately to the canvas. Just as Slice moved in to land additional blows on the defenseless Shamrock, referee John McCarthy quickly stepped in and stopped the fight.
After the bout, an exuberant Slice acted as if this victory was long overdue. “I’ve been in this position before,” said Slice. “I trained my ground game very well. Tapping was not an option.”
Shamrock, who looked to be in top shape coming into the fight, was full of class in defeat. “When you come into a fight and you get beat you have to show respect,” said Shamrock. “I’m frustrated, I had the submission but I didn’t take my time with it. I lost my position. I tried to scramble, but I wasn’t that fast and I got caught.”
In the night’s co-feature and potential comeback “Fight of the Year,” current Bellator Featherweight World Champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (24-2) retained his title against Daniel “Weasel” Weichel (35-9) with a beautiful left hook knockout 32-seconds into round two.
In the first round it looked like Bellator would have a new 145-pound champion, as the German international immediately came forward with pressure, catching the Brazilian with multiple jabs.
Just when it looked like referee McCarthy would stop the action, the first round bell sounded just in the nick of time to save Freire from a stunning first-round knockout.
After the fight, a seemingly stunned “Pitbull” didn’t seem to lose any confidence. “My opponent was very tough, but I can go to war,” said Freire. “I am very happy to still be the champion. I’m here, if you want my belt you can try to come get it.”
“I believe the bell saved me,” Freire continued. “He hit me with a hard punch on my chin but I stayed calm going into the second round because I knew I needed to win the fight. I saw an opening after he punched me and I hit him with my best shot.”
A visibly distraught and emotional Weichel knew he let a golden opportunity slip away. “I started the second round slowly,” said Weichel. “I didn’t want him to recover after the first round. I started on the offensive in the second round and unfortunately I got caught.”
In heavyweight action, Bobby “The Dominator” Lashley (13-2), of Coconut Creek, Fla., made quick work of Dan “The Man” Charles (9-3), dominating the 29-year-old with a great ground and pound, an arsenal that including multiple suplexes. Referee McCarthy stopped the fight at 4:14 in the second round resulting in a TKO for the three-time NAIA amateur wrestling champion and his third straight win under the Bellator banner.
Charles, who took the fight on two weeks’ notice after James Thompson dropped out due to injury, was overmatched by the considerably larger Lashley, who kept himself in great position to eventually vie for the heavyweight title.
The 38-year-old referenced his esteemed wrestling background as a major factor in claiming victory. “You always go back to your basics in a fight and wrestling is my background,” said Lashley. “I need to keep moving forward, the heavyweight division is wide open. I need to keep my eyes open.”
Daniel Straus (23-6), of Coconut Creek, Fla. looked like he has fully rebounded from his title shot loss to Pitbull Freire, convincingly beating Henry Corrales (12-1) of La Mirada, Calif. via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:47 into round two.
Straus looked like he came into the fight to make a statement, quickly attacking Corrales with consecutive blows to the head that had the Californian staggering backwards on multiple occasions.
“I’m still dominating people,” said Straus. “This is what I do. Win or lose I come in here to beat up my opponent.”
Straus seemed confident that he would have no issues reclaiming his belt. “Whoever wins the featherweight belt tonight,” exclaimed Straus. “I am coming to beat you up.”
It was a valiant effort by Corrales, who was making his Bellator debut, but it was obvious that he was a step behind Straus from the opening bell. The loss was just the first in Corrales’ career.
In the night’s first main-card contest, lightweight and hometown favorite Michael Chandler (13-3), of High Ridge, Mo., made quick work of Derek “The Stallion” Campos (15-5), needing just 2:17 secondsto score a submission (rear-naked choke) win.
Coming off three straight losses, Chandler clearly looked relieved following the fight. “Derek Campos is a tough guy, he hit me in my mouth and bloodied me a bit,” said Chandler. “I was excited to fight this guy. I’m not in this sport to tip toe and find easy fights.”
Feeling notably confident, Chandler called out current lightweight champion Will Brooks, who happened to be sitting cage side. “I want that belt back,” said Chandler. “Will Brooks, that belt has my name on it, wherever you are.”
On tonight’s preliminary card shown on Spike.com
Hometown fighters were represented in all nine preliminary fights, starting with Miles McDonald (2-1) of Springfield, MO defeated Dan O’Connor (5-5) via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:30 in round 3.
Hugh Pulley (5-2) of St. Louis, MO defeated Eric Irvin (9-4) of Farmington, MO via Split Decision scored 30-27 (Pulley), 29-28 (Pulley), 29-28 (Irvin)
Kyle Kurtz (4-0) of Jackson, MO stayed undefeated with a round 2 Submission victory over Adam Cella (6-4) of St. Louis, MO.
Chris Heatherly (9-3) of Cahokia, IL defeated Garrett Gross (6-4) of Coconut Creek, FL via Unanimous Decision scored 29-28 three times.
Justin Lawrence (8-2) of Pacific, MO defeated Sean Wilson (34-26) of Omaha, NE via TKO in 4:56 of round 1.
Justin Guthrie (18-8) of Colorado Springs, CO defeated Steven Mann (10-2) of St. Louis, MO via Submission (Brabo Choke) at the 1:09 mark in round two.
Main Card Results
Kimbo Slice def Ken Shamrock by KO – Round 1, 2:22
Patricio Freire def. Daniel Weichel by KO – Round 2, :32 to retain Bellator MMA Featherweight title
Bobby Lashley def. Dan Charles via TKO – Round 2, 4:14
Daniel Straus def. Henry Corrales by submission (guillotine) – Round 2, 3:47
Michael Chandler def. Derek Campos by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:17
Preliminary Card Results
Miles McDonald def. Dan O’Connor by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:30
Hugh Pulley def. Eric Irvin by Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
Kyle Kurtz def. Adam Cella by submission (armbar) – Round 2, 4:13
Chris Heatherly def. Garrett Gross by Unanimous Decision (29-28 three times)
Justin Guthrie def. Steven Mann by submission (brabo choke) – Round 2, 1:09
Justin Lawrence def. Sean Wilson via TKO – Round 1, 4:56