Shamrock was able to easily secure an early takedown and looked to be in position to finish the fight. He had Ferguson’s back with both hooks in. He flattened out the bigger opponent and worked to finish the fight with a rear-naked choke. Kimbo escaped the choke and got back to his feet. Shortly thereafter, he landed a series of punches that dropped Shamrock and referee “Big John” McCarthy stopped the fight.
The following day, Shamrock claimed that Ferguson had tapped to the choke, but took responsibility for the loss.
“Are you kidding me? Some people just can’t stand the truth. It seems like whatever I do there has to be some of you who just have to have a reason why things don’t go the way they expect. Things happen & I am very discouraged myself. I had the choke very deep & I made a rookie mistake. I tried to reset it after I saw him tap & that’s when I lost position. This was my fault,” Shamrock posted on his Facebook page.
“To set the record straight on the tap, John McCarthy made it clear in the rules meeting, that we were not to look to the referee for help. We were to do our job & he will do his. When Kimbo tapped, it was not my job to make that call. I should have continued putting that choke on until John stepped in. I did not, which was my fault. On top of that, it was a very weak tap. I thought he started to go out but I started to move in tighter on the choke instead of letting the choke work itself tighter as Kimbo moved. I wanted to win this fight very badly however it did not happen–that’s it, plain & simple,” added the UFC Hall of Fame inductee.
McCarthy later told MMAFighting that he did not see a clear tap from Kimbo, saying, “In my opinion, that was a fighter contemplating tapping and then working through it.”
Shamrock blamed ring rust for not finishing the choke and said that he plans to continue fighting.
“I love what I do. I have been away from any combat activities for 7 yrs. I came into this fight very rusty, which was to be expected but I really believed I would still win even being rusty, Giving up 30lbs & being 51 with all that said I missed finishing him by a mistake– one that would not have happened if I had not taken so much time off out of the cage,” he wrote. “With all this said, I am very happy with my life & the way I live my life. My family supports me, my fans support me, & I will continue doing what make me & my fans happy– just as long as I can.”