Let’s try this again.
Bellator is rekindling a fight that was supposed to have happened seven years ago. The promotion on Thursday announced that recently signed Kevin Ferguson – better known to most as Kimbo Slice – would make his promotional debut against UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock. The two will headline a Bellator event slated for June 20 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
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“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 fight was originally supposed to happen under the EliteXC banner in October of 2008, but Shamrock suffered a controversial cut within the final 24 hours prior to fight time.
Some questioned the legitimacy of the cut, although the official line was that Shamrock suffered an accidental headbutt during a light, last minute training session that opened up an old cut.
The EliteXC promotion had been largely built around Kimbo’s mystique to that point, and Shamrock was supposed to be the fight to put him over. With Shamrock dropping out in the final hour, Kimbo went on to get knocked out by the little known Seth Petruzelli in 14 seconds.
That was EliteXC’s final event. Kimbo, now 41, went on to compete on The Ultimate Fighter, proving to be a huge ratings draw for the UFC, and then fought twice for the promotion before making his exit both from the UFC and MMA.
He amassed a 7-0 record in boxing in the five years between leaving the UFC and signing with Bellator.
Shamrock fought a handful of times for smaller promotions after that aborted EliteXC bout, going 2-2 in his four efforts, but hasn’t fought since late 2010. He is currently 51 years of age.
Having fought in the first ever UFC event, Shamrock and Royce Gracie were the first two inductees into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2003.