Bellator MMA on Friday night tried to recapture a moment in time with a Bellator 149 main event that pitted mixed martial arts pioneers Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie against one another for the third time.
Gracie and Shamrock ignited the MMA fire in America at UFC 1 in November of 1993. They recaptured the controversy, but not quite the magic, on Friday night.
As in most fights, they took the first couple minutes to feel each other out and gauge the distance.
About two minutes into the fight, they clinched and began exchanging knees, one of the knees from Gracie connected to Shamrock’s temple and he went down, curling up and covering his groin with his hands. Gracie dropped with him, landing several hammerfists before the referee waved off the fight.
When the replay hit the big screen, the crowd rained down boos, seeing that prior to the knee to the head, Gracie had landed a knee to Shamrock’s groin.
It was too little, too late, however, as the low blow went unseen by the referee in the heat of the fight, and the bout had already been stopped.
Gracie never addressed the knee to the groin after the fight, saying, “I’m a fighter. I’m here to fight. We come from the beginning when there was no gloves, no rules, no time limit, no weight division.”
By the time he spoke to Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith in the cage, Shamrock’s temper had cooled considerably.
“I’m disappointed. I came here to fight. I was ready to go however long it went. I’m just disappointed,” he said quietly.
“I got upset. I was wrong for getting upset because it wasn’t Royce’s fault. It’s just… I really wanted this.”
Heading into the fight, most felt there was a strong possibility that it would be the final fight in both men’s storied careers.
With a sour ending to the trilogy, but with Gracie winning two fights and the other a draw, is there room, and time, for a fourth?
Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie Results
Main Card Bouts
- Royce Gracie def. Ken Shamrock by TKO (strikes) at 2:22, R1
- Kimbo Slice def. Dada 5000 via TKO (punches) at 1:32, R3
- Derek Campos def. Melvin Guillard via knockout at 0:32, R2
- Linton Vassell def. Emanuel Newton via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27)
- Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Pineda via split decision (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)
- Justin Wren def. Juan Torres via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jeremy Mahon def. Davis Sylvester via TKO at 4:22, R3
- C.J. Hancock def. Ruben Esparsa via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:26, R3
- Adrian Yanez vs. Ryan Hollis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Isaac Villanueva def. Richard Knepp via knockout at 0:42, R1
- Mike Trinh def. Angel Zamora via submission (armbar) at 3:49, R1
- Jason Langellier def. Anthony Ivy via submission (anaconda choke) at 2:09, R1
- Manny Lozoya def. Jacob Norsworthy via submission (guillotine) at 2:33, R1
(Editor’s Note: Original article corrected from saying Royce Gracie won all three fights. He actually has won two fights, while the other bout was a draw.)