The following are MMATorch staff reactions to Spike’s Bellator 149 “Shamrock vs. Gracie III” event from Houston.
MICHAEL BANE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Bellator 149 was one of those things that was so absurd I don’t want to dignify it with commentary, much less admit that I watched it. The best(worst) part about it all was the audience in attendance booing the co-main and main events. Did they feel ripped off? Mislead? Did a bunch of ignorant, quasi-fans buy into the promotional hype of two old guys who were kind of famous for beating up nobodies in backyards and two even older guys fighting 20 years past the point anyone should have cared? They have only themselves to blame for buying the tickets.
I’m not sure what anyone really expected out of this. I watched some of the backyard brawls available on YouTube of Kimbo Slice and the guy who actually managed to have a dumber name than him, DaDa 5000. They were moderately entertaining. It was two tough, strong guys who would win the vast majority of tough guy contests and street fights. Slice displayed some actual boxing footwork and head movement, and 5000(?) was too much man for anyone to handle. I also watched one of 5000’s MMA fights. He’s horrible. I mean, if you saw Slice’s UFC run, he’s obviously not very good given his massively late start into the sport, but 5000 makes Slice look like the second coming of Fedor Emelianenko. On the stupidest side-note ever, DaDa 5000 was one of the fighters Scott Coker mentioned as a possible opponent for the Last Emperor if Emelianenko were to come to Bellator. Coker, you have either gone batshit crazy or you’re the world’s biggest troll.
That fight unfolded in the worst way imaginable. It ended in the most appropriate way possible, of course, with 5000’s too-tired-to-support-his-own-body-weight self just drunkenly stumbling around before face planting to the mat. For the record, Slice didn’t knock him out, 5000 just ran out of air. I guess that tends to happen when you train for a 30 second brawl and the fight ends up going eleven minutes. Neither of these guys could raise their arms high enough, much less hit hard enough, to knock the other out.
Oh, and the main event? I give Ken Shamrock credit for whipping his body into fantastic shape at his age. I guess it doesn’t really matter how many weights you lift though, nothing can prepare you for knee to the nuts. Good thing the ref caught it, otherwise Shamrock might have gotten pounded out with little-girl shots from Royce Gracie, who somehow was allowed to fight WITHOUT WRAPPING HIS HANDS. It’s like the commission said, yeah screw it, this isn’t real anyway. Oh wait, the ref missed it and that’s what happened. Talk about the perfect ending to an unspectacular crapfest. I can’t decide if it’s more awful, a little better, or just downright hilarious that this was Gracie’s first KO ever. Ken Shamrock throwing a hissy fit and accusing Gracie of deliberately targeting his manhood while throwing out a bunch of expletives seems a fitting close to the night.
This might be the biggest piece of garbage I’ve ever watched. Who do we have to “thank” for this? Well, Scott Coker for one. But even more than that, all the idiots who bought tickets with you know, actual money, for this thing. Also the idiots encouraging it who watched it on TV when they may not normally tune into a Bellator event. Wait a second, that sounds a lot like me. Dammit all.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I’m not even going to mention the fights because they’re not worth mentioning. This was complete garbage. I knew it would be, as did everyone else watching, but I figured I’d tune in to see the extent of the trainwreck the night would be. Plus, I knew I’d be writing a recap of the event for my blog this week, so I might as well get it over with. I’ll be perfectly blunt, I had a bunch of people over for the sole purpose of making fun of the proceedings. We went Mystery Science Theater 3000 on it.That’s the only reason I watched. The fights sucked, especially the co-main events. Bellator has fallen into that trap a lot of companies do by not realizing that short-term gains like this often lead to long-term losses.
Sure, they’ll get a bump in the ratings, but that doesn’t equal long-term significance. Bellator is mortgaging the future to live in the present. There’s only so many of these freak show fights they can put together before they run out of matchups, and then what? They haven’t built for the future. The entire point of these special attraction fights is to shine a spotlight on guys who are the lesser known futures of the sport. They haven’t done that. They stack these cards with ex-UFC guys who go out there and have bad fights, and end up paying big money for a one night boost in ratings. Kimbo-Dada and Shamrock-Gracie should have been separated and put on two different cards, each serving as a co-main event underneath a more deserving fight involving a guy in his 20’s or early 30’s, preferably a title fight. You use whatever star power these old guys have to draw attention to these young guys who just need a break.
None of this even mentions the negative effects these cards have on Bellator’s reputation. To brand yourself as the seniors tour of MMA is dangerous. People might tune in initially but they’ll tune out little by little until you’re left with nothing. A trainwreck gets less and less enticing to watch the more you see it.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Well how do we describe this sideshow act aside from painful? Everything about this card from Emmanuel Newton proving to be a flash in the pan to Dada 300 (yes I deducted him 4700 for sucking worse than Kimbo in an MMA cage) and Kimbo having the worlds longest hug – that’s exactly what it was before the mercy stoppage. Oh and how about Old vs Older in the main event? Given the age of these two and the effect Gravity has had on their collective nether regions over the more than 100 years they combine to have been alive how can you imagine we wouldn’t get a nut shot? They were probably tripping over them on the way to the cage.
This all plays into the bigger problem of Scott Coker turning Bellator into a sideshow with irrelevant and old fighters main eventing cards while young champions sit at home and hate him for it. The ship probably can’t be corrected at this point but I’m certain he’s rolling in ratings thinking he’s doing it right by giving us car-wreck fights where you don’t want to look but you can’t turn away. This whole card was just awful and I truly hope that I’m able to erase it from memory one day. It’s 2016 and we just saw a Shamrock/Gracie headlined card. FML!
DAYNE FOX, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I’m struggling to convey my thoughts of frustration for what we saw at Bellator 149. Only three people should be happy with the way the night played out: the president of Spike, Scott Coker (due to the amount of viewers that I’m sure tuned in), and Houston Alexander, as he is no longer one half of the most pathetic showing of MMA within a high profile organization. Unfortunately for Kimbo Slice, he remains firmly entrenched in that role, with the only consolation that he can have being that he was once again able to walk out the winner. Seriously, that was worse than Celebrity Boxing. What is probably the worst thing is that those hobo-beaters probably got a bigger payday than 90% of MMA fighters out there will ever get, all while reminding us what a fight between my drunken uncles at Thanksgiving would look like. I know a lot of people found it entertaining while laughing their asses off at the complete lack of skill shown, but I couldn’t muster up any laughter. If I were Dada 5000 at this point, I’d shave my red mohawk and change my name while praying that no one recognizes me.
As for the main event, I expected some sort of controversial ending that had people shouting fix similar to Shamrock’s last fight with Kimbo and I wasn’t let down. Vince McMahon couldn’t have scripted it better, as Royce simply shrugs off his landing a low blow and attributing it to the fact that groin shots were legal when he was at his peak while Ken walks away bitter and angry as his last chance at vindication goes down the drain after the referee missed a pretty obvious groin shot. It wasn’t high level MMA, but it wasn’t nearly as pathetic as the co-main. I really hope I never see Royce or Shamrock in a cage ever again, but fear that they will accept whatever payday Scott Coker is willing to offer them at this point.
Attention iPhone/iPad users, if you’ve enjoyed our app in the past and followed us there, or if you’ve never checked it out, make sure to update to the latest version in the Apple store. We’ve launched a new look for the app, in line with our recent desktop overhaul. Make sure to check it out! An update to our Android app is on its way soon as well, so Android users keep an eye out for that update soon!