Last Friday, in the main event of Bellator 138, Kimbo Slice knocked out Ken Shamrock. The former bare-knuckle brawler seemingly came back from the jaws of defeat as he escaped from a rear-naked choke and landed a right hand that sent Shamrock crumbling to the canvas.
The thing is, there are a lot of people who are questioning the integrity of the bout. Some scoff at the very idea that there was anything fishy with the bout, while others believe without question that the fix was in.
When examining these matters, the two big questions you have to ask yourself are why the event would unfold this way and what Bellator has to gain from Kimbo getting a big win on national television?
I’m purely speculating here, and none of my thoughts on the matter are based on any inside information given to me. I believe that the camp of Kimbo Slice paid Ken Shamrock to take a dive. I also believe that Bellator has nothing to do with it because the slightest hint of involvement on their part would be promotional suicide.
The two-minute and twenty-two-second affair started off on a suspicious note when Shamrock scored a takedown that only a toddler couldn’t defend. Next, Shamrock got Kimbo’s back and applied a rear-naked choke that looked like a sleeper hold seen in pro wrestling.
Even if Shamrock forgot how to apply a rear-naked choke, the key element in all of this is that if you look at his body at the moment of application, his muscles weren’t engaged at all. Once Kimbo got out of the choke, Shamrock basically watched him “scramble” to his feet.
Now, it’s entirely possible that the fight was 100% legit and the reason for such an awkward turn of events is due to a combination of, in Shamrock’s case, the combatant’s advanced age and diminished skill, and in Kimbo’s case, a shortage of skill.
Still, I’ve watched the fight quite a few times. With my amateur wrestling experience, professional wrestling, and limited training in MMA, I can’t shake that feeling in my gut that this was a demonstration instead of a confrontation.
Kimbo’s time as a professional boxer is rife with allegations of fixed bouts. While no one has out-rightly accused Shamrock of taking a dive, there have been moments in certain fights that looked suspicious and prompted whispers of impropriety.
The reality is that Ken Shamrock has tax problems. He has sued the UFC, lost the case he brought against them, and owes them $175,000 in court fees.
WWE has seemingly black-balled Shamrock for reasons unknown, as he is the one big name from the ‘Attitude Era’ that they’ve never brought back or mentioned in any way, shape, or form.
Also, Shamrock has no-showed for several independent wrestling dates over the last few years, with promoters speaking out against the UFC Hall of Famer for his unprofessional conduct.
Being 51 years old, having piling debut, no one wanting to work with him, and the likelihood of being licensed to fight again by any reputable athletic commission is very slim at best, taking a dive for some extra scratch could sound very appealing.
At age 42, Kimbo can squeak out a few more big paydays before it’s all said and done. Wins are important, though, to keep the bandwagon going. Looking at his history alone with Shamrock’s personal situation, it’s logical to conclude a work or fix having taken place based on what occurred in the cage.
If Bellator was in on this, I would be agitated and probably join or lead some crusade against the company. However, I don’t think they are involved, so I’m not angry about it. Shamrock is too old to be fighting anymore, and Kimbo absolutely sucks as a mixed martial artist.
It was a freak show fight meant to get eyes on the product so that lesser-known fighters such as top lightweight Michael Chandler can get some exposure that he otherwise wouldn’t get. I expected nothing from the fight, and I got less in return because, in my opinion, it wasn’t real.