Bellator 149 stoked excitement but delivered disappointment.
With a main event featuring fighters boasting a combined age of 101, and a co-main event pitting two YouTube brawlers with limited skills against one another, the letdown surprises only those buying into cartoon-character marketing and the reality of the fountain of youth.
Royce Gracie, returning to competition for the first time in more than eight years, opens with kicks, few of which land. Old foe Ken Shamrock shows patience. The action picks up at about two minutes into the round. Gracie lands a knee in the groin that evades both the ref’s notice and, initially at least, Shamrock’s. The World’s Most Dangerous Man’s delayed reaction—the reactions such shots often elicit—coming after a hard Gracie knee to the head leaves the third man in the cage showing little sympathy. Gracie, too, refuses to show sympathy. He brings Shamrock down and unleashes unanswered and undefended hammerfists that forces a stoppage.
Shamrock protests before and after the cessation. “He did it on purpose,” he repeatedly yells. “We come from the beginning,” Gracie explains, “when there was no gloves,” “no time limit,” and “no weight divisions.” He fails to mention no prohibitions on groin shots but one grasps the inference nevertheless. “I’m a fighter,” Gracie explains. “I’m here to fight.”
If the main event prompted confusion, the co-feature unleashed disgust.
Kimbo Slice slammed Dada 5000 20 seconds into the fight and gained full mount. Dada, ridiculed for his inexperience, so effectively negated Slice’s offense from top position that Kimbo attempted to move out of the full mount. When the men resume the fight on their feet, both men, but especially Kimbo, look gassed.
In the second, Kimbo dumps Dada after a guillotine attempt by the latter. On top, Slice, in contrast to his lethargy in the mount in the first round, lands several bombs but strangely opts to stand. After Slice proves ineffective after a takedown, referee John McCarthy stands the Floridians up. Halfway through the round, an exhausted Kimbo rocks an exhausted Dada. With ninety seconds left, Kimbo goes down from an empty gas tank. Somehow, he eventually mounts Dada but McCarthy again stands them up for inactivity. Both terribly out-of-shape men earn their boos
Corners help both fighters off the stool to begin the final round. The combatants land arm punches. Kimbo nails Dada against the fence. Kimbo lands a string of unanswered punches in the center of the cage. Dada’s fatigue, rather than Kimbo’s fists, send the heavier man down and Big John McCarthy shows mercy—to the spectators—by calling the embarrassing fight at 1:32 of the third round.
“I’m so winded right now,” Slice redundantly informs after the fight.
Linton Vassell took Emanuel Newton down twice in the first round of their light-heavyweight rematch, with the Swarm, well, swarming Newton in full and back mount for much of the round. Newton finally escaped with a minute remaining to ultimately slam the Swarm to the mat.
The former Bellator light-heavyweight champion rebounded nicely in the second round, dumping the Englishman and utilizing leg kicks to negate Vassell’s reach. Newton utilized two weak suplexes to put Vassell on the mat before a below-the-belt Newton knee negated his efforts with a point deduction.
Fighting for a draw, the Hardcore Kid nailed a hardcore takedown a little more than a minute into the final frame. Vassell dumped Newton with about 90 seconds remaining, eventually gaining full mount without inflicting much damage. The judges award a unanimous decision to Vassell to even the series at one apiece.
Derek Campos stunned an aggressive Melvin Guillard in the opening seconds of their lightweight bout. Guillard cleared the cobwebs as Campos administered prolonged ground-and-pound with limited success in the not-so Young Assassin’s half guard. Both men finish the round missing wild shots.
In the second, Campos lands several power shots to the former UFC fighter’s head against the fence to open the second round. The veteran appears out on his feet. When Guillard finally falls, the referee intervenes.