When Bellator officials announced the main and co-main events for Bellator 149, we as MMA fans had to know what was coming. It was Kimbo Slice taking on a guy going by the name of Dada 5000, as if Kimbo Slice wasn’t silly enough. Then you had Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie refusing to admit it’s no longer 1993. We really couldn’t have expected anything different than what we got, complete chaos.
Thankfully there were a couple of decent fights to round out the main card, as we all know, too much chaos isn’t good for the MMA fan. While the last two fights saw the decline of cardio and greatness among other things, the other fights followed a consistent trend of decline.
We saw Daniel Pineda fall to Emmanuel Sanchez by split decision. Pineda continues to falter on MMA’s bigger stages as he’s now lost 5 of 6 fights between his Bellator and UFC appearances. Four years ago when he burst onto the big stage Pineda showed a lot of promise, winning his first two UFC fights by submission. Then he lost 4 of 5 and that saw booted from the UFC and he went back to the regional scene. In last night’s fight with Sanchez it looked like Pineda was on his way to a victory, but as the fight went on he lost any real momentum he may have had and was beat up for the remainder of the night.
In the evening’s next fight Emmanuel Newton looked to come out on top in his rematch with Linton Vassell. When the two met in 2014, the Bellator light heavyweight title was on the line and Newton choked out Vassell in the 5th round. The fight last night was only scheduled for three rounds, and it went the distance this time. Newton came out on the wrong side of the win column, losing a unanimous decision, and it was his 3rd straight loss inside the Bellator cage. It’s a far cry from just a couple of years ago when Newton looked like the next big thing in the light heavyweight division.
Melvin Guillard also continued on his post UFC career decline. He’s lost 3 of 4 fights since leaving the UFC and the lone victory came in a fight where Guillard failed to make the lightweight limit of 155lbs. After an unsuccessful Bellator debut against Brandon Girtz, an opponent Guillard hand-picked, Melvin was hoping to bounce back against Derek Campos. In true “Young Assassin” form, Guillard came out swinging against Campos, and in the end that was his biggest mistake. Less than a minute into the 2nd round Campos unloaded everything he had and was able to force the referee to stop the fight due to strikes.
The end of the Guillard/Campos fight marked the beginning of the circus at Bellator 149. The promotional team billed it as a “street fight in the cage” when it was announced that Kimbo Slice would meet longtime nemesis Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris in the evening’s co main event. It’s unclear if what took place could even be considered a “street fight” but regardless, by the time it finally came to an end in the 3rd round, you could hear the collective sigh coming from Houston through the television.
Both men were completely exhausted halfway through the first round, the punches were laced with quicksand and the lack of preparation was embarrassing. When Kimbo hit Harris with one last punch it might have been obvious to everyone but Kimbo that the fight was over. Thankfully Slice moved out of the way and that allowed for Harris to faceplant into the mat, ending his Bellator debut and hopefully his Bellator career at the same time.
The night could have ended after the co main event debacle and no one would have complained, but unfortunately fans were treated to one more sideshow before it was all over. 52 year old Ken Shamrock was looking for revenge 23 years after a controversial loss to Royce Gracie at UFC 1. Gracie, who is 49 himself, actually showed a solid kicking game in the opening moments and it was a surprise that he didn’t immediately try to take the fight to the ground. His striking was limited to kicks though, as it was made known during the broadcast that Gracie asked to not have his hands wrapped for the fight. Surprisingly the athletic commission overseeing the event allowed that, which could have caused Gracie to break his hands, seeing as there was nothing protecting his hands from Shamrock’s granite forehead. The fight ending strikes actually came from some knees thrown in the Thai clinch, what was not obvious at first glance was that the original knee landed low on Shamrock. For some reason Ken didn’t find it necessary to bring the low blow to the attention of the referee until it was already too late. After the bell Shamrock exploded with anger, only to eventually calm down once he realized the low blow wasn’t intentional.
Needless to say Bellator 149 was a tragic mix of disappointment and decline. But there is no doubt that people were still watching when Royce Gracie had his hand raised, and long after Dada 5000 fell flat on his face. If people keep watching, Bellator will keep putting on crazy fights no one is asking for. For further coverage of Bellator 149 and everything MMA keep checking back with profightingfans.com
Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer