Kimbo Slice believes in evolution. Once seen as a one-dimensional stand-up fighter who would be exploited on the ground, he scored the biggest win of his odd mixed martial arts career on Friday night at Bellator 138 in St. Louis.
Slice knocked out 51-year-old MMA legend Ken Shamrock in the first round. Bellator MMA has the finish:
Bellator MMA @BellatorMMA
That was a wild one! @KimboSlice gets the win. #Bellator138 https://t.co/OJc2IJ2qVg2015-6-20 03:57:03
It looked as if Slice would prove his critics right as Shamrock had a tight rear-naked choke locked on. To his credit, Slice didn't quit when he looked as if he was a goner. He turned his head in the direction of the choke and made it to his feet.
Once there, he had his way. Two quick and hard right hands opened up nasty gashes on Shamrock's face and led to the stoppage win. While the pace was slow, the action delivered in this, the ultimate of novelty fights.
Actress and major fight fan Rosie Perez was shocked at the result:
Rosie Perez @rosieperezbklyn
O.M.G! Shamrock got knocked and it's over!! @spike @BellatorMMA #Bellator138 #KimbovsShamrock2015-6-20 03:54:08
Slice and Shamrock had tons of bad blood leading into the fight, but they put those things aside once the bout was over. Scott Fishman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel applauded Shamrock's show of respect after the bout:
Pitbull Does It Again
Bellator MMA @BellatorMMA
Note to self: Don't EVER blink when watching @PatricioPitbull fights! #Bellator138 http://t.co/DnXT6S25qr2015-6-20 03:24:46
Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire continues to prove he can pull a victory from the jaws of defeat and retain his title. On Friday night, Pitbull was all but stopped in the closing seconds of the first round against Daniel Weichel.
The latter landed a hard combination that sent Freire careening into the Bellator cage. The champion was truly saved by the bell as referee John McCarthy seemed a bit confused at first. However, Freire wasn't quite out at the end of the round.
He'd obviously use the time between the first and second rounds to recover. In the second round, Weichel tried to mount pressure but got caught with a left hook that dropped him. Pitbull would go in for the finish, but McCarthy called an end to the bout before Freire could do more damage.
In Pitbull's last defense, Daniel Straus was soundly beating Friere before the champ gained an advantage on the ground and came up with the improbable rear-naked-choke victory.
Freire has some defensive deficiencies, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more exciting champion.
Here's a look at all of the results from Spike TV's televised card:
|Bellator 138 Results|
|Michael Chandler vs. Derek Campos||Lightweight||Chandler by submission in first round|
|Daniel Straus vs. Henry Corrales||Featherweight||Straus by submission in second round|
|Bobby Lashley vs. Dan Charles||Heavyweight||Lashley by TKO in second round|
|(c) Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Weichel||Featherweight Championship||Freire by TKO in second round|
|Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock||Catchweight||Slice by TKO in first round|
Chandler Is Back
Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler emphatically snapped his three-fight losing streak with a submission win over Derek Campos. Chandler wasted no time gaining the advantage. A quick combination dropped Campos, and Chandler pounced on his downed opponent.
Campos pulled guard, but Chandler was still able to do damage with elbows. By demonstrating some solid defense off his back, Campos got to his feet, but he'd only be there for a short time.
Chandler would close the distance again and take Campos down, taking his back in the process. He locked in the rear-naked choke that led to the win. Chandler hadn't won a fight since he stopped David Rickels in 2013.
If he can put together a few more wins, he can put himself in position to challenge champion Will Brooks for a third time.
Straus Stops Corrales
After a dominant first round, Daniel Straus finished off Henry Corrales. Straus proved to be better than his opponent in every facet. On the strength of his diverse striking attack, he gained a clear advantage in the first round.
In the second round, Straus put his respected ground game in action. A big left hook put Corrales down, and that would be the beginning of the end.
Strauss transitioned to Corrales' back and locked in both hooks. Corrales was able to use some hand fighting to keep Straus at bay for a short time, but ultimately, Straus would get under Corrales' neck and force the stoppage.
Straus had Pitbull in serious trouble in his last fight before getting careless—that seems to be a common occurrence.
After this win, he'll look to jump back into the Bellator cage with Pitbull as soon as possible for another shot at the title.
Bobby Lashley destroyed Dan Charles on Friday night. With myriad suplexes and a bevy of ground-and-pound, Lashley scored a dominating second-round win. To be honest, the fight could have been stopped about a minute or two earlier than it was.
Referee John McCarthy was lurking over Lashley's shoulder for the entire second round before moving in to end the carnage. Lashley has now won six fights in a row and has his eyes set on earning a shot at the heavyweight title.
An old-school WWE connection congratulated Lashley on his win:
Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle
Congratulations to @FightBobby for his dominant (no pun intended) win tonight on @Spike TV's @BellatorMMA #Bellator #Lashley #SpikeTV2015-6-20 02:43:48
Is Lashley ready for Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov? That remains to be seen, but because of his age (38 years old) and current form, the time is now or never for Lashley,
This was an entertaining card filled with finishes. While Slice and Shamrock aren't contenders, Bellator 138 had a nice balance of star power and quality fights.
Follow Brian Mazique on Twitter.