Yes, Ken Shamrock is a legend. He’s a pioneer of the sport. He’s arguably one of the best mixed martial artists of all-time.
But he’s also 51-year-old. He should not be fighting. Unfortunately, Shamrock will step inside the cage tonight to fight Kimbo Slice, the one time rising MMA star, who was knocked out in 14 seconds and exposed by veteran fighter Seth Petruzelli in 2008.
Slice, also should not be fighting, but for different reasons. Slice displayed punching power clobbering untrained street fighters on You Tube a decade ago. He parlayed that experience into a short-lived career in MMA, for Elite XC and eventually the UFC. He also has dabbled in boxing.
Slice, now 41, was never a great mixed martial arts. MMA is not street fighting. Street fighters usually get tapped out, knocked out or gassed out quickly.
But Slice will have the advantage tonight against Shamrock because Shamrock is 51 years old. He’s too old to fight. It doesn’t matter how good you once were. When you get that old, your reflexes slow, your ability to take punch weakens. Your mind works, but your body doesn’t always follow. In fact, Shamrock has not fought at a high level since the late 1990s.
It’s very likely that this legend Shamrock will get knocked out badly against Slice. In a battle with two aging fighters, the guy who hits the hardest is probably the guy who is going to win. That guy is Slice. It’s possible that Shamrock can take Slice down and submit him, but it’s not likely. Shamrock is 51 years.
In Shamrock’s prime, Slice would not stand a chance. But Shamrock is far from his prime.
Bellator is attempting to compete with the UFC, but staging this fight is absolutely the wrong way to go. Bellator should build its young fighters and plan for the future. Popping a big rating for a match featuring two guys with big names sends the wrong message to fans.
What happens if Shamrock gets seriously hurt? Whose fault would that be? The last time a company banked it all on Kimbo Slice to compete with the UFC, it ended disastrously. The company folded after Slice got knocked out.
Shamrock has a huge fan base and many will root for him to win tonight. But one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time should be in this situation. He should working as an analyst somewhere. He’s too much of a legend to be put in this situation.
Whomever wins tonight, it’s a fight that is bad for business. Let’s hope Bellator moves on from these special attractions and focuses on rising stars. A 51-year-old man stepping into the cage, for any reason, is just wrong.