Bellator MMA hosted a pre-fight press conference last week featuring Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock. Myself and my colleague Garrett Derr were on hand for the conference.

Their future fight was announced during fight week, and it may not be generating the type of buzz that they wanted. Then again, as we saw with Tito and Bonnar, any buzz is still buzz. This match up kicks things up a notch in the strange department largely due to Shamrock’s age.

While “Kimbo” is no spring chicken, he is a full decade younger than Shamrock. In Nevada both men would be subject to a more in depth licensing process simply because they are over the age of 35. Who knows what the Missouri State Athletic Commission will do during the licensing process, but you would think Bellator MMA wouldn’t announce the fight if they weren’t confident in the athletes ability to obtain a license.

(Garrett Derr/The MMA Corner)

(Garrett Derr/The MMA Corner)

The athletic commission is also responsible for protecting the athletes. As an example the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently denied a license to a boxer over the age of 35 due to the number of knockout losses he had in his recent fights. Combat sports and other sports have been under a lot of scrutiny due to recent studies showing the long term affects of concussions. To license a fighter to engage in unarmed combat after having a significant number of knockout losses is not only endangering the fighter, but the sport as a whole.

With that in mind let’s review Shamrock’s professional MMA career. He has had a total of forty-three professional fights. Of those he has lost fifteen of them, nine of those losses where by technical knockout, or knock out.

Even if the knockouts where spread evenly over his 22 year professional fighting career, it would be troublesome at best to put him in the cage, especially at 51 years of age. Those losses where not spread out over the course of his career though. The majority of them took place between 2005 and 2010. At one point he lost five straight, all by way of knock out over a three year period.

Scott Coker is known for putting on entertainment based fights, but seeing an AARP eligible Shamrock fight anyone isn’t entertaining. MMA is in the mainstream now, but there are still a lot of people that don’t know much about the sport. Those people that will invoke the “human cockfighting” argument still exist. The Shamrock and Kimbo fight tends to reinforce those skeptical arguments.

Overall, Bellator has been taking strides in the right directions since Scott Coker took over as the President of the organization. The production has improved, their relationships with their athletes has defiantly improved, but this fight could leave a black eye on the sport and the organization if someone ends up getting seriously hurt.

Hopefully, the athletic commission looks at Shamrock’s history of concussions and intervenes.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.