Bobby Brents retained his Shamrock Fighting Championships heavyweight title on Saturday night. In doing so, the “Zombie” also became the newest addition to the Bellator MMA roster.
Brents put his belt on the line against challenger Shane Grant in the main event of Shamrock FC “Aftershock” at Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. The winner of the bout was guaranteed a Bellator contract; both men fought as if they wanted the deal, producing an old-fashioned heavyweight slobber-knocker.
After beginning the fight with a see-saw slugfest, both men looked to be fading early in the second round. Grant absorbed a hellacious barrage of strikes -- thumping punches and chopping leg kicks -- and looked to turn the tide when he pushed Brents against the fence. Brents found a second wind, however, and stunned “Bubba” with an uppercut-right hand combination. Grant was out on his feet as Brents teed off with a dozen or more unanswered punches, sending referee Mike England in for the stoppage at 3:38 of round two.
Asked to sum up his feelings on being a Bellator fighter, Brents kept it succinct: “It’s about damn time.”
The show’s flyweight co-main event was not without controversy, as Kansan Dustin Kramer scored a first-round submission win over local favorite Dillon Tolbert of Jefferson City, Missouri.
Kramer snared his opponent in a standing guillotine choke and hung on as Tolbert slammed himself violently into the mat. Tolbert landed on the bottom, kicking and squirming as he tried to escape the topside choke. There was momentary confusion as referee England waved an end to the contest, prompting an immediate protest from Tolbert. However, instant replay showed that England made the correct call: Tolbert used his trapped right hand to tap twice on Kramer’s thigh, ending the bout at 3:02 of the first stanza.
“I knew I was gonna get the win. I just didn’t know how it was gonna come,” Kramer said after the fight. “In my mind, I’m the number-one contender.”
Featherweights Chris Reed and Thomas Thatcher kicked off the professional portion of the card with a competitive, ground-based tussle. Reed emerged as the winner via submission 30 seconds into the third round when he cranked Thatcher’s right arm in a tap-inducing kimura.
Kylie Davis, wife of Bellator bantamweight L.C. Davis, earned a debatable but hard-fought unanimous decision in her amateur strawweight bout against short-notice opponent Dakota Zimmerman. All three judges scored the contest 29-28 in favor of “Killa KyBird,” who took round one and nabbed round two before nearly being knocked out in the final frame.
In other amateur action, towering heavyweight Anthony Garrett easily pounded out J.W. Kiser, punching his way to a stoppage at 1:43 of round one; Rodrigo Vaghi-trained welterweight Lucas Clay used his jiu-jitsu skills to withstand an early guillotine and submit Devin Webber via triangle choke at 1:44 of round two; and middleweight Drew Elrod took out the more experienced Robbie Lopez with a 25-second guillotine choke.
The evening’s amateur opener saw 115-pounder Justin Scott earn a stoppage at 2:19 of round one, when Nick Hutchison tapped out under a storm of heavy ground-and-pound.