A groin strike that went unseen led to the undoing of Ken Shamrock in his trilogy bout with fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship hall of famer Royce Gracie.
Gracie dispatched “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” with first-round punches in the Bellator 149 headliner on Friday at the Toyota Center in Houston. Shamrock (28-17-2, 0-2 Bellator) met his end 2:22 into round one, undone by a below-the-belt blow that left him defenseless to the punishment that followed.
The two mixed martial arts pioneers circled one another for an extended period before engaging in the clinch. Gracie (15-2-3, 1-0 Bellator) fired a knee that drifted south of the border and out of view for referee Jacob Montalvo. Shamrock gave a delayed reaction to the pain, and Gracie followed with a knee upstairs, whipped him to the ground and finished it with hammerfists. The 52-year-old Shamrock was irate and pleaded his case, to no avail.
Gracie, 49, now owns a 2-0-1 advantage in the all-time series between the two.
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‘Kimbo Slice’ Sinks ‘Dada 5000’
American Top Team’s Kimbo Slice stopped former bodyguard Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris with third-round punches in the heavyweight co-main event. Harris (2-1, 0-1 Bellator) wilted under a flurry of weary arm punches 92 seconds into round three.
To the surprise of some, Ferguson (6-2, 2-0 Bellator) secured takedowns in each of the first two rounds and advanced to mount on two different occasions. However, his efforts came at a cost, as fatigue was quick to set in. The two boatyard brawlers spent the second and third rounds stumbling around the cage in an exhausted zombie-like stupor, barely able to stand. The scene went from surreal to comical to downright embarrassing.
Early in round three, Ferguson mustered a final burst of punches that saw a spent Harris collapse in defeat, with referee John McCarthy calling a merciful halt to the street-fight spectacle.
Campos Blasts Fading Guillard
Mohler MMA export Derek Campos disposed of UFC veteran Melvin Guillard with second-round punches in their lightweight showcase. Guillard (32-16-2, 0-2 Bellator) succumbed to blows 32 seconds into round two, as he suffered his third consecutive defeat.
Campos (16-6, 5-4 Bellator) staggered “The Young Assassin” with a stout right hand and landed a takedown in a first round marked by wild standup exchanges. Guillard never again steadied himself. Early in round two, Campos stunned him against the fence with a left hook, swarmed with punches and polished off the finish with a wicked right uppercut and two more left hooks.
The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for Campos.
Vassell Bests Newton in Rematch
Well-timed takedowns, ground-and-pound and superior positional grappling carried Linton Vassell to a unanimous verdict against former Bellator champion Emanuel Newton in a three-round feature at 205 pounds. All three cageside judges sided with Vassell (16-5, 5-2 Bellator): 30-26, 29-27 and 29-27.
Vassell did his best work in the first round, where he executed a pair of takedowns and transitioned seamlessly between full mount and back mount. Newton (25-10-1, 8-4 Bellator) appeared to be turning to tide in round two before he was docked a point by referee Kerry Hatley for a third groin strike. Vassell took advantage of the broken momentum. The Cage Warriors Fighting Championship veteran iced the victory in the third round, where he delivered a late takedown and again achieved full mount.
Newton, 32, has lost three fights in a row.
Roufusport’s Sanchez Outduels Pineda
Roufusport prospect Emmanuel Sanchez won for the ninth time in 10 appearances, as he claimed a split decision over former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Daniel Pineda in their three-round featherweight showcase. Scores were 29-28 for Pineda, 29-27 and 29-28 for Sanchez (13-2, 5-1 Bellator).
Pineda (21-12, 0-3 Bellator) started strong but faded fast. The 30-year-old struck for multiple takedowns in the first round and advanced to the back before surrendering position. Pineda’s gas tank failed him in rounds two and three, where Sanchez won the majority of the scrambles and fed him a steady diet of hammerfist-laced ground-and-pound.
Sanchez did everything but generate a finish in the third round. There, the Duke Roufus protégé again piled up points with ground strikes, had Pineda reeling with punches on the feet and briefly climbed to full mount in the waning moments.
Prelims: ‘Big Pygmy’ Wren Trumps Torres
In preliminary action, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 alum Justin Wren (12-2, 2-0 Bellator) captured a unanimous decision over Juan Torres (3-4, 0-1 Bellator) in a three-round heavyweight tilt, earning 30-27 scores from all three judges; Isaac Villanueva (10-7, 1-0 Bellator) wiped out Richard Knepp (3-4, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 42 seconds into round one of their confrontation at 185 pounds; Jeremy Mahon (5-4, 1-0 Bellator) put away Davis Sylvester (5-4, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 4:22 into the second round of their featherweight contest; Adrian Yanez (4-1, 1-0 Bellator) took a unanimous verdict from Ryan Hollis (10-8, 0-1 Bellator) in their three-round clash at 135 pounds, drawing 29-28 marks on all three scorecards; Jason Langellier (3-0, 1-0 Bellator) tapped Anthony Ivy (1-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a brabo choke 2:09 into round one of their lightweight affair; Mike Trinh (3-3, 1-0 Bellator) submitted Joe Angel Zamora (2-3, 0-1 Bellator) with an armbar 3:49 into the first round of their pairing at 125 pounds; Clovis Hancock (1-0, 1-0 Bellator) tapped Ruben Esparza (1-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a rear-naked choke 1:26 into round three of their middleweight encounter; and Manny Lozoya (1-0, 1-0 Bellator) submitted Jake Norsworthy (1-5, 0-1 Bellator) with a guillotine choke 2:33 into the first round of their battle at 145 pounds.