Bellator’s David Rickels Talks Ken Shamrock-Kimbo Slice: “Every Damn Person is Going to be Sitting in Front of The TV”
By Kelsey Mowatt
When Bellator announced that it had booked Kimbo Slice to battle Ken Shamrock this Friday night, the news didn’t exactly sit well with many pundits and MMA purists. The argument being that since Shamrock is 51 years old, and Slice hasn’t competed in a MMA bout since 2010, the fight has no place headlining a Bellator card. Especially since the organization is one of the biggest in the sport.
This reaction mirrored, in many respects, Bellator’s decision to have Tito Ortiz fight Stephan Bonnar last November. That fight, despite its critics, peaked with an audience of 2 million viewers. The bout was one of the most watched scraps in all of 2014.
“I think a lot of what (Scott) Coker’s minions have done has been really awesome,” Bellator lightweight David Rickels recently relayed on Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing the promotion’s new direction. “They’re treating us fighters better, I’m getting paid more, and a lot of good things seem to be happening with the changes.”
“Here’s the funny thing about that fight,” added Rickels, while discussing Shamrock-Slice in particular. “Everyone wants to bitch about it, but every damn person is going to be sitting in front of the TV to watch it…. saying that the fight isn’t important, or it’s not relevant or whatever, but it’s going to get everyone tuning in, and guess what that does for the three, or four or five fights before that? It’s get those people huge exposure. There’s a lot of other, super talented fighters on the card.
In addition to the Shamrock-Slice headliner, Bellator 138’s main card will also feature featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire taking on Daniel Weichel, Bobby Lashley vs. Dan Charles, Daniel Straus vs. Henry Corrales, and Michael Chandler vs. Derek Campos.
Bubba Jenkins, who is scheduled to fight at Bellator 139 alongside Rickels, agrees with “The Caveman”.
“You know, sometimes it’s not even about the fighters that you want to see fight, sometimes it’s about the entertainment aspect of it,” Jenkins noted on FCF Radio. “Bellator’s doing a great job. Even with the (Ken) Shamrock versus Kimbo Slice; it isn’t a fighter’s fight, it’s an entertaining fight. That’s a fight where even if you didn’t know anything about mixed-martial-arts, you want to see that….”
“Being part of the sport, it’s not like ‘oh, well that’s not a good fight’. If more people want to see them fight because they know the names, they know that they’re fighting, then that just brings more people who aren’t used to fighting into our sport to look at us. Eventually that bleeds off and trickles down to everyone in there, and it’s a good thing. I like it.”
Shamrock-Slice will go down this Friday in St. Louis, Missouri, and the main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.
Jenkins, meanwhile, will fight Joe Wilk at Bellator 139 on June 26th, and Rickels will battle John Alessio.
Stay tuned to Full Contact Fighter for more on Jenkins and Rickels.