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Ken Shamrock defends fight against Kimbo Slice, says he earned the right to ‘fight for fun'

It's going to happen, whether you like it or not: UFC legend Ken Shamrock and YouTube brawler Kimbo Slice will finally go at it at Bellator 138. Shamrock now defends the fight against the heavy criticism it already received.

Kimbo Slice
Kimbo Slice
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

From a sports perspective, Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice has already been a lackluster fight when it was originally supposed to happen five years ago, in the main event of CBS-televised Elite XC. Back then, Shamrock got cut just hours before the fight and was replaced by Seth Petruzelli, who knocked out Kimbo in seconds.

Five years later, the fight has been set up again, although it makes even less sense now. Both Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice haven't entered the cage since 2010 and yet, they are scheduled to square off in the main event of Bellator 138. Shamrock is 51 by now and lost seven of his last nine fights. Slice got kicked out of the UFC after a loss to Matt Mitrione and has knocked out a few handpicked victims in boxing since. He's 41.

But competitive, entertaining, relevant or not - the fight has a right happen, says UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock at the official Bellator press conference for their fight.

"Over the years, I've been training and keeping myself in shape and staying fit," Shamrock, 51, said. "I've earned the right to be able to fight for fun, and I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding that I don't want to go fishing, and I don't want to go hunting. [...] I like being in the room with a bunch of dudes getting ready for a fight, training, building camaraderie, patting each other on the shoulder, preparing for a fight, walking into the ring, competing, winning, walking out, and enjoying a good time together. To me, that's the best thing in life. I love that.

(Transcription via

Clearly, Bellator and their new CEO Scott Coker didn't put up the fight just for fun or to support Shamrock in his leisure time activities. When Shamrock and Kimbo were supposed to meet for the first time in 2010, it "arguably could have been the greatest ratings deliverer in the history of mixed martial arts TV ratings," said Coker at the same press conference. Something, he surely hopes it can be for Bellator now.

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