Single sentence summary:
Phil: A sadistic, boring freakshow that might have been fun ten years ago.
David: A sadistic, boring freakshow that will be remembered for the horror ten years from now.
History lesson / introduction to the fighters
David: Ken Shamrock is a legend of the sport who needs no introduction. My one complaint about Shamrock is that he never got a chance to be involved in the sillier matchups of the early UFC's. No Shamrock vs. Ettish, or Shamrock vs Harold Howard. His first two bouts were against the solid Pat Smith, and the legendary Royce Gracie. Oddly enough, his freakshow fights happened later on in his career as the UFC became more credible with the Tito Ortiz slaughter pact trilogy, and the hilarious flop heelhook attempt against Rich Franklin.
Phil: Ken Shamrock fought in UFC 1, and he didn't win. And he never really improved all that much from that point, either. The guy was a pioneer, no doubt, but that was all a long time ago. He was obsolete to the point of getting utterly outclassed by the "modern" crop of fighters ten years ago. Now he's 51. However, he has muscles! Or what looks like muscles. They probably bear the same functional resemblance to actual muscles as liquid spam poured into an anatomical model of a Greek statue, and then solidified.
David: I've said all I needed to say about Kimbo here. His backyard BBQ skills were legitimately imposing. And there was a moment on TUF when it seemed like he could possibly win more fights to have a Lesnar-lite like presence in the UFC. Instead he held his own for two fights, boring everyone against Houston Alexander in what seemed like a slam dunk of savagery, and then getting pasted by Matt Mitrione.
Phil: Kimbo Slice was a literal backyard brawler. He had a big beard and was scary looking, and he became one of YouTube's first major stars, in large part due to his incredible ability to withstand arm punches from people who didn't train. When Shamrock dropped out of a fight with him due to dubious circumstances, he got knocked out by a jab from grappler Seth Petruzelli and killed EliteXC. His fame was enough to fund a dreadful heavyweight season of TUF, where he got buried under Big Country's flab. Then he won an unbelievably boring decision over Houston Alexander and got knocked out by Matt Mitrione. He beat up some undersized cans in boxing and now he's here.
What are the stakes?
David: The stakes are basically the cost of a hip replacement, and busted gold teeth. Rankings are only relevant if we're talking about the annals of Jurassic pugilism. There are higher stakes in a Lone Star (Light) drinking game. Although if we're kind of serious, I guess you could say that this is the kind of fight that could "set MMA back years". Although I'd just argue back that MMA is what set back MMA. Maybe someone's cauliflower ear gets can openered, and Jim Rome can go another vivid tirade comparing bloody ears to busted zits.
Phil: There are no stakes. People just really want to be entertained by this fight. They won't be.
Where do they want it?
Phil: Ken wants this fight in Pancrase, in the Tokyo Bay NK Hall sometime in the ‘90s. Then I feel that he would be comfortable in going for a German suplex into mount. That would be tight.
David: I'm more interested in Ken's early 21st century Pride stuff. Back when him and Don Frye were ripping each other's ligaments and ankles to shreds like two canisters of red meat devouring Play-Doh. Ken was actually pretty good when he was throwing violently, but at least paid lip service to boxing technique. So maybe it would have been what we thought Kimbo vs. Houston was supposed to be.
Phil: Kimbo wants this fight with no gloves, in the backyard of a Florida house, or possibly in a strip club. To be serious for a second, yes, Kimbo is a really bad grappler, and Ken was a good one, but he's also far younger, and massively outweighs Shamrock. Unlike Frank, Ken has just never been any kind of striker and I don't see that changing now that he's a fossil.
David: Don't be serious. Bellator's matchmakers weren't. I'm actually really interested in this parallel universe where MMA fighters don't get the luxury of wearing little baby four ounce gloves that just cover the knuckle. Who would have ruled the streets surrounded by their own posse ready to make up the rules of streetfighting on the fly as they competed? Kimbo definitely has the advantage over Shamrock in this alternative universe. Those porn producers are a little more intimidating than Ken Yasuda.
Insight from past fights?
Phil: While Kimbo showed a noted vulnerability to the Thai clinch in his infamous barnburner with Sean Gannon, he also showed that he won't necessarily be conceding all the high-octane pro-wrestling moves to Ken when he hit Houston Alexander with the Kimboplex. I don't think he can do that any more, though. Wait... was the Houston Alexander fight... Prime Kimbo?
David: Good point Paul.
David: Must we count the ways? Ken injured his hamstring against Mike "Rhino" Bourke. If the ghost of Anck Su-Namun should get punched out of Ken Shamrock, I want you to have totally expected it.
Phil: My main X-factor would be if somehow, some way, modern science has gotten Ken into any kind of fighting shape. Some mad genius injects gamma-irradiated stem cells into his knees, and he can sort of fight again. However, they forget that they also included cuttlefish and tree frog DNA, and now Ken has visual and thermal camouflage which makes him unbeatable in the cage. A new terrifying era of Shamrock dominance begins.
David: This would have been a much better plot than the one cooked up in Jurassic World. I mean, I would have paid honest money to watch a bunch of yuppie tourists get torn apart by Shamrockosaurus Rex.
David: Hmm...as bizarre as this fight is, along with its very existence, it's actually kind of compelling from a prognostication standpoint. Both guys have weird shells of actual talent on display, but their bodies aren't around to display any more of it. So it'll definitely come down to who has the more intense Linda Blair moment. In this scenario, my money is on a lifetime mixed martial artist. Ken Shamrock by hellhook. Round 1.
Phil: I've been hard on these guys, but they are legit badasses. I don't hate them. I just hate this fight. Kimbo waddle, two punches, Ken falls over stiff as a board. Not necessarily knocked out but just because his joints don't bend any more. Kimbo Slice by KO, 15 seconds.