Was the Kimbo Slice vs Ken Shamrock fight fixed? That’s the question many people asked following a suspicious rear naked choke escape that allowed Kimbo to come from behind and defeat Shamrock at Bellator 138 earlier in June. A lot of people turned to the Internet to discuss the outcome of the fight, none more prominent than comedian, podcaster, and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. He didn’t mince words, saying the fight looked “fake.”
Now Ken Shamrock is responding. In an interview with Submission Radio, Ken railed on Rogan for throwing out accusations without any proof (transcript via MMA Fighting):
“Why in the world would someone in Joe Rogan’s position spout off with something like that when there’s no proof?” Shamrock told Submission Radio. “It’s the speculation of his thoughts that could literally ruin someone’s career. That’s like me going out there and telling his wife that he cheated on her. That I don’t have any proof but someone just said something.”
“You have the peoples’ ear,” said Shamrock. “You have a responsibility to make sure that whatever you say, you can back up. Not just say it because you think it. You ruin peoples’ lives on something he has no proof. He’s wrong, what he said. He could have ruined my career and my life. What he’s saying? There’s no proof to it.”
“I swear on everything that I love, my family, my God, that fight was not fixed,” said Shamrock. “The people that are saying that are angry because they lost a bet or are just being hurtful.”
Shamrock isn’t wrong: there’s no definitive proof that the fight was anything other than real. But this is the problem with freakshow fights like this – they’re already teetering on the edge of legitimacy from the start, and the way things played out just highlighted all the sketchy elements from both fighters’ pasts.
If Kimbo Slice’s record wasn’t littered with opponents booked specifically to lose to him, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If Ken Shamrock hadn’t spent the last 10 years of his career taking paychecks and going down easy in the first round, no one would be questioning this loss. But this was just the latest controversial moment in these guys’ careers, and at some point people are going to start talking about it … with or without a smoking gun.