Royce Gracie Returning To MMA To Fight Ken Shamrock Again
Last night during the Bellator 145 broadcast it was announced that on February 19th in Houston Ken Shamrock would fight Royce Gracie for the 3rd time, and Kimbo Slice would fight Dada5000.
Below are the videos of the announcements.
On November 12, 1993 Shamrock and Gracie had their first fight in the newly formed Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 1. The event was held under a one-night tournament format. Ken Shamrock submitted Patrick Smith by heel-hook in the quarter finals.
Shamrock’s opponent in the semifinals of UFC 1 was the Brazilian Royce Gracie. During the match, Shamrock grabbed Gracie’s ankle and sat back to attempt a heel hook. According to Shamrock, however, his arm had gotten tangled in Gracie’s gi and when Shamrock sat back, it pulled Gracie on top of him. Gracie then secured a rear-naked choke and advanced to the finals. The ending was a source of controversy because the referee did not see the tap and ordered the two fighters to continue fighting after Gracie had let go of the hold. Shamrock paused for a few seconds but declined, admitting to the ref that he tapped out and that it would not be fair for him to continue fighting. After the fight, Shamrock admitted that he underestimated Gracie: “I didn’t know who Royce Gracie was…when I saw him in his gi, I thought he was some karate guy.”
On April 5, 1995, at UFC 5, Shamrock got his rematch with Gracie in a match called “The Superfight,” which would determine the UFC Champion. At the time, Gracie had a reputation as being seemingly unbeatable. Gracie had obvious concerns about his relative lack of size in comparison to Shamrock, so he came into the octagon at 190 pounds – roughly fifteen pounds above what had been his normal fighting weight; Shamrock also cut his weight down to 205 pounds for the bout. Hours before the event, the UFC suddenly instituted a 30-minute time limit, mainly due to pay per view time constraints. Both Gracie and Shamrock were upset at the sudden rule change. For Shamrock, it ruined his game plan, who had been training for months to utilize his natural advantages in size and strength to wear Gracie down over the course of two hours. Shamrock and Gracie fought for the entire allotted time of 30 minutes along with 5 minutes of overtime before the match was declared a draw due to the fight not having judges. Gracie left with a melon sized welt closing his eye, a result of a standing punch due to a sudden change of the rules in which both of the fighters were restarted on their feet. Shamrock was not satisfied with his performance against Gracie, saying “it’s certainly not a win. You gain nothing (with a draw)”. Shamrock expressed desire to fight Gracie again for a third time in 1996, saying that if it went to a draw again, he would have Gracie declared the winner and Shamrock would forfeit his UFC Superfight Championship belt to Gracie. Gracie left the UFC after his fight with Shamrock and did not return until 11 years later. [Source]
Gracie and Shamrock will face each other on February 19th, 2016 at Bellator 149 in Houston, Texas.