Bellator 149: Shamrock vs Gracie Results and Breakdown
Bellator 149 is set to be one of the promotion’s biggest events to date, as true legends of the sport will clash on the same card as some of tomorrow’s stars. Don’t forget to stay tuned for our Bellator 155 Breakdown.
In the main event of the evening, MMA legends and pioneers Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie will meet for a third time. Their rivalry dates back to November of 1993, when Gracie defeated Shamrock via rear-naked choke in under one minute at UFC 1. The two would later rematch at UFC 5 in 1995, battling to a thirty-six-minute draw. Now, over twenty years later, the score will be settled in what is sure to be an electrifying contest.
There’s quite a bit of bad blood in the co-main event as well–a scrap between UFC, TUF, and street-fighting veteran Kimbo Slice and his former bodyguard and fellow street fighter, Dhafir Harris (commonly known as Dada 5000). If security can guarantee that a fight between the two doesn’t break-out before their scheduled contest, fans should be in for a real treat.
The featured fight of the night is an interesting scrap between a skilled up-and-comer in Derek Campos and a true veteran of the sport in Melvin Guillard. Stylistically, these two all-excitement fighters are an excellent match-up for one another, and fans should expect to see some real fireworks. It’s said a lot, but is especially true here: don’t blink, because this one can end at any second.
Before that, a rematch between former light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton and Linton Vassell will go-down. Two of Bellator’s best light heavyweights thrilled in their first encounter, which saw Newton retain his title via dramatic fifth-round submission. He was in all kinds of danger early in that contest, and submission specialist Linton Vassell is looking to build upon that initial success and get a win here. In addition to being an awesome stylistic fight, this contest will play an important role in Bellator’s 205 lbs. divisional landscape.
The main card kicks-off with a battle between two of Bellator’s brightest young prospects in Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Pineda. Sanchez, at just twenty-five years of age, has proven that he has what it takes to compete against some of the best featherweights in the world, in exciting and successful fashion. Pineda, since his release from the UFC following an undeniably rough schedule, has finished his last three fights via first-round submission, including a triumph over UFC veteran Leonard Garcia. Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus will certainly be watching this fight closely.
The most notable preliminary contest of the night is a heavyweight showdown between Justin Wren, who has achieved a ton of press from his awesome work in the Congo and his viciousness in the cage, against the dangerous Juan Torres. In all seriousness, you should try to avoid blinking during this one as well.
The event airs live and free on Spike TV in the US, and on Channel 5 in the UK.
Now that all of the action has wrapped up, read on for the “matches to make” for the main-card winners and losers, as well as the detailed results of every main-card contest.
Bellator 149: Fights to Make
As many fans predicted, Bellator 149 was home to some exciting action and dominant wins. But now that the dust has settled and the event is in the books, where will the victors—and the fighters who came up short—go from here? Let’s take a look at some viable matches for each of Bellator 149’s main-card athletes (and Wren versus Torres from the prelims).
Gracie’s most recent win over Shamrock wasn’t without controversy, but in the end, he did get his hand raised.
There’s an incredibly small chance that any fan wants to see Royce compete again. If anything, a rematch with Shamrock can be booked, but the best option for everyone in the sport, himself included, is for Gracie to call it a career.
He simply has nothing left to prove.
The World’s Most Dangerous Man, Ken Shamrock, didn’t look good in the cage against Gracie. He also didn’t look bad.
A low blow undoubtedly affected the course of the fight, and the unaware referee had no idea of its occurrence. Like Slice, it goes without saying that Shamrock isn’t a part of Bellator’s elite—but he attracts viewers, and most of the time, is fun to watch compete. Moreover, he is also a legend of the sport.
Where he goes from here is anyone’s best guess, but regardless of whether Bellator books another fight for him, or he retires into the sunset, Ken has had one hell of a career.
At over forty years of age, it’s now clear that Slice has trouble making it past the first round of a contest without becoming exhausted.
Will he ever compete for the belt, or take part in a divisionally significant contest? Absolutely not.
Will he be fun to watch compete again? Absolutely, but only against “fun” opponents.
This creativity is best left to Bellator, but after he last competed again “Dada 5000”, you can rest assured that his next match will be interesting, to say the least. Perhaps a rematch with Seth Petruzelli is in order?
It had been five years since Dada 5000 last competed inside the cage, and it showed against Slice. Simply put, there’s no reason for Bellator to keep him around—or for other fighters to accept a contest with him.
He may appear relatively easy to defeat, and probably is, for most, but a win won’t do anything in terms of improving their divisional standing. Moreover, a loss is always a possibility, and a contest with Dada 5000 accordingly presents all risk and little potential reward.
Likely, though, this will be the last time that fans see Dada 5000 compete inside an MMA cage.
After his blistering and impressive TKO victory over Melvin Guillard, the twenty-seven-year-old Campos is ready for another contest which will put him in talks for a shot at the upper echelon of the lightweight division—but not too difficult a fight, as he competed against Michael Chandler and Brandon Girtz in his two prior outings.
Should promotional-mainstay David “The Caveman” Rickels emerge victorious at Bellator 150, a contest between him and Campos is the one to make.
Objectively speaking, Guillard looked awful. In addition to missing weight yet again, he suffered a TKO loss, which was also his second consecutive promotional defeat. He probably has more to give, but Guillard desperately needs to reinvent his career if he wants to holds the fans’ interest.
That’s why a move to welterweight is an excellent all-around idea. In addition to giving him fifteen additional pounds to work with, the move may provide “The Young Assassin” with a speed advantage over the competition, and will certainly help him to find new, fresh, and exciting matches—which he desperately needs.
The British submission expert Vassell may not have gotten the finish against Newton, but he did demonstrate an impressive and improved ground game, as well as some solid striking, against an opponent who has a knack for making elite fighters look bad.
He probably isn’t ready for another shot at the belt quite yet, and although Francis Carmont is coming off of a loss, it was against Phil Davis; the Frenchman and Vassell would provide a stylistically interesting and significant fight for fans.
“The Hardcore Kid” didn’t do enough to come out ahead against Vassell, but he did demonstrate some instances of legitimate skill. Furthermore, he now finds himself in an awkward divisional position, having defeated King Mo twice, but being defeated by Vassell, Phil Davis, and Liam McGeary.
Perhaps Newton could compete against Tito Ortiz, or more realistically, Virgil Zwicker, in his next outing. Both men are coming off of losses, and are skilled competitors.
The young Roufusport product demonstrated his outstanding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game in this back-and-forth contest. Moreover, he also demonstrated an impressive calmness and awareness that, honestly, is found most often in veterans. He’s already fought one of the best featherweights in the world in Pat Curran—his only promotional loss to date—and has competed against consistently high-quality opposition since then as well.
It might seem like a big stretch in competition to some, but Sanchez is ready for a crack at the belt. He and Daniel Straus should be booked next, and win or lose, Sanchez will be a big player in the sport for many years to come.
The tough and skilled UFC veteran had his three-fight win streak snapped against Sanchez, but will still find a home in Bellator’s featherweight division. Moreover, in this loss, he showed off some positional knowledge possessed by few fighters, and with a few small tweaks, this knowledge can be implemented to challenge a number of different opponents.
The skilled submission specialist should compete against either Justin Lawrence or Henry Corrales next, as both men lost split decisions to Sanchez, and are elite and constantly improving featherweight athletes.
Although the TUF and UFC veteran Wren, who has achieved an impressive amount of coverage for his work in the Congo, came out ahead at Bellator 149, he didn’t do so in incredibly exciting or notable fashion. The ultimate result of his contest with Miguel Torres was a clear-cut unanimous nod in his own favor, which was achieved largely through the implementation of the clinch.
Although Wren has now won his last two fights, it’s still unclear as to whether or not he is ready for a big step-up in competition, against the likes of Cheick Kongo, Bobby Lashley, or Tony Johnson. Moreover, there is essentially no reason for these high-profile fighters to accept a fight with the winning, but not overly impressive, Wren.
Instead, Wren should be booked against Vinicius Queiroz—a large, imposing, and skilled heavyweight who is also on a two-fight winning streak. The match will do well to help one of these men emerge as a viable contender for a shot at Bellator’s elite heavyweights.
In all honesty, nobody expected Juan Torres to win his contest with Justin Wren, and although he wasn’t dominated by any means, he was clearly bested. But still, he had some success on the feet, and wasn’t completely overwhelmed or close to being finished.
Torres should accordingly be booked against the man who Wren previously beat, Josh Burns, in his next outing.
Bellator 149 was enjoyable and exciting to watch. Read on for the fight results!
Ken Shamrock, “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” (28-16-2) vs Royce Gracie (14-2-3)
Vegas Odds: Shamrock -110, Gracie +100
Gracie picked-up the first-round TKO, but the result is sure to create more controversy and questions than it solved.
The two threw some light strikes to begin the fight, and Jimmy Smith informed the viewers that Gracie chose to skip having his hands wrapped, being so confident in his grappling. This range-based striking continued through the next minute as well, as Gracie relied heavily on his kicks; neither man landed much during this time. The men entered the clinch and Gracie landed a notable knee, which Shamrock contested as low blow, and as a result of the strike, he fell to the ground. From there, Gracie peppered his opponent with strikes and the referee waved it off.
After the contest, Shamrock claimed that a low blow was landed by Gracie, and although the final knee was a square shot to the head, the replays showed that a prior strike landed squarely against Shamrock’s cup.
As was said, this result will be contested for the foreseeable future–and for good reason, as there was a clear shot to the cup.
Kimbo Slice (5-2) vs Dada 5000 (2-0)
Vegas Odds: Slice -170, Dada 5000 +150 (with an unusual range between different sportsbooks)
From the moment that the first bell rang, Dada 5000 looked like a deer in headlights. Both men would become exhausted early into the fight, and ultimately, the contest turned into a challenge to see who could combat fatigue for longer. Slice won.
The first round opened with some weak strikes, before Slice landed a double-leg takedown and achieved mount (yes, you read that correctly). Dada tied him up, and although he was in a dominant position, Slice was unable to do much with it. Finally, at around the halfway point of the round, Slice postured up, but then chose to rise to his feet. The bigger man, Dada 5000, then held Slice against the cage before referee Big John McCarthy separated the two. Dada landed a pair of stiff punches, forcing Slice to clinch up. This clinch continued through a good deal of the remainder of the round, until Big John once again separated the men. This was a close round, but Slice had the better positioning, and probably took it.
The two fought at a visibly slower pace to start the second, and engaged in a sloppy brawl. Then, Slice landed a takedown up against the cage. After tagging his opponent with some solid punches, Slice allowed Dada to return to his feet, for some reason. Not long after this, Slice commanded another easy takedown from his opponent, also up against the cage. Big John stood the two up once again, and the sloppy brawl continued. Both men looked absolutely exhausted at this point. Dada 5000, after maintaining a clinch position and doing nothing with it, was separated by Big John yet again. Slice then commanded mount following a takedown, but was too tired to do anything with the position, so Big John stood them up again. The second round closed in frankly depressing fashion, with both men too exhausted to throw a punch. Slice probably stole this one.
Jimmy Smith opened the round by saying “both fighters needed to be helped off the stool to start round three”, which was obviously a bad sign. Both competitors landed some weak punches before succumbing to the clinch and being separated by Big John again. Slice landed some weaker shots against the cage, and Dada 5000 followed him out towards the center, before falling to the ground. Big John waved the contest off immediately.
There isn’t anything more that needs to be said, other than an honest note that this is among the most unique MMA fights of all time.
Official Result: Kimbo Slice def. Dada 5000 via TKO, 1:32, Round 3
Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (32-15-2-2) vs Derek “The Stallion” Campos (15-6)
Vegas Odds: Guillard -290, Campos +260
An ultra-aggressive Derek Campos cemented his spot in the upper-tier of Bellator’s lightweight division by finishing Melvin Guillard via second-round strikes. It’s also worth pointing out how large of an underdog Campos was!
The first round opened in completely ridiculous fashion as Guillard threw a series of vicious blows, all of which landed, but Campos responded in aggressive fashion, hurting “The Young Assassin” with his own punches before securing a takedown (it should also be noted that the chin of Campos appeared to initiate the sequence in which Guillard was hurt). Campos didn’t land overly powerful shots in the first few minutes of this control and wasn’t able to achieve mount, but ultimately postured up and landed some solid punches. Guillard used the cage to stand up just after the crowd began to boo, and a vicious pair of uppercuts from Campos just missed their target as his opponent rose. Once they returned to the feet, the two struck in a much more conservative fashion than they did initially, and Campos landed some solid strikes from a brief standing clinch position. On most fans’ scorecards, this was probably a clear-cut win for Campos.
The second round saw Campos’ aggresvieness pay off, as he bullied Guillard to the fence with strikes. Once there, he tagged “The Young Assassin” with a left and a right which visibly stunned him, and then followed this success up with a series of pinpoint strikes which caused Guillard to slump against the canvas, and the referee to intervene not a second too soon.
This win was incredibly important for Campos’ divisional standing and incredibly impressive in general, as defeating Guillard via strikes is something that only one other man–Donald Cerrone–was able to do, prior to this contest.
Emanuel “The Hardcore Kid” Newton (25-9-1) vs Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (15-5-1)
Vegas Odds: Newton -120, Vassell +110
This grappling-heavy fight demonstrated the impressive ground skills of Vassell, and had its final scoring altered by a point reduction as a result of the third low blow landed by Newton .
Both men began the fight with some solid kicks, and the trade of these strikes caused Newton to inadvertently tag the cup of Vassell. The men returned to action after just a few seconds following the break for the low blow, and within the first moment of the fight, Vassell took Newton to the ground. From here, he held Newton up against the cage and used his impressive ground skills to achieve mount. Newton gave his back to Vassell, who had his opponent completely flattened out at the halfway point of the round. He postured up to land some solid shots when the rear-naked choke wasn’t available. Newton continuously made solid efforts to return to his feet, but the impressive grappling of Vassell wouldn’t allow it. Finally, with less than one minute left in the round, Newton returned to his feet, and in a scramble, took the back of Vassell. “The Swarm” quickly shook him off, and as the men struck to close the round, Newton landed a hard-fought takedown, but didn’t have enough time to do much with it. This was a clear-cut round for the Englishman, Linton Vassell.
The second round opened with more of the same on the feet, but curiously, Newton looked for a takedown of his own. Vassell denied him, and the two returned to striking range, where neither competitor achieved a great deal of success, but Newton clipped the cup of Vassell once again. Once the action resumed, Vassell used his reach to tag Newton at range, and with slightly over two minutes remaining in the round, Newton completed a takedown. Vassell rose to his feet several times, but Newton continued to push the takedown. A curious cage grab by Vassell prevented an otherwise-sealed takedown of Newton, before “The Hardcore Kid” tagged his opponent’s cup yet again, this time with a knee. This infraction, though, created a serious amount of pain in Vassell, which was apparent as he remained on the ground in agony. The crowd began to boo the long rest of Vassell, and he required some more time yet after returning to his feet to regain his wind. With less that one minute remaining in the recovery period, Vassell consented to continue, and the referee docked Newton one point–a move which changed the complexion of the fight. The round was probably Newton’s, but was likely made a draw after the penalized point.
The first minute of the third round featured more striking, and Newton capitalized on the openings of his opponent, even landing a solid, but not damaging, spinning back fist. After the first minute, Newton achieved top position through a takedown. Vassell rose to his feet and Newton promptly moved him back up against the cage, but didn’t land very many strikes, instead looking for a takedown. This cage control was relatively long, although there once again wasn’t much done with the position in terms of strikes. Vassell reversed Newton, and after overcoming some resistance, planted him against the cage. With just over one minute remaining in the fight, Vassell achieved mount. Newton was unable to return to his feet, and Vassell postured up and landed some solid blows to finish the contest. This was a close round, and accordingly, a close fight.
It may not have been particularly pretty by general standards, but Linton Vassell avenged a previous loss against one of the best light heavyweights in the promotion and the world in a fashion which few others can boast.
Daniel “The Pit” Pineda (21-11) vs Emmanuel “El Matador” Sanchez (12-2)
Image courtesy mmajunkie.com
Vegas Odds: Sanchez -150, Pineda +140
Both men had their moments, but in the end, it was Sanchez who landed the more significant and damaging strikes.
The fight began with both men trading shots, but well within the first minute, Pineda took his opponent to the ground. He was able to take the back of Sanchez from here, but was ultimately rolled off and tagged with some stiff strikes. After another takedown and quick stand-up, Pineda took his opponent to the ground in the middle of the canvas. Pineda continuously attempted a number of submissions, but Sanchez was undeterred, and re-engaged with his opponent on the ground each time he was able to do so. The determined Sanchez didn’t get caught and landed some stiff blows, but was outmaneuvered, and in all likelihood, lost the round on most fans’ scorecard.
In the second round, both men started off by trading some big kicks. After Pineda fell to the ground, Sanchez promptly assumed top control and, from half guard, landed a number of significant strikes. Pineda ultimately made his way to the feet before securing a well-timed takedown and occupying his opponent’s full guard near the cage. Notably, Pineda didn’t land nearly as many powerful strikes from the top as his opponent did, and with about 1:30 remaining in the round, both men were stood up by the ref (when Pineda was occupying top control). Sanchez landed a takedown and was threatened by a kneebar, before being taken down by Pineda after returning to the feet. Both men had their moments, but the round probably belonged to Sanchez.
Between rounds, the cage-side doctor checked the foot of Pineda, before deciding to allow him to continue.
The third round began with the exchange of some strikes, until Pineda secured the takedown. He was ultimately reversed, and from top control, Sanchez landed a series of punishing blows. A kneebar attempt from Pineda was sensed and defended by Sanchez, and the two made their way back to the feet, where a wobbly Pineda was tagged several times. An impressive roll from the clinch briefly gave Pineda the back of Sanchez, but “El Matador” threw him off and assumed top control. Pineda gave a good effort towards returning to his feet, but simply didn’t have the energy to do so, until he made good on an opening with less than one minute remaining. Sanchez continued to light his opponent up on the feet, and a takedown attempt from Pineda was foiled and reversed once again as Sanchez landed more solid strikes to finish the fight. This round belonged to Sanchez, and the fight should go his way as well, on most fans’ scorecards.
This was an impressive win for Sanchez, who did well to demonstrate that he truly is the real deal, and will be a big part of the featherweight division for many years to come. Moreover, he showed off his impressive ground skills and submission prowess against an opponent with an ultra-dangerous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game.
Justin “The Big Pygmy” Wren (11-2) vs Juan Torres (3-4)
Vegas Odds: n/a (odds weren’t released for this contest)
The pacing and clinch of “The Big Pygmy” allowed him to command the win, but not the attention of the fans.
The first round of this heavyweight clash featured an impressive gameplan-implementation from Wren. The Grudge MMA product held Torres up against the cage for the majority of the stanza, in a clear attempt to sap and drain the bigger man’s energy. Although Wren didn’t land an overabundance of strikes from this clinch position, he was certainly successful in forcing his opponent to use energy for both defense and general movement related to the position. In the few and brief exchanges in which the men did trade on the feet, there weren’t too many hard shots landed, although Torres did connect. This was a pretty clear-cut round for Justin Wren.
The second round, like the first, was contested on the feet for the opening minute or so, until Torres tagged Wren with a stiff shot and was forced into the clinch. Torres consistently landed the better punches at striking range, and Wren consistently responded by initiating the clinch, although he continued to land a relatively small number of blows from the position. Nevertheless, his gameplan appeared to be effective, as towards the tail-end of the round, Torres appeared to be relatively tired. The scoring of the round came down to whether the viewer valued position or solid strikes more, and although Torres landed some hard punches, it’s hard to score it against the man who controlled the position–even if he didn’t do much with it. Still, this one could have realistically gone either way.
In the third round, the clinch of Wren was still a big problem for Torres, but he evidently wasn’t overly worried, as he yelled to his corner on several occasions. For whatever reason, Torres chose to keep his back against the cage, even when Wren left an abundance of space which could have been used to move back to striking range. Wren landed some hard shots throughout the round, and because there was essentially no movement or strikes from Torres, “The Big Pygmy” probably did enough to steal the stanza and the fight. Curiously, Torres shouted as though he was certainly the victor when the final bell rung.
In the end, this contest was surprisingly uneventful, and although Wren did enough to get the win, Jimmy Smith and Sean Grande said it best when they noted that he certainly didn’t instill any fear in the promotion’s elite heavyweight fighters with his performance.
A big shout out to Roufusport and our main man Emmanuel Sanchez for the epic win!
We would love to hear your comments and thoughts below!