After a controversial ending to their bout at Bellator 149, Ken Shamrock believes the trilogy between he and Royce Gracie is forever tainted.
“Royce should be ashamed,” says Shamrock. “There is no way our legacy should end like that. It’s an embarrassment, and I get frustrated just thinking about it. I don’t see the glory, the satisfaction, or the victory—how can Royce not say, ‘That was my mistake’? He doesn’t want to say anything because he has a guilty conscience.”
The matchup at Bellator 149 was billed as an end-point to their prior two epic fights, but ended in ignominious fashion when the referee called the bout in the first round after Gracie gained control with an illegal shot to Shamrock’s groin.
“Gracie kneed me in the nuts and he didn’t care,” says Shamrock. “He’d said to me in the ring, ‘Groin shots were legal back in the day—you should have been ready for it.’ I couldn’t believe what I heard, and then he went and repeated it at the press conference.”
Despite the fact that he was wearing a cup, Shamrock explained that the knee still affected him.
“The shot froze me for a moment,” says Shamrock. “My junk slipped down when he kneed me and became pinned down between my skin and my cup. There was constant pressure, and I was trying to push my cup down when I hit the ground. I was yelling at the referee, ‘He hit me in the groin!’”
In a scene reminiscent of Shamrock’s days wrestling in the WWE, the illegal shot went missed by the referee. Shamrock and his team filed a complaint this week to overturn the ruling of the fight with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
“If they look at the fight and listen to Gracie actually admitting that he kneed me in the groin, [the decision] has to be overturned,” explains Shamrock. “The [illegal knee] happened before the knee to my head landed, so it’s no question that it caused me to go to the ground and allowed him to get into position. We have video footage.
“Gracie hit me in the groin, and he incapacitated me from going on in the fight. These are the facts, so there is no reason the fight shouldn’t be overturned, and there is no reason they should give a win to a guy who landed an illegal shot.”
The Gracie debacle, along with Shamrock releasing a chokehold during his Bellator fight against Kimbo Slice last June—as well as the Slice-Dada 5000 fiasco with a lack of direct hits—are causing whispers that certain Bellator fights may possibly be fixed.
“The fights are absolutely not fixed,” says Shamrock. “I would not do that. But there were miscalls in my last two fights. Obviously the knee to the groin, but also in my match against Kimbo—he tapped the mat. He didn’t tap it hard, but it’s not a question of how hard you tap. If you tap, you tap. Against Gracie, it’s not my decision to call the fight. If we had video replay, I’d be 2-0 in Bellator right now. When I fought Kimbo, during the press conference, he said that I let go of him. Well, dummy, I let go of you because you tapped.
“I’m the first one to step up and take responsibility in a fight that goes the wrong way. I’ve always done that,” explains Shamrock. “But promotions and commissions are afraid of being wrong. I hope we get an opportunity to have our case heard. If Gracie is awarded a loss, then there will be pressure on him. The dude is running from me.”
Shamrock does not want a fourth match against Gracie. Instead, he is seeking a continuation of the third fight.
“We can’t have a fourth fight,” said Shamrock. “Then you’re admitting it’s OK to knee someone in the groin and admit to it. The decision needs to be overturned, and we need to restart the third fight.
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“We need to fight again within two-to-three months. It has to be quick. He’s not young. I’m not young. I take pride in what I do in the ring, and these last two fights have been horrible for me. I just don’t understand why it’s happening. Me and Royce are what started MMA—let’s not leave it like this. Let’s make the fight happen and have a winner and a loser. This has been a hard time for me, no question, but the fans have been there and supported me.
“The fans deserve to have an end to this, and so do I.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.