There's really no better way to sell a fight than a good press conference. A great video package can tell a story, and interviews might leave you invested in a fighter, but there's nothing quite as exciting as seeing two guys who don't like each other forced to interact.
Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000 do not like each other. Even if you don't know anything about their history, you could tell that the energy in the room changes when they're both in the same space. From the moment Kimbo walked into Wednesday's press conference for tonight's Bellator 149 at the Toyota Center, you could see that both men are looking forward to trying to smash each other in the face.
It made for some great theatrics over the course of the press conference, and you can watch some of our favorite moments in the video above. Will the fight live up to the excitement of the talk? Hard to say; there were questions yesterday about how Dada had looked in a recent workout, but fight quality might be beside the point when it comes to Kimbo and Dada. We know both fighters will swing for the fence, but it'll be interesting to see after the fight if they shake hands or if the bad blood remains.
At least the post-fight interview should be amazing.
Both Kimbo and Dada deserve their due credit for playing their parts well. Even if their hate is all an act, they're selling the hell out of it. They dominated the press conference, even though they aren't the headliners. That title goes to a very intriguing rematch that has its roots in the earliest days of MMA.
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Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock first fought 22 years ago in a little event called UFC 1. They were the breakout stars of the event, and they had as much of a rivalry as you could have that includes a soft-spoken Brazilian and that up until tonight included only two fights. Still, those two fights are historically important for the world of MMA, especially the controversial rematch at UFC 5.
UFC 5 was a very different time. Shows were still in the tournament format, which meant you fought multiple fights in a night. This was so far back in time that they didn't even have judges to score the fights if they went the distance...which is exactly what happened in The Superfight between Gracie and Shamrock. The fight was declared a draw, Gracie left the UFC and a rematch never happened.
And for more than a decade, Shamrock has wanted that rematch, which didn't seem like it would ever happen. When he talks about it, you can tell how excited he is to finally get back in the cage with Gracie to see who really is the better man. Fighting has changed a lot since UFC 5, and Shamrock is out to prove that he's evolved with the times while Gracie, he believes, has remained one-note.
There's nothing really like this kind of fight in pro sports. The '78 Raiders and Chargers aren't going to take the field again to see what things would be like without The Holy Roller, you know? And while it may not be a blood feud, Houston is lucky to hold a bit of MMA history tonight.