An evening full of announcements for Bellator MMA 145 culminated in one of the more unusual, as UFC Hall of Famer and former Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock will take on Mixed Martial Arts pioneer Royce Gracie in in Houston on February 19, 2016.
Shamrock last fought against Kimbo Slice in a losing effort earlier this year. Royce Gracie hasn't fought since 2007, defeating NJPW's Kazushi Sakuraba. After the fight, Gracie tested positive for anabolic steroids. Gracie and Shamrock squared off twice over 20 years ago, with Gracie emerging victorious once, and one ending in a draw.
Kurt Angle was seen with Shamrock in the crowd earlier in the night, but as it turns out, wasn't a part of the major announcement, aside from oddly announcing that he wasn't facing Shamrock, but instead Gracie was.
Many had speculated a possible Shamrock vs. Angle match. Earlier in the evening, Kurt Angle had joined the commentary booth to provide analysis for fellow TNA wrestler Bobby Lashley's victory over James Thompson. Prior to the fight, Angle noted that he was going to evaluate things and there would be a possibility he would fight.
Shamrock and Kurt Angle never wrestled each other throughout their career. The two missed each other by a matter of months, as Ken Shamrock left the WWE in September 1999, while Angle made his main roster debut just two months later in November.
Kurt Angle will be 47 years old next month. He told us in an exclusive interview recently that he's not re-signing with TNA, and is looking to take time off from pro wrestling to evaluate his future and heal up. Shamrock looks like he's not slowing down any time soon.
Also announced for the show was Kimbo Slice taking on fellow internet fighter Dada 5000.