Slice vs. Thompson 2 for Bellator 158
By Edward Carbajal
Sunday night Bellator MMA President Scott Coker joined ESPN’s SportsCenter to officially announce that Kimbo Slice (6-2) and James Thompson (20-16) would be the main event of Bellator 158. Kevin Ferguson (Kimbo Slice) has already fought twice in Bellator MMA, once against Ken Shamrock and again against his Perrine, Florida rival Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris. That last fight, most people would rather forget considering Harris suffered renal failure during the bout and Ferguson had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). So why announce another main event with him?
Well, for one thing his suspension for the PED issue will be over by the time Bellator 158 is due to take place in London’s O2 Arena in July. The other is, he and Thompson have unfinished business. Back in May of 2008 at an Elite XC event Thompson and Ferguson fought in a fight it would seem Thompson was doomed to lose. Not because he did not possess the ability to beat Ferguson, but because the now defunct promotion could not have their star fighter lose to someone the casual fans tuning in to watch Kimbo Slice lose to the unheard of heavyweight. That was a big mistake.
Long time MMA fans know of Thompson’s fights in Japan and the big British fighter’s record quadruples that of Ferguson’s. If you watch that fight, Thompson was winning and a lot of people argue that he should have won. A mistake Thompson made was going into that fight with one of the worst cases of cauliflower ear a fighter has walked into a fight with. Not worse than Kazushi Sakuraba’s but the stage it was at, was bad for even a casual roll on the grappling mats. It was filled with blood, jiggling around, and seemed ready to pop.
Mauro Ranallo called that fight and noticed it when Thompson walked into the cage. Describing it as something almost alien entering the ring and Ferguson noticed it too. In the final round of that bout, Ferguson would target the ear making it pop and spew blood all over the mats of the cage. This would be where the fight got stopped and Ferguson would be awarded the win. Thompson argued the stoppage, ear meat hanging loose and all. However, up until the ear exploded Thompson was in control of the fight most notably on the ground where Ferguson took a lot of unanswered blows. Check out the below video for the final round of their last match where you can see the ear, and highlights from round two.
If ever an event deserved the name “Unfinished Business” it would be this one. When you see the bouts booked you’ll notice another rivalry on there too. A grudge match nearly six years in the making boils over as Josh Koscheck (17-10) takes on Paul “Semtex” Daley (38-13-2). These two have been at each other’s previous fights in Bellator MMA only to make this match happen.
The confirmed bouts are listed below and Frontproof Media will keep you updated as the bouts are finalized.
Bellator 158: London
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson (6-2) vs. James Thompson (20-16)
Josh Koscheck (17-10) vs. Paul Daley (38-13-2)
Michael Page (9-0) vs. TBA
Linton Vassell (16-5) vs. TBA
Edward Carbajal is a contributing writer for MMA at Page2sports.com and Frontproof Media. You can follow Edward on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com. Check out his podcast on Spreaker.