Service members around the globe will be able to watch events from the Bellator mixed martial arts promotion on American Forces Network in June, beginning with a “heavyweight superfight” that may interest longtime MMA fans … even if it’s a few years past its use-by date.
Bellator announced the deal on Memorial Day, offering few details on time slots or AFN channels but promising that the network will carry Bellator 138, a June 19 card in St. Louis that will feature Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice in a heavyweight main event.
Shamrock, 51, fought on the first Ultimate Fighting Championships card in 1993 and is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame. Slice, 41, rose to fame as a street brawler via YouTube videos before entering MMA.
The two were set to meet nearly seven years ago in the main event of an EliteXC-run card airing on prime-time network television. Shamrock suffered a cut during warm-ups the day of the fight, and his last-minute replacement, Seth Petruzelli, became the answer to an MMA trivia question by knocking out Slice in about 15 seconds. EliteXC folded not long after.
The June 19 event won’t be the first Bellator appearance on AFN: The promotion’s then-weekly series aired on delay beginning in 2010. Bellator’s events air domestically on Spike TV, and the promotion has a number of former service members under contract, including heavyweight Bobby Lashley (a former soldier as well as a former WWE wrestler) and bantamweight Mike Richman, who goes by “The Marine.”