Fans didn't come to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis expecting to see the street fighting legend and the former UFC Superfight champion put on a display of technical expertise.
Instead, the 51-year-old Shamrock and the 41-year-old Slice put on a whirlwind, if not exactly high-speed, two minutes in a 245-pound catchweight fight before Slice scored the TKO victory in the main event of Bellator 138.
Shamrock (28-16-2), fighting for the first time since a King of the Cage loss in 2010, scored a takedown and got Slice into position for a rear-naked choke. While he had it tight at one point, Slice managed to escape.
When they got back to their feet, Slice gave the nostalgic crowd what it wanted. Competing in MMA for the first time since losing to Matt Mitrione at UFC 113, Slice (5-2) landed several big right hands, with the big blow landing right between the eyes. Referee John McCarthy stepped in before Slice could put Shamrock out and waved off the fight at 2:22.
"I've been in this position before at American Top Team," Slice said of getting in trouble. "I trained my ground game very well, tapping was not an option. It was not an option."
Shamrock, whose entourage coming out to the cage included his family and pro wrestling legend Road Warrior Animal, was disappointed in the result.
"I respect him, when you get beat you gotta show respect," Shamrock said. "I'm a little frustrated. I had my submission, I didn't take my time with it, I was off my position."
Bellator featherweight champion Patricio "Pitbull" Freire was saved by the bell at the end of the first round of his title defense against veteran Daniel Weichel. Weichel rocked Freire with a left, then a right, and opened up a ferocious flurry on the slumping Friere. Referee John McCarthy stepped in a split second after the horn ended to stop the round.
But then Freire had a comeback for the ages. Backpedaling, he rocked Weichel with a brutal left hook to the jaw. Weichel's head hit the mat and McCarthy waved off the fight in favor of Freire at 32 seconds of the second round.
Heavyweight Bobby Lashley won his sixth straight fight, grinding his way to victory over Dan Charles. Lashley overwhelmed Charles with his wrestling and wore him down before referee John McCarthy waved off the bout at 32 seconds of the second round.
Charles (9-3) came into the bout on a two-fight win streak. But he had little to offer for the American Top Team competitor, who took him to the ground at will, then punished him, as he outstruck him 84-5 over the course of the fight. By the second round, Charles looked like he didn't want to be there anymore, as he turtled until McCarthy waved off the fight at 4:14.
"You have to go back to your base, and my base is wrestling," Lashley (12-3) said. "All heavyweights who I meet, I'm going to take them down."
Coming off a pair of title-fight losses in which, both times, he submitted late after winning the fights, former Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus got back on track with a second-round submission over a tough Diego Corrales. Straus scored the victory via modified guillotine choke at 3:27 of the second round.
Over the course of what was most likely a 10-8 opening round, Straus (24-6) landed a huge knee in the clinch, which led to a ferocious flurry which would have finished many fighters.
Corrales (12-1), who came in with a buzz after scoring 10 finishes in 12 fights, mostly on the King of the Cage level, showed undeniably toughness, as he took several flush shots on the jaw and still kept going. But he never managed to get any offense untracked. In the second round, Straus went for several submission attempts before finally getting Corrales to tap.
After the fight, Straus, an American Top Team fighter, had a message for the winner of the Freire-Weichel bout, which went on later in the card.
"Here's my message, man," Straus said. "Whoever wins that bout, I'm going to come and beat your ass, whoever else in the '45 division, I'm gonna beat you ass too."
Freire's answer, later in the card: "You want the belt, come and get it."
In the main-card opener, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler left nothing to chance in his quest to snap his winning streak. Chandler, returning home to Missouri, mauled an overmatched Derek Campos. A rear-naked choke did the job at 2:17 of the opening round.
Chandler established his jab early, dropped Campos with a right hand, then nearly put him away with a flurry on the ground. Campos (15-5), to his credit, got back to his feet, only to run into another takedown, a slam, and then the rear-naked choke for the finish, ending Chandler's three-fight losing streak.
After the bout, Chandler had a message for Will Brooks, the man who defeated Chandler twice last year.
"I want that belt back," said Chandler (13-3). "Will Brooks, that belt has my name on it, wherever you are."