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‘You got baby nuts, Dada': Tensions erupt in wild Bellator 149 press conference

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

HOUSTON -- In case anyone forgot the impetus behind Bellator 149's eccentric co-main event, Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000 wasted little time reminding the world exactly why Scott Coker booked their feud for the first tentpole of 2016.

With several of Houston's finest boys in blue flanking the dais, Slice and Dada 5000 -- real name Dhafir Harris -- both strolled onto the stage and lunged into verbal tirades which only picked up steam once Harris was asked to give his opening remarks.

"You fool! Shut up, man," Slice loudly interrupted, surprising even the legends, Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie, who sat between Slice and his former friend. "You ain't got s**t to say. You looked like s**t in your training yesterday. Nothing you can do can hurt me, bro. These people ain't going to be here to protect you Friday, Dada."

The opening salvo marked the beginning of a back-and-forth which effectively overtook Wednesday's pre-fight press conference, as Slice and Harris recounted a dispute that stems all the way back to the mid-aughts, when Harris left Slice's entourage to promote backyard fights in the Miami suburb of West Perrine.

"Listen to this right here," Harris said. "When I put my hands on you, you're going to understand what it feels like to be helpless for the first time in a long time. At the end of the day, you ain't never meet nobody that's going to hit you as hard as me. You are a non-factor, bro.

"At the end of the day, you're not capable physically or mentally of doing none of that s**t that you're talking about, bro. Listen, I'm going to manhandle you, dude. I promise you that."

Harris' comments continued a theme that has popped up throughout the lead-up to Bellator 149, with Harris claiming that Slice left his roots behind once he made it big.

A one-time YouTube sensation, Slice parlayed his notoriety into a big business fighting career that began with EliteXC in 2007, reached the heights of the UFC, and has undergone a mini-revival under the Bellator banner. And Slice wasn't going to let Harris' threats of vengeance go unpunished.

"Pull your pants down, let me see the size," Slice said, standing up from the dais and pointing at Harris. "I'll show my nuts right now. Let me see your nuts. You got baby nuts, Dada. You got baby nuts. I bet you my nuts are bigger than yours. Come on. You ready?"

The shouting match continued between Harris and members of Slice's entourage off-stage until Coker managed to resume order to the press conference, albeit briefly.

Slice's 5-2 professional MMA record may not look imposing to some, however his experience far exceeds that of Harris, an on-again, off-again fighter who last competed professionally in 2011 and has received heavy criticism for his performance at Tuesday's open workouts. And Slice wouldn't let that poor showing slide.

"Like I said, dude looked like s**t," Slice said. "But I don't know if that's how he really trains. I don't know that. I'm going to take this fight like I take every fight. I'm the next man's Super Bowl, you know what I'm saying? If you coming in to fight me looking like that, dog, you going to get your ass smashed. Because this, you've got to put time into this s**t here, man. This is not a game. You don't get to fight by running your mouth. You get a fight from being good, being able to be a well-rounded fighter. I had to put my time in here. I knew positions. I could feel s**t coming on. I'm a well-rounded fighter, but I don't think I need to use my skills to knock this clown-ass n***a out, man. For real.

"This n***a is a s**t-talker," Slice continued. "He talks a lot of s**t and he looked like s** yesterday, and I'm going to just bang his ass up. I've never taken a fight and enjoyed beating a person's ass. I really feel good about this one, and this is the first. I have no worries, no fear. There's nothing this n***a can do that's going to hurt me. I've proved myself over 10 years. Ten years in this fight game. This p***y n***a -- excuse me, my baby girl is right there -- this dude ain't know nothing about that there, man. I could stand in his face and put these hands on him, but I'm going to be smart. I'm going to show the professional that I am, and I'm going to bang his ass up and I'm going to knock his ass out, because I'm waiting to see the legends go at it."

Bellator 149 goes down Feb. 19 on Spike TV. Though if Wednesday was any indication, fight night can't come soon enough for Slice and Harris.

The spectacle the co-main event even delighted the two headlining fighters, UFC Hall of Famers Gracie and Shamrock. Both men look to settle a trilogy 23 years in the making, but both spent much of Wednesday chuckling to themselves while the two heavyweights beside them promised to exact retribution for the countless threats that have been hurled over the years.

"I will say this, there's a difference between angry and being hungry," Harris said. "You see what I'm saying? Now, if you guys have watched Dawg Fight 1, we're filming Dawg Fight 2. Come Friday night, Kimbo Slice is needed for the main ingredient."