Bellator 170 saw a main card showdown between up-and-comers Kevin Ferguson Jr and Devon Brock in front of a packed (and weirdly named) Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri.
Ferguson Jr – son of the late, great, Kimbo Slice – came into this one with a 2-1 professional record.
He had an inauspicious start to his career when he was submitted by Aaron ‘The Snake’ Hamilton, who’s current pro record stands at 1-5.
But ‘Baby Slice‘ (not to be confused with ‘Baby Spice’) said that he’s made massive strides since then, his camp for this fight went very well and was ready to get the job done against a fellow up-and-coming fighter.
“I’m getting better and better,” Ferguson Jr. said before the fight. “I had no training prior to that [fight with Hamilton]. I’m really fresh in the game. I started my pro career earlier than most guys.”
Ferguson Jr’s evolution as a mixed martial artist was on display in his last fight against Fred Freeman when he scored a submission win of his own, putting his opponent away with a rear-naked choke after just one minute 57 seconds of action.
For most people, living in the shadow of their late father would be a daunting situation but Baby Slice insisted that he has accepted the responsibility of the task and wants to build on his dad’s legacy.
“I don’t mind being known as Kimbo Slice’s son,” Ferguson told MMAjunkie. “That’s who I am. I accept that responsibility. I’m taking over the ‘Team Kimbo’ name and legacy, and I love that.”
His opponent in this one, Devon Brock, was facing his second famous opponent in just his second professional fight.
In his debut, he took on Khonry Gracie, the son of MMA legend Royce Gracie. He was happy to get the call-up and over the moon to get the unanimous decision over his highly regarded opponent.
“It was actually an amazing experience,” Brock said of his debut fight against Khonry. “[I have] only [been] doing this for a year, it was a real big accolade I could add. It was an unexplainable feeling.”
Brock said that he was enjoying being the guy that steps up and defeats members of famous families as it was a good way to get a name for himself.
And despite his opponent’s stature within the MMA community, Brock didn’t see anything special about the young Graci or Baby Slice, for that matter.
“[I’m] pretty much going up there like he’s human, just like I’m human, at the end of the day,” Brock said. “He’s just another opponent.”
It’s still early days for Ferguson Jr as a pro, so there is obviously a lot of debate about whether he can become a genuine top-tier fighter or is being overly hyped because of who his father was but either way, Brock said that it made no difference to him; he had a job to do, no matter who his opponent was.
“There’s nothing that can get under my skin,” Brock said. “I have my goals, just like he has. No words can jump under my skin. During the amateurs, it was just fighting. But now I’m a pro, and it’s a job.”
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 14, 2018
The fight started with a bang with Slice coming forward aggressively and taking some shots from Brock for his efforts.
Ferguson was relentless, however, and continued to walk his opponent down. He mixed up his punches nicely and after just over a minute of action dropped Brock with a big overhand right.
Slice followed him to the canvas, immediately got into mount, and rained down punches and elbows until Brock gave up his back.
Slice instinctively sunk in a rear-naked choke and got the first-round finish.
It was a clinical performance from Ferguson Jr. He will surely face tougher challenges as he progresses as a mixed martial artist but with his third win in a row, the youngster has taken another step out of his dad’s long shadow.
WATCH THE KNOCKDOWN AND GROUND-N-POUND BELOW: