SUNRISE, Fla. -- For the first time in his professional mixed martial arts career, heavyweight Kimbo Slice tasted defeat. The loss, however, did not come against the man he was originally scheduled to face.
Ken Shamrock was unable to fight due to a cut over his left eye sustained during a workout earlier in the day. When Shamrock was deemed unfit to go, Seth Petruzelli stepped in to replace him.
The decision turned out to be the right one for Petruzelli, who needed just 14 seconds to put a blemish on Slice's record. Petruzelli was scheduled to fight light heavyweight Aaron Rosa, but quickly accepted the shot at Slice.
"It was an opportunity to step up," Petruzelli said. "This is something I wanted all my life."
Tipping the scale Thursday at 205½, Petruzelli was outweighed by more than 19 pounds. The weight difference would not come into play.
Petruzelli looked comfortable standing with the hard-hitting Slice. He did not run away and was able to land a right hand that clipped Slice on the jaw.
The punch was hard enough to stun Slice, who stumbled forward and fell to his knees. Once on the ground, Petruzelli delivered several lefts and rights that caught a defenseless Slice.
Clearly hurt, Slice was wide open. His inability to stop the onslaught gave referee Troy Waugh no choice but to step in and call the fight off.
The sellout crowd of 9,414 mostly Slice supporters was stunned. But the enormity of the event had the majority of fans cheering.
Slice took the loss in stride.
"It's all good," said Slice, who fell to 3-1. "It was unexpected, but it's all good."
The loss likely ends any chance of a bout between Slice and Brett Rogers. The men exchanged harsh words in May during an EliteXC card in Newark, N.J.
While Slice looks to rebound and continue to improve, more opportunities are sure to open up for Petruzelli.
With the win Petruzelli improved to 10-4. More importantly, he instantly becomes a well-known fighter.
Slice was prepared to face Shamrock. There was a lot of bad blood between the two and each man vowed to punish the other last night at BankAtlantic Center.
But their battle will have to wait. Hours before the bout the Florida State Athletic Commission determined that Shamrock was unfit to fight.
"It appears that he was warming up as he stated, rolling over and received a head butt, which resulted in a laceration over his eye," Dr. Allan Fields of the Florida State Athletic Commission. "He received six sutures in the eyebrow.
"He explained that he wanted to fight; however, for his safety, we have rules. Anyone with a recent laceration cannot go participate in a fight."
The hostility between Slice and Shamrock reached the boiling point during Thursday's weigh-in. While posing for the traditional stare down, Slice turned his back to Shamrock.
Angered by the gesture, Shamrock shoved Slice and the fighters nearly came to blows. All that prevented a full-scale brawl was the quick action of each fighter's entourage, many of whom jumped between the two powerful men.
"He turned his back to me at the weigh-in," Shamrock said. "That's disrespectful. I hope they put this fight together again. He deserves to get a beating and I want to give it to him."
With Shamrock unable to perform, Petruzelli stepped in and accepted to fight on short notice. He made the most of it.
Franklin McNeil covers boxing and mixed martial arts for The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.