Dada 5000 returns!? Former Bellator fighter heading to bare-knuckle boxing

Bellator 149 was supposed to highlight a meeting of streetfight legends. Kevin Ferguson (aka Kimbo Slice), whose backyard fights made him a viral star…

By: Zane Simon | 2 years ago
Dada 5000 returns!? Former Bellator fighter heading to bare-knuckle boxing
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Bellator 149 was supposed to highlight a meeting of streetfight legends. Kevin Ferguson (aka Kimbo Slice), whose backyard fights made him a viral star on YouTube before he capitalized on that fame to start an MMA career—even getting so far as a spot on Season 10 of the Ultimate Fighter, and two bouts in the UFC. And Dhafir Harris (aka Dada 5000), who featured prominently in the 2015 documentary Dawg Fight, highlighting the culture of ‘no holds barred’ unsanctioned combat in America.

Instead, the event became something of a tragi-comedy in the MMA world, with both men fighting well past the point of their first round exhaustion into the third—where Kimbo Slice picked up a late TKO (which was later overturned due to a failed drug test). Dada 5000 spent two weeks in the hospital as a result of the contest, suffering from cardiac arrest and kidney failure, along with severe dehydration.

With the tragic passing of Kimbo due to heart failure, just a few months later, that bout marked the last time Harris would appear in professional combat sports. But, now a half-decade removed, it seems Dada 5000 is mounting a comeback. Upstart bare-knuckle boxing promotion BYB Extreme recently released a poster for their April 17th fight card, featuring Strikeforce/Pride/Bellator vet Sergey Kharitonov taking on former UFC talent James McSweeney in the main event. Featured prominently on the undercard? None other than Dada 5000.

Turns out that Harris is actually one of the co-founders of Back Yard Brawls, along with business partners Mike Vazquez and Jose Suris. In a press release on the promotion’s website, the organization advertised that the former streetfighter has “fully recovered” from his afflictions surrounding in his lone Bellator bout and is now ready for a return to action.

“People identify with us because we came from backyard brawling on the dark side of Miami,” Harris explained in the press release. “Backyard is where we came from and bare-knuckles fighting is the next step in the evolution of fighting. We started this (BYB), fighting in the mud, this wasn’t done overnight. We were the first, people came to the backyard to watch, and now I’m inviting everybody on our journey.

“I was a promoter before being a fighter. I started a business and BYB Brawl is going to be the biggest combat sport. People may think this is kind of nuts, but they dofeel it’s going to blow up.”

No word yet on who his opponent might be or where the fights will be taking place. But, with the event less than two weeks away it seems likely that the full lineup will be announced soon. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as more information becomes available.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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