Category Archives: Ken Shamrock

Ken Shamrock Wants To Beat Up His Brother

Ken Shamrock can shoot a promo like nobody else. Must be his experience in the WWE. But just take a look at his comments about fighting Frank in what would be MMA’s first brother-against-brother match, which I would personally love to see. The highlight of this video? How about this Shamrock gem:

“Fighting is not a dirty thing. Brothers fighting is not a dirty thing. It happens every day in this world, brothers fighting. They just don’t get paid for it. Now I’m going to bring my brother in the ring, I’m going to beat him up, and I’m going to pay him.”

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Filed under Frank Shamrock, Ken Shamrock, MMA, Sports

Mayweather Revisited

After recently ordering HBO solely to watch the new season of The Wire, I’ve finally gotten a chance to see the 24/7 documentary/hype series they did in advance of the Mayweather-Hatton fight. Though the fight itself seemed less than exciting, what with Mayweather throwing one punch at a time and then diving into the clinch for much of the fight, HBO knows how to put together a promo piece and make it look like a real documentary.I won’t go on and on about how much I wish there was an MMA version of 24/7, or how I wish HBO would get involved with our sport and bring their budget and high production values with them. That’s a given. I will say, though, that while I realize Mayweather is, in all likelihood, not going to cross over into MMA, at least as a fighter, I really wish he would, and not just so I could see him catch a beatdown.

We did interviews at the last IFL event where we asked all the fighters and coaches what they thought of Mayweather coming to MMA, and oddly enough the most interesting response came from Ken Shamrock. He said that because of the initial reaction — which, as you may recall, mostly called for Mayweather to fight Sean Sherk for his first bout — it will never happen, and that we’re the ones who are missing out. I think he has a point.

If MMA embraced Mayweather and made a real effort to get him and help bring him along, rather than throwing him to the wolves to prove a point, it would help everyone. Revenue and fighter salaries would benefit, there would be a greater and more diverse audience, and maybe some of the old guard sports editors who still think MMA is a passing fad would finally put down their cigars and fedoras and hammer out a positive story on their typewriters.

It’s not often that Ken Shamrock has the cooler head when it comes to thinking things through, but he’s right on target here. As much as we in the MMA world would love to see a top boxer get whooped on by an MMA fighter just to silence the people who’ve refused to accept our sport into the mainstream, we’d ultimately be better served by making it a more feasible transition.

That’s not to say that I think Mayweather will ever come to MMA. It looks like pure PR from where I’m sitting. But he should at least know that MMA would like to have him and would help him get started. Then, after he’s had a chance to get acclimated, we can let Sean Sherk plant him like an azalea.

Here’s the full video of IFL fighters and coaches answering the Mayweather question:

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Filed under Floyd Mayweather, IFL, Ken Shamrock, MMA, Sports, UFC

Liddell Talks Retirement (But I’m Not Buying It)

Following his decision loss to Keith Jardine (who has reclaimed full “Dean of Mean” status with the victory), former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is said to be considering retirement. According to trend-follower Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports!, UFC president Dana White spoke about the possibility of Liddell hanging up his gloves.

“There’s a hunger thing that you have to have to be an elite fighter and I just didn’t see a Chuck Liddell who was as hungry as he used to be,” White reportedly told Iole. “Chuck has made a lot of money in this business and he’s done a lot of things, but he wasn’t the Chuck of old.”

It’s not such a crazy notion when you consider that Liddell has been competing in the UFC since before they had timed rounds. He’ll be thirty-eight in December, which is typically when hand speed and punching power starts to fade. For someone like Randy Couture, that might not mean much, but Liddell is a striker who has always relied on those skills. If he can’t hit harder and faster than everyone else, Liddell becomes just another guy with good footwork and takedown defense.

But I have a hard time believing Liddell will never set foot in the Octagon again. If history is any indicator (and if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t keep deferring to it and refusing to learn from it), Liddell will probably have to be all but forced into retirement.

Great athletes almost always have a difficult time knowing when to quit, and professional fighters are the most notorious for keeping at it long after they should. Consider boxing greats like Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis and George Foreman.

Think about MMA legends like Ken Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba and Royce Gracie, even my unofficial life coach Don Frye.

They all kept at it past their prime. They all had to be shepherded into retirement by the fists of younger fighters. It’s hard to watch a hero take beatings he should have never signed up for, and it’s even harder to understand why he can’t see that his skills have deteriorated when everyone else can.

But in a way, it makes sense. I remember interviewing Ken Shamrock and asking him why he kept going for so long when he didn’t particularly need the money, and what he told me was very enlightening and endearing.

He said that a champion fighter has to have a certain personality that makes him push through things a normal person can’t. He has to be the kind of guy who can break his hand on an opponent’s skull and keep swinging. He has to view quitting as an unforgivable sin. If he didn’t, he’d never have become a champion in the first place.

That’s why, when the ravages of age begin to show themselves, he can’t see it for what it is. He thinks it’s one more hardship that he has to push through. He’s always been able to do it before, so his mind isn’t programmed to believe that there is an injury or a setback so debilitating as to be final.

It’s something you either have or you don’t, and champions have it. It’s also a tragic gift when age catches up with you. Sure, some guys — Randy Couture, for one — defy the odds, but many more succumb to them.

Think about the great heavyweight boxing champions of the last hundred years. How many of them retired before some sad spectacle in the ring? Lennox Lewis, maybe. And Rocky Marciano, who is still the only heavyweight champ to retire undefeated.

Marciano once said that he knew it was time to quit when the smell of the gym began to make him sick. He said that smell of old sweat and leather and mildew had always been strangely pleasant to him before, but one day he went in to train and it disgusted him. And that was it. He never fought again.

I think that may be what Dana White is referring to in regards to Liddell’s hunger. That hunger to fight and compete and win is something you can’t force and you can’t fake. If that fire isn’t burning in Liddell anymore, then he should call it quits. But I have to think that a man who’s been a top-level fighter for so many years is going to have a hard time letting go of that identity.

Who knows, maybe Liddell has a few more good years left in him. Couture found a second life in his forties, so it’s not unheard of. Only Liddell knows for sure. Something tells me, though, that a decision loss to Keith Jardine isn’t going to be definitive enough for him. Not while Wanderlei Silva — Liddell’s white whale — is still out there.

Liddell is going to have to find out for himself if he can still compete. For most great fighters, it’s a question they can’t stop asking, even after the answer is clearly no.

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Filed under Chuck Liddell, Dana White, Don Frye, Keith Jardine, Ken Shamrock, MMA, Randy Couture, Sports, UFC