Ken Shamrock's Blogs
Sherdog Remembers: Bitter Rivals
By: Sherdog.com Staff
Few mixed martial arts rivalries have burned hotter than the one that existed between former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and UFC hall of famer Ken Shamrock.Read more
They met for the first time at UFC 40 in 2002, as Ortiz battered Shamrock standing and on the ground for three one-sided rounds. Between rounds three and four, Shamrock’s corner asked for the fight to be stopped. Some four years later, on the heels of their coaching stint on Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Ortiz and Shamrock met again in the UFC 61 “Bitter Rivals” co-headliner at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Then-heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia successfully defended his title against Andrei Arlovski in a forgettable main event, but it was the Ortiz-Shamrock rematch that moved the needle of public interest, resulting in a $3.3 million gate and 775,000 pay-per-view buys.
Ortiz barely broke a sweat, as he lifted the shopworn pioneer off his feet and planted him on his back. A series of unanswered elbows from inside Shamrock’s guard led referee Herb Dean to stop the fight just 78 seconds after it started. Shamrock protested immediately, even as replays showed one elbow knocking him unconscious and another appearing to rouse him. Still, the result left a bitter taste in the mouths of many, and the UFC quickly capitalized, organizing a rematch for October on Spike TV. Shamrock fared no better, as Ortiz grounded the hall of famer and finished him with punches in 2:23. Ortiz did not win another fight for nearly five years. Shamrock has never again competed in the UFC.
UFC 61 -- which took place on this day five years ago -- was noteworthy on a number of other fronts: the promotional debut of Cheick Kongo, former heavyweight champion Frank Mir’s first victory since a motorcycle accident nearly ended his career and a bloody encounter between Joe Stevenson and Yves Edwards. In addition, UFC President Dana White famously teased a showdown between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva, inviting the two all-time greats into the cage for a staredown. However, the fight between the UFC and Pride Fighting Championships titleholders did not materialize as White and millions of fans had hoped. Liddell and Silva did not meet until December 2007, a year and a half later, when both had surrendered their titles and lost some of their luster.
Shamrock Hanging by a Thread
By: Jake Rossen
Ken Shamrock file photo: Chris Dela Cruz | Sherdog.com
Eyewitnesses to the event in South Africa say Shamrock knocked Bourke down with a right before injuring his leg during a scramble; Bourke was declared the winner. Really, Bourke didn’t beat Shamrock so much as the accumulated wear of a nearly 20-year fight career did. Look inside his gym bag and you’ll probably find duct tape.
Perversely, Shamrock’s low profile makes him the most high-profile example of a fighter who is hanging on long past the point of reason. There’s the 3-9 record of the past eight years, with only one of those wins -- against contemporary Kimo Leopoldo in 2004 -- having a shred of validity to it. In most of those losses, he was either TKOed or came close to it. Rumors of knee problems may be the reason why he’s barely worked a solid ground game in recent memory. It’s a brutal premise for an athletic career. Imagine Roy Jones hanging on with a crippled right hand.There are fans who take a very liberal approach to aging fighters: as adults, they should “do whatever they want.” But there’s probably a line that exists even for those permissive types. What’s too much? If he loses 12 fights by TKO? What about 15? What’s the threshold for intervention? Read more
Shamrock Wants to Write Own Ending
By: Joe Myers
Ken Shamrock (file photo): Chris Dela Cruz | Sherdog.com
A legend in the sport of mixed martial arts, Ken Shamrock believes he has earned the right to determine how his story should end.
Shamrock competed at the first UFC event in November 1993 and fought inside the Pancrase and Pride Fighting Championships organizations in Japan. The 46-year-old holds wins over Kimo Leopoldo (twice), Bas Rutten (twice), Masakatsu Funaki (twice), Dan Severn and Maurice Smith. Read more
Quick Quote: Shamrock Says UFC Mishandled James Toney
By: Sherdog.com Staff
Ken Shamrock during a recent episode of “The Savage Dog Show” on how the UFC promoted James Toney:Read more
“I believe they handled him wrong. I think that James Toney has earned the right to come into an organization, especially since he’s coming from boxing into MMA and taking a huge chance, that they should have matched him up with somebody that he at least would have had an opportunity to have success (against). They matched him up with a straight grappler. How in the world are you going to be able to have any success when you’re first coming into a new organization and a new industry that you have never, ever done before? Take away your (boxing) shoes and go in there and say, ‘OK, world champion of boxing, good luck.’”
Shamrock suggested an alternative path for Toney, proposing a three-fight deal in which Toney would have met another striker in his UFC debut. (It should be noted that Toney has said he declined a fight with Kimbo Slice to take on Randy Couture, who easily submitted him in the first round.) Shamrock believes setting Toney up for success initially would have created much greater interest leading up to a bout against a more grappling-oriented fighter.
“And then guess what?” Shamrock said. “Your buy rates go from being 900,000 to 1.5 or 2 million like boxing’s getting.”