Sherdog’s Top 10: Matches That Were Never Made

Shamrock vs. Shamrock

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 24, 2012
Ken Shamrock had a falling out with his adopted brother. | Photo: Jeff Sherwood/

3. Ken Shamrock vs. Frank Shamrock

The story of the Shamrock Brothers had all the beginnings of a heartwarming tale. After difficult childhoods, Ken and Frank were taken in by Bob Shamrock, who would eventually legally adopt both. As Ken made a name for himself in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Frank attended many of his brother’s bouts and eventually began training under his older brother at The Lion’s Den. With Ken as his mentor, Frank naturally transitioned from submission wrestling to mixed martial arts.

Somewhere along the line, a rift developed between the adopted siblings. According to Frank, it arose due to a difference in training philosophies.

“There came a time when I really felt like what we were doing and what we were training in was not the best way,” Frank said in an interview with “It was an old idea, you know, it was old business. I voiced my concern about that and basically I was told to do what I was told. And eventually we came down to Ken telling me, ‘You don’t have what it takes, you're not going to be a world champion and I want you to run my gyms for the rest of your life.’ So that to me was, especially since he was my mentor, it was devastating to me. And I realized at that point that Ken either didn’t believe in me or didn’t want me to be who I thought I could be, and I had to leave.”

Ken has claimed the feud developed because Frank mistreated their father. No matter whom you believe, the tension between the two brothers would have made for one heck of a fight.

“If he were to walk in front of my gym right now, I would beat his ass,” Ken said during an interview on’s “Beatdown” show in 2009. “Whether it’s going to happen other than that, I have no idea because I’m not in charge of that. I’m willing to beat his ass. I’ll make this loud and clear. I will beat his ass. I don’t need a contract.”

Alas, a bout between the two brothers, both of whom were decorated champions in MMA’s formative years, never transpired, though it is not difficult to imagine the 48-year-old Ken and the 39-year-old Frank going at it somewhere, somehow today.

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