Family Feud is No Game

By Lutfi Sariahmed Feb 24, 2009
If the Gracies are the first family of fighting, the Shamrocks certainly aren’t too far behind. However, adopted brothers Ken and Frank have brought a whole new meaning to the term.

“If he were to walk in front of my gym right now, I would beat his ass,” said Ken Shamrock on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Monday. “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.”

While a bout between the volatile siblings –- both legends of the game -- has been bandied about for the last couple of years, it’s a matchup the brothers have had to fight to keep alive and are starting to doubt will ever happen.

After dropping five straight bouts in the last three years, Ken Shamrock (27-13-2) rebounded with a one-minute submission victory over super heavyweight Ross Clifton on Feb. 13. Frank Shamrock (23-9-2) broke his arm in his last loss against striking sensation Cung Le at Strikeforce nearly a year ago. Neither fighter has stayed particularly relevant to the sport’s active rankings. Still, their proposed bout against one another has garnered more than it’s fair share of attention.

“It was my idea and I got the first contract for Ken, which he did sign,” the younger Shamrock, 36, told “Beatdown” on Monday. “The minute he got knocked out by [Robert ‘Buzz’ Berry [at Cage Rage in March 2008] all the financing was pulled out the window. We got another contract and deal in place then when Ken didn’t show up October 4, every network and every financial backer [wanted] absolutely nothing to do with Ken Shamrock. So unless I pay for it and/or drive there and kick his ass, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

The 45-year-old Shamrock and Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson were slated to headline EliteXC’s third installment of “Saturday Night Fights” last October on CBS, but the UFC Hall of Famer was deemed medically ineligible to compete after he sustained a gash over his eye warming up for the bout earlier in the day. CBS and HDNet were two of the networks interested in the “Blood Brothers” billing until Ken dropped from the Oct. 4 card, said the younger Shamrock.

“Well the Buzz Berry loss was manageable,” said the former UFC middleweight champion. “We could have recovered from that. In fact, we did recover from that. But not showing up for a fight and suddenly getting a very mysterious eye cut, especially the day after you tried to hold the network up for more money, it’s just not good business.”

Business, monetary or not, wasn’t the only thing on Ken Shamrock’s mind that day, he admits.

“I got a call. My father took a turn for the worst. He was going in for surgery and we were going through contract negotiations on the same day with these guys so I had all this junk in my head,” said Shamrock. “I told them to put everything on hold and we’ll work things out later. I’ve got to get my head back into fight. I pulled my friend aside, Dan Freeman, and told him I was completely out of touch with this fight. He said, ‘Let’s roll around a little bit to get your mind right.’”

Siblings pointing fingers at one another is nothing surprising, said the elder Shamrock.

“Frank, when we went through with this thing, had never intended on doing this fight,” he said. “I said this six months ago when they first brought this to my attention. I said I’m fine to talk about this and I did interviews all the way up to three months ago, where I said I wish this fight would happen but I’m telling you right now Frank won’t do this fight. He won’t fight me. He’ll find a way for this not to happen. He throws my name out there like he’s going to fight me. Everyone jumps on board and starts doing interviews with him and then he goes off and does something else because he got his name back up again.”

As if on cue, Frank Shamrock named his adopted brother -- albeit with an air of hesitancy -- as a potential suitor following his 195-pound catch-weight bout against Nick Diaz at Strikeforce on April 11 in San Jose, Calif.

“There’s always the option for Ken,” said Frank Shamrock on Monday. “Ken’s just made some very bad decisions as of late and frankly I’ve spent a lot of time and money making that fight happen and I’m very disappointed that it may or may not happen at this point.”

Surprisingly, one of the feuding brothers’ greater points of contention –- their ailing father Bob –- has been one of the elusive fight’s biggest proponents. Bob Shamrock, who took Ken and Frank into his boys’ home program and helped raise them during their younger years, underwent heart and kidney surgery last October.

According to Ken, Frank “turned his back” on the “only man that cared about him.” Still, Ken believes Bob wants this bout to happen just as much as anyone.

“My father, when we set this, he said that he hopes this fight would happen and the best man would win,” said Ken Shamrock. “He doesn’t mean by me winning or by Frank winning. He just means by that God will come in and take over this fight. It would bring things to a close and things would be forgiven. My father is the kind of guy that reached out and helped thousands of kids. His whole personality is to giving kids a second opportunity and that’s all he’s done his whole life. That’s what he thinks right now. He hopes this thing will happen and put all this to rest. My father has been very angry with Frank, but at the same time he wishes this could be put behind us.”
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