Ken Shamrock file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Ken Shamrock doesn’t believe he should stop fighting. In fact, he says his lack of success over the last few years is at least partially due to not fighting enough.
“The problem that I’m running into is the fact that I can’t get enough fights,” Shamrock said during a recent episode of “The Savage Dog Show” on the Sherdog Radio Network.
The UFC Hall of Famer has lost six of his last seven. His lone win during that stretch, which spans more than five years, came via submission of an out-of-shape and overmatched Ross Clifton. Most recently Pedro Rizzo stopped Shamrock with leg kicks and punches in the first round of their July bout in Australia. It was the 46-year-old Shamrock’s only fight this year.
“It’s hard enough for a guy in his prime to jump right into a fight,” Shamrock said, “let alone somebody of my age, who needs to be in there and actually take a little bit longer to prepare for a fight. To have that long off and then go into a fight like with a Pedro Rizzo, who has fought three times (recently) prior to me fighting him … . So I have to get more fights and I’ve got to be busier. That way I can be able to use the things that I have and be able to get that timing in the ring that I need to be successful.”
Although there is no shortage of MMA promotions, Shamrock said it’s been hard to find the right fit for someone like him who is out of his prime but still brings selling power to the table.
“The money wasn’t there, and there wasn’t enough organizations around that could pay that kind of money,” he said. “All day long you could get fights for $1,200 or $5,000, but you’re not going to get them for anymore than that. They’re just not there.”
However, Shamrock believes he’s found a solution. He said he has worked out a deal with veteran promotion King of the Cage, which holds pay-per-views and also airs on HDNet, to fight regularly and also use his popularity to build the KOTC brand.
“I’m going to be able to fight a lot more often under a contract I’ll have with them,” he said, “and I’ll be able to get paid.”
The 17-year veteran of professional MMA acknowledged that he’s had a rough couple of years. In addition to struggling inside the cage, he lost a contract dispute with the UFC in April and was ordered to pay the company $175,000 in legal fees.
“It’s life,” Shamrock said. “You have to navigate through it. Nothing is going to come easy. You’re going to run into these certain challenges, and the worst thing that you can do is to get frustrated and let down. I just keep pushing forward and keep a positive attitude.”
That attitude extends to the fans and media members who believe he should end his MMA career.
“I think that everybody should have an opinion and be able to express their opinion,” Shamrock said. “But just because they have an opinion doesn’t mean people have to agree with it. There’s also a lot of people out there that appreciate being able to see me fight.”
Next up for Shamrock is an Oct. 16 encounter with Johnathan Ivey. The bout will headline a USA MMA-promoted card at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La.
Ivey has a 29-42 record, according to the Sherdog Fight Finder, but may be best known for throwing a crane kick against Ricco Rodriguez and also landing a “People’s Elbow,” a la pro wrestler The Rock, in another fight.
“He’s going to try some crazy stuff, but when you do stuff like that, you also put yourself at risk to get seriously hurt,” said Shamrock, who added that as long as he takes Ivey seriously, it should be a short night.
Fighting Ivey is a long way from headlining UFCs against Royce Gracie and Tito Ortiz, but that’s not Shamrock’s focus.
“It’s not about Johnathan Ivey. It’s about me,” Shamrock said. “It’s about me getting in the ring. It’s about me performing in front of the fans. I love that. I get a thrill from that.”
Check out the full interview (beginning at 1:22:15) with Shamrock, who also discusses getting stabbed when he was 10 years old and whether he regrets his stints in professional wrestling.