Just hours before being told that he would be suspended for a year by the California State Athletic Commission for testing positive for steroids, UFC Hall of Fame inductee Ken Shamrock took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Pro MMA Radio (prommaradio.com). He talked to host Larry Pepe about his early fights with Royce Gracie, his cut that caused him to miss fighting Kimbo Slice, and his long running feud with half brother Frank Shamrock.
Here are some highlights of their discussion:
Without a man like Ken Shamrock it is possible that the UFC and MMA as a sport would not be the spectacle that is today. His early fights in the UFC against Royce Gracie and others are some of the most memorable fights in the sport’s short history.
He said the fights back then were more dangerous because there were no rules and there was a possibility that you could go into a fight and not come out alive, literally.
He said that he planned on taking on Royce Gracie for over two hours at UFC 5 but the last minute rule change that implemented timed rounds and two three minute overtimes prevented him from getting the victory, instead Shamrock had to settle for a draw.
Shamrock was set to fight Kimbo Slice at Elite XC, but an accidental head butt during warm ups caused a cut that required stitches and thus prevented him from being able to fight. Shamrock recalls the head butt incident,
“…so we go in and we start rollin and it was dumb cause it’s no different than what you do in a locker room prior to a fight. When your rollin around, checkin for holes, hitten mitts, ya know just movin in and out of stuff. Just nice and easy and I just caught his head man. I was going for a rear naked choke , spun around him for a rear naked choke and he lifted up at the same time and I caught his head and it wasn’t even a real hard bang. We didn’t even think anything of it and next thing we know you see a couple drops hit the floor and I was like oh shoot that’s me and I reach up and it was me and it was pretty bad. It was like down to the bone, we had some stitches in it, I told the guy there I have to fight tonight and he said I don’t know how your gunna do that.”
Shamrock does not understand why people think he is the one avoiding the fight with half brother Frank Shamrock because he believes Frank just hypes it up for attention and then goes off and fights someone else. Ken has been ready to fight Frank on four different occasions and is tired of the games being played. In his own words about his half brother, “He (Frank) is acting like a little bitch”.
Ken was ready for his fight against Bobby Lashley and believes that Lashley’s large weight advantage would have been an advantage for himself later in the fight. He believes he would have been able to expose Lashley on his feet and then eventually submit him.
Ken was also asked what motivates a man of his stature with the legacy he holds to keep fighting after all these years. “I would have to say the Adrenaline rush you get. I think any athlete that is on the path past their prime is probably doing it for that adrenaline rush. I don’t want to sit on the couch and drink a beer. I don’t want to stand on the outside of the ring and watch everyone else have fun ya know. As long as I’m capable of going in there and competing, I want to compete,” Shamrock said.
Ken went on to talk about his desire to finally fight Tank Abbott because he believes the two have a personal vendetta against each other and it is something he has always wanted to do. That fight is personal for him.
When Ken was asked at the end of the interview when he would know it was time to hang it up, Shamrock simply said, “Probably when I lose both legs and both arms.”
To hear this entire interview and all of their free archives go to Pro MMA Radio at www.prommaradio.com.
Pro MMA Radio with host Larry Pepe airs every Monday evening at 6pm PT / 9pm ET.