The war of words between Dana White and Ken Shamrock has intensified, as Ken and his lawyer Rondney Donohoo sat down with John Pollock of Fight Network Radio to discuss what went wrong with the UFC why he’s suing, and to answer Dana White’s claims to, in his words, discredit him.
Shamrock On His Dispute With Dana White And The UFC:
Well, I’ll tell you what happened was one, I talked to Dana White when I was fighting with Tito Ortiz on the Ultimate Fighter show and let him know there was an opportunity to get some of the Lion’s Den fighters some fights on the team concept in the IFL. Dana kind’ve flipped out on that, saying he was gonna squash them and kill them, and that they’re nothing but scumbags and he was gonna crush ‘em. And it just kind of took me off guard, and he was very upset at them. And I guess he took them to court and lost a lawsuit to them, so he was pretty upset about that, because he thought that they had taken some things from him or whatever, but they were found innocent of all that. So, I told him, “You know, it’s not like I’m fighting and it’s not against my contract to coach my fighters on a show.” And he said, “Well, if you do that, even if it’s not in your contract, you will never work for us again.” Which I thought was kind of a threat – it had no bearing on my contract and that he was just trying to push me around. And at that point, I went ahead, and – because I didn’t want to cause a problem at that point in time – I went ahead and said, “Alright, I’ll just wait until I’m done with the fight with Ortiz.” So, I finished the fight with Ortiz and then I went ahead and coached in the IFL. At that point, Dana White decided that he was going to go ahead and breach my contract and cut me loose.
Shamrock On Recent Comments Made By White Directed Towards Him:
Since that time, there’s been words exchanged back and forth. Dana White – and I’m going to prove that today – Dana White only says things that is going to benefit him and hurt others. And they’re not even factual – it’s just things that he makes up and that he says. The last interview that Dana White did was an interview to basically hurt me and put me down and hurt my credibility, and were completely, completely lies. And one of them was, Dana White said that Randy Couture makes money for us and Ken Shamrock does not. Well, I have facts sitting here right in front of me. And I don’t want to go around throwing bad names or saying that he’s lying or this and that. I want to give facts. So that people understand that Dana White only fabricates stories to make himself look good and hurt other people’s credibility. And one of the facts are right here, Dana White says that Ken Shamrock did not make money for the UFC, but Randy Couture did. And Randy Couture is a great man, but for Dana White to say that about me, the facts are right here: Shamrock-Ortiz I, UFC 40: One-hundred-and-fifty thousand Pay-Per-View buys – double what Zuffa had done so far at that time, the highest in ‘96. Shamrock Vs. Ortiz II, UFC 61: Seven-hundred-and-seventy-five-thousand Pay-Per-View buys, second-highest UFC Pay-Per-View to date in history. Second-highest – no sports Pay-Per-View in history was first until De La Hoya and Mayweather. Ultimate Fighter 3 averaged 1.7 for season average. For other seasons is 1.2. That included Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell – two of their biggest champions, we still outdid them. So now Ken Shamrock and Ortiz III – rated top out of 5.7 million viewers during 9:30 to 9:45 period making it the most watched UFC event in the promotion’s history up to that date. Now, what Dana White was saying was that Ken Shamrock did not make money for the UFC, but Randy Couture did. He knows these facts. He knows what I just quoted off. He deliberately lied to hurt my credibility. He knows these numbers. This is a fact – this is not throwing mud around, this is a fact: Dana White throws mud around trying to hurt people. He uses the “F-bomb” to cover up his insecurities. He walks around using the “F-bomb” because he’s not a tough guy, and by saying the “F-bomb” he thinks that people think he’s tough.
Shamrock On Why He Was Cut:
There is no other reason. I mean, there is no other reason for him to do that to me when I’m making these guys lots of money. And then they turn around and cut me because I’m coaching a team? And which is not against my contract. The fact is, Rod can explain a little bit more of that because he’s on the line too.
Shamrocks Lawyer, Donohoo On The Situation:
Well, there are a couple issues. First of all, there is no controversy – assuming that Dana is going to tell the truth – there is no controversy as to why Dana let Ken go from the UFC. Ken had a two-fight deal, he fought one fight. Dana White called me himself when there were rumors that he was going to fight Michael Bisping, and I had that on good authority that he had, in fact, entertained that. He then turned around and said, “No, it’s completely untrue.” And he told me personally – and I assume Dana White’s going to confirm this – Dana White told me in a personal phone conversation that I had that he no longer wanted to do business with Ken Shamrock. For one reason: And that was because Ken Shamrock was a coach in the IFL. That was the only reason given – he was very, very clear in his words and there’s no controversy there at all as to why he cut Ken Shamrock. Certainly, it is not … allegedly that Ken did not make the UFC money is a lie by the fact that Ken has just said for. That is just absolutely ludicrous. The reason, according to Dana, was that Ken was in the IFL. As far as the agreement was concerned, Ken was absolutely permitted to manage and coach a team in the IFL. That was provided for in connection with Ken’s agreement with the UFC. So, that was not a violation of his agreement. Dana’s done this because apparently he did not like his decision, and you’ve already heard what Ken had to say as to the reasons he felt that Ken should not be with the IFL. It was apparently very personal to Dana.
Donohoo On Shamrock’s Contract With The UFC:
The gist of it is this, is after Ken’s second Tito fight, a new agreement was entered into. And under the terms of that agreement, Ken had a two-fight deal. The Ortiz-Shamrock fight number three was the first of those fights. Ken was supposed to receive another fight within a year’s period of time. That did not happen. Instead, Dana eventually cut Ken from the contract. When we requested a second fight, he denied our request and instead terminated Ken because again, he was upset that Ken went to the IFL.
Shamrock On Fighting Hurt Vs. Tito Ortiz:
I had to live up to the obligation with the Tito Ortiz fights, to go through with these fights and go do them. And, then, that last fight, I was going to have an opportunity to go get my shoulder fixed, come back and fight and be able to go at a hundred percent. I was fighting probably at seventy-five percent – probably less than that. But, I went in and did the best I could. And Dana White knew this. And then he goes out and calls me names, like I’m forty years old fighting like a fifty-year-old. He knew what my situation was. He knew the position that I was in. And he knows that it could have been fixed and I could have came back and I would have been better.
Shamrock On Dana Telling Couture That He Can’t Resign From A Contract:
See, he’s doing exactly what he’s telling Randy he can’t do. He’s not honoring a contract. Randy Couture had had specific verbal communications with Zuffa and Dana White. Things that he was going to be able to do, and they lied to him. So, it’s not like Randy’s not holding up to his end, because I believe he is. I believe that he’s been swindled. That’s my opinion. I don’t know anything’s for fact on that. But knowing Randy Couture – and I know him as a person – he has always been a stand-up guy. He’s always taken on fights. He’s always stepped in and done what the UFC’s asked him to do – and even more than what they expected him to do. So, for what they’re doing to him, and saying what they’re saying he’s doing, I don’t believe it because of what they’re doing to me. They’re not honoring the contract that they signed with me. And I honored every bit of that contract – even through injury, I still stepped in and did what I was supposed to do, thinking that I would have an opportunity to come back and make up for it.
Donohoo On Upcoming Legal Action Against Zuffa:
Well, unfortunately, it looks like that’s exactly where we’re headed, and that will be fought in the court, not the media. That isn’t the intent for Ken to come on the air. It’s just unfortunate that he’s sort of had to resort to this. We requested professionally and formally once again that they honor the agreement or that they compensate Ken. We received a response with yet another position – a completely new position – that we were relayed to us by Hendrick of Zuffa, is that, “No, Ken retired.” And there were statements that Ken had retired. Of course, it was very clear with Dana White that Ken had announced at that time that he would be retiring. At no time – at NO time – did Zuffa ever exercise any option during any period that Ken had not fought, and exercise an option to go ahead and suspend or terminate his contract based on retirement. In fact, it was very clear – very clear – to Zuffa that Ken, in fact, after he had his incessant things taken care of – specifically surgery – he was ready to go, he was very anxious to fight, he looks fantastic. He’d asked repeatedly for a fight, he was active at that time. At no time prior to that was that contract terminated. Now they’re hanging their hat on an allegation that Ken had retired and did not want to fight. And third of all, of course, the best defense is a good offense. They actually – if you can believe this – implied that Ken may be making defamatory statements for which he’ll be held responsible. Which I find very ironic, given the fact that Dana White is the one who’s come out and I think the record will speak for itself as to what Dana’s said numerous times about Ken and about others on the air. It seems to be his M.O. to, quite frankly, trash people.
Shamrock On What He Wants From The UFC:
I’ll tell you what I’m looking for right now. I’m looking for UFC to step up to the line, sit down, and start talking – and stop acting like children. Because what they’re doing … this is a multi-billion dollar business, and they’re acting like they’re in high school or kindergarten, and they just broke up with their girlfriend. I was a big part of their business in helping them make money. And they completely turned their back on me. And of course I’m angry. But you know what? I’m also a man, and I can sit down at the table and discuss things. But these guys have no intentions of doing that. The fact is, Dana White would rather go on the air and trash me and try and make me look bad and try and hurt my credibility, rather than step up like a man and sit down and let’s work this thing out. Because one, they’re hurting two people that have been a big part of UFC history, and one of them is myself and one of them is Randy Couture. And what they’re doing is they’re hurting the sport and they’re hurting the people who built this sport. They didn’t do it themselves, this is what we call a “team”. They did their part, we did our part, and everybody should be holding up to their end of the bargain.
You can catch Fight Network Radio every Monday through Friday at 3pm EST on Hardcore Sports Radio (Sirius Chan nel 186) and online at www.hardcoresportsradio.com and www.TheFightNetwork.com.