Frank Shamrock is set to face off against Cung Le this Saturday at 6:00 PST. He was kind enough to grant Fightline.com a last minute interview just days before he ventures into the cage at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Shamrock spoke very candidly about his demeanor leading into the fight, his thoughts on the EliteXC-CBS deal, Kimbo, and much more.
Fightline.com: What is your reaction to the backlash about comments you made regarding your brother Ken Shamrock’s steroid abuse.
Frank Shamrock: I just thought it was common knowledge, you know. Someone asked me a question and I just told the truth. I just answered the question.
Fightline.com: How do you feel right now going into the fight with Cung Le just days away?
Frank Shamrock: I feel fantastic. I just had my last media day and now the rest of the time I’m just kinda laying around hanging out…I actually look forward to this time because it’s kind of like the quite before the storm. I watch a lot of movies, read books. I’m excited man. I’m ready to go out and do battle.
Fightline.com: How’s your confidence level? Do you feel good about you game right now?
Frank Shamrock: It’s the usual [laughs]. I have a really high level of confidence because I train hard and I study really hard. I think Cung Le’s got a lot to work out and work with, but for me…I’ve fought everybody in the world, fought every style. I just look at it as a good test and it’s gonna be an exciting fight. I look forward to testing my standup skills against Cung.
Fightline.com: There’s been a lot of talk about your brother, Ken Shamrock’s, loss and what that might mean to a possible fight between the two of you. Some have said that the fight may be off. If so, what’s next for you after the Le fight?
Frank Shamrock: I hope we’re still doing the Blood Brother fight [laughs]. I still think there’s a lot of value in it. You know, the story itself. Beside that fight, I think CBS is gonna build me some nice stars. I think that’s a huge vehicle that’s gonna make these guys overnight MMA sensations. I’m looking forward to that. You know, the sad part about fighting Cung is that there are very few guys left that are superstars that have that persona, that image people love. I’m kinda running out of guys but I’m sure they’ll come out.
Fightline.com: Some have mentioned Tito Ortiz as a possible opponent now that he may be leaving the UFC. What are your thoughts on a possible match up with Ortiz?
Frank Shamrock: I think Tito is definitely a possibility. He’s coming to the end of his contract with the UFC and I think he’ll be a free agent so I’ve been in talks with him and I think that one will be really good. There’ll be some heat to that fight. And Anderson Silva, I’d love that fight. I think it’s a great match up it’d be a good test if the UFC were willing to do a co-promotion or something; that would be wonderful.
Fightline.com: You mentions Silva, some are calling him the greatest pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world. What are your thoughts on Anderson Silva’s game?
Frank Shamrock: Well he’s a great fighter. He’s got good stand up skill. I think his hands are just a little bit weak. But he makes up for it with reach and hight. You know, good kick knee combinations. I think his ground game is a little unsound. There are some holes in that could be exploited definitely. I think his transitional game is a little bit off. Which I would definitely work to exploit, but I think Anderson is the perfect guy to stand up with. I just think that sport of MMA is very young in the striking arts and I’ve been making that my focus for eight or nine years now so I just have so much confidence in my stand up and I’d love to test it against a guy like Anderson Silva.
Fightline.com: Is your striking superior to Silva’s?
Frank Shamrock: I think so. We’ll test it out on Cung first and see [laughs].
Fightline.com: ProElite and CBS recently reached a deal to show EliteXC events on CBS in primetime. What are your thoughts on the deal?
Frank Shamrock: I think it’s a huge deal. You know, it’s a huge oppertunity to be on network television and on primetime. And it’s important to have quality athletes to fill that role. You know, my one knock on EliteXC and ProElite in general is that they’re kind of embrasing the whole freak show side of it. And while I think that can be a great initial shocker to people and liven up the fan base, I think it will hurt in the long run. Much like the UFC did when they first came out, they went for the shock and awe factor and people are going to be turned of by it. They don’t look like professional athletes because they are not professional athletes.
Fightline.com: So is that how you see Kimbo? In that role?
Frank Shamrock: Yeah. Kimbo…I mean, God bless him, he’s obviously got some business sense. I mean, he made himself famous by fighting people on the internet; which is technically illegal and definitely not a good example of what martial arts should be. And now that you make him the star of your organization, now all the nine and ten year old kids are gonna put a camera up and beat up there friends because they think there gonna be the next superstar in MMA. You know, that says something about the image of our sport and the professionalism of our athletes. It’s kind of sad because I’ve been here toiling, working hard and trying to show what an athlete should be and represent myself as a good martial artist and unfortunately when a company embraces something like that it’s like a big slap in the face to the rest of us. It’s just how I feel. I know if I had a ten year old son I wouldn’t have him watch it. But if it was a martial artist who represents himself in the right way and stands for something I think I could get behind that.
Fightline.com: Have you had a chance to meet Kimbo in person?
Frank Shamrock: I actually did meet him socially. He’s actually a really nice guy.
Fightline.com: There’s been some backlash amongst MMA insiders about the face of mainstream MMA being represented, at this point moving forward by basically a reformed street fighter. What are your thoughts?
Frank Shamrock: It’s kinda scary because this is where we were in 1993 when we got kicked off of cable, but at that time it was Tank Abbott leading the way fearlessly.
Fightline.com: Are you going to fight on any of the CBS cards.
Frank Shamrock: I don’t know, I haven’t had any discussions with them yet. I’ve been really focused on training at this point. It would make a lot of sense to me. I have a lot of name value.
Fightline.com: Do you think we’ll see the UFC step in and start co-promoting events?
Frank Shamrock: Much like boxing I think it’s eventually inevitable that we get to that point, but at the same time I can understand the UFC keeping there door closed and protecting their brand more than anything and sensoring their media. That’s a certain way to do business and while I don’t agree with it, it’s out there.
To read part 1 of Fightline.com’s exclusive interview with Frank Shamrock,click here.
To read part 2 of Fightline.com’s exclusive interview with Frank Shamrock, click here.
For more on Frank Shamrock, click here to head over to his official website.
Don’t forget to tune in to Showtime this Saturday night to catch Frank Shamrock take on Cung Le in a highly anticipated battle of two of the worlds most exciting strikers. And check back with Fightline.com for an exclusive post fight interview with Frank Shamrock.