Despite having first retired ten years ago, Frank Shamrock remains a top star and middleweight contender in Strikeforce. Since coming out of retirement, Shamrock has gone 4-3, winning the Strikeforce middleweight championship in the process. He has also authored his own book, Mixed Martial Arts For Dummies, which you can purchase from Amazon.com for only $16.49 by clicking here. “The Legend” sat down with Rod Moyer of FightLine.com to discuss his career, his future and how much longer he sees himself in the game.
FightLine.com: You were the very first UFC light heavyweight champion, winning the belt back in 1997. You last defended it in 1999, defeating Tito Ortiz before deciding to retire. What was that time like, and how much longer do you see yourself fighting?
Frank Shamrock: Fighting Tito was definitely a highlight of my career. And you know, I’m here ten years later, and trying to do two fights a year. I hope to keep going until I’m 45, so nine more years.
Fightline.com: How is the sport different today than when you started fighting?
Shamrock: The biggest things are regulation and education. We really knew nothing about what was going on. We would look at guys and try and figure out what style they were doing and what techniques they’re using. It really matured into a sport.
Fightline.com: How much better, on average, would you say the fighters are today than when you first started fighting?
Shamrock: On average, 100 percent.
Fightline.com: Of all of the fights you have had and opponents you’ve faced, who would you most like to have a rematch with?
Shamrock: I like to fight. If I could rematch someone, I would rematch them all. If I like people, I want to fight them. Not in a negative way.
Fightline.com: So would you want to rematch with Nick Diaz?
Shamrock: I looked like crap against Nick, so I’d definitely want to fight Nick again.
Fightline.com: Do you feel like you’ve reached the peak of your career?
Shamrock: Well, I’m 37 now, so certainly my best physical days are behind me. But I’m the best mentally that I’ve ever been.
Fightline.com: A lot of people don’t know that you’re an entrepreneur. Have you always been an entrepreneur, or did that come recently?
Shamrock: My step dad was a real hard entrepreneur. I used to mow lawns to make money, but my step dad made me give him a dollar for the oil, a dollar for the gas, so I got the concept that you have to do things to make money. I love money, money’s cool.
Fightline.com: What do you feel like some of the biggest mistakes that up and coming fighters make today?
Shamrock: You’re building something, you’re not just a fighter. It’s supposed to be a whole life thing. It takes a long time to build your brand to a level where it matters, whoever you are.
Fightline.com: How is the relationship with your step-brother, Ken Shamrock?
Shamrock: The whole Ken thing, he’s my brother, and it’s complicated. I was always beefing with Ken.
Fightline.com: We’d like to play a little word association, just tell us the first thing that you think of.
Fightline.com: Phil Baroni.
Shamrock: Good heart.
Fightline.com: Dana White.
Shamrock: Uncle Fester
Fightline.com: Scott Coker.
Shamrock: Chief Master.
Fightline.com: Ken Shamrock.
Shamrock: [laughs] Ooohhhh . . .
Fightline.com: Who do you consider to be the top three heavyweights in the game right now?
Shamrock: I don’t know, I don’t watch anyone other than Strikeforce, and a little boxing. I know Brett Rogers just made it to 10, and I would take him any day. He’s 280, athletic, and not scared. In MMA, that’s all you need, some training, a good heart, and there you go . . . He’s a wonderful guy, and that’s what keeps him going.
Fightline.com: Do you see yourself finishing your career with Strikeforce?
Shamrock: Oh yeah, I can never say never, but I don’t believe I will ever fight with the UFC. They did a great thing, I put my heart and soul into them, but they erased me to make money, so I don’t see myself doing a deal with them. I will probably die fighting in the ring with Strikeforce.
Fightline.com: It’s been reported that Jake Shields called you out in a hotel after Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields in June.
Shamrock: I heard he did, and Randleman too. I think everyone wants to fight me. I mean, if you fight me, you make a lot of money. I like Jake, I think he’s a punk, but he needs to get out of his house because people are not into him. Look, you have to promote and market yourself. This is the business of professional entertainment.
Fightline.com: What do you fear?
Shamrock: Car accidents, taxes, weird cancers. I had a real troubled childhood, and martial arts came along at the right time. I made all my friends, and all my money this way.
Fightline.com: What is your favorite sport outside of MMA?
Fightline.com: Do you feel like boxing is dead, or on the way out the door?
Shamrock: It’s not on its way out the door, it’s just not sexy and cool anymore.
Fightline.com: What is your favorite style of fighting?
Shamrock: Technically my favorite style is muay thai, but I can’t watch it because it’s too boring. I like it though, because I know someone’s getting smashed. Style wise, I like boxing.
Fightline.com: What’s different about the way that you think, versus someone who has had a few fights and says that they can’t do this anymore?
Shamrock: I’ve never wanted anyone to kick my ass. That’s like a basic male thing I think, Mixed Martial Arts has changed my life. It can change it for good if you want it, or for bad if you want it, and for me, it all made sense.
Fightline.com: Before we get out of here, what’s next for you?
Shamrock: Well, I’m getting a plate taken out of my arm in about a week or so, so as soon as that heals up, I will look at getting back in there. I am heading out on my book tour, Mixed Martial Arts For Dummies is on newsstands everywhere. Also commentary, I’m hoping to be commentating for Strikeforce on CBS in front of 5-10 million people and tell all of them about mixed martial arts.
Fightline.com: Thanks Frank, and best of luck!
You can listen to our entire interview with Frank Shamrock below. You can also purchase his book, Mixed Martial Arts For Dummies, from Amazon.com for only $16.49 by clicking here.