Former UFC Middleweight (Light-Heavyweight by today’s standards) Champion and mixed martial art pioneer Frank “The Legend” Shamrock took a moment out of commentating on Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Fedor Vs. Werdum fight to tell his fans and the rest of the world directly that he is retiring from the sport that he helped pioneer.
Despite the fact that at one point recently they seemed to be very close to actually fighting against one another in the cage, Shamrock gave props to his brother and fellow MMA pioneer Ken Shamrock for getting him started in MMA.
“When I was 22 years old, my brother gave me two important things,” Shamrock said to the audience in the HP Pavilion. “He gave me an ass-whoopin’ and he gave me my love of mixed martial arts. Since that time I’ve traveled the world teaching mixed martial arts, preaching mixed martial arts and dragging my poor family with me from country to country to city to city.”
Shamrock, who is currently on a two-fight losing streak thanks to recent defeats at the hands of Nick Diaz and Cung Le, asserted that he is no longer suited to competing against MMA’s new guard and pointed to two of Strikeforce’s own champions to illustrate his point.
“I’m 37 years old now, and my time has come,” he said Saturday. “The stars like Gilbert Melendez and Cristiane ‘Cyborg,’ they’re the future and I am the past. Tonight I announce my retirement. This will be the last time I walk into this cage as a fighter.”
Also the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Shamrock has openly feuded with his former boss, fight promoter and UFC President Dana White, even going so far as stating that he would never return to the UFC as long as White was in charge. Despite that and his apparent distrust of fight promoters, Shamrock has nothing but respect for his current employer Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.
“He dragged me back in this cage,” Shamrock said. “He was honest and he kept his word to me, and I believe in the dream of Strikeforce. That’s why I’m here.”
Shamrock, who holds notable wins over Tito Ortiz, Cesar Gracie, Bas Rutten and Jeremy Horn and has cemented his place in the annals of MMA with his amazing fight against Ortiz, his epic trilogy against Rutten and in his recent win over Phil Baroni, bowed to each part of the arena Saturday night and closed the door on his MMA career with these words: “It was an honor to bleed for you, to break my bones for you and to entertain you.”