Frank Shamrock has long been a prominent figure in MMA, having engaged in legendary Pancrase battles against Bas Rutten, capturing the first UFC light heavyweight title back in 1997 and being a part of big feuds and big stories.
One such story was recently told by the former vice president of the now-defunct EliteXC promotion, under which Shamrock competed for a time. Shaw told Sherdog.com during an appearance on the website’s Rerun radio show that Shamrock offered to fill in for his brother Ken when he was forced out of a planned bout with Kimbo Slice at the eleventh hour due to a cut and that he offered to throw the fight for EliteXc’s benefit in building Slice’s star and for a little extra pay.
Shamrock addressed Shaw’s story during a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.
“No, absolutely not,” Shamrock said when asked if he had ever offered to throw a fight. “That’s some movie b.s. right there.”
Shamrock asserted that the man also known as “$kala” is simply vying for attention in a sport which has mostly forgotten about him.
“It sounds like he’s trying to sell a book or something, or write a movie script,” said Shamrock.
Currently, Shamrock is retired from fighting and is now working as a company man for Strikeforce, acting as a color analyzer on their broadcast team and filling various promotional roles as well. The promotion which now employs him was recently purchased by Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC–whose president Dana White is a man with whom Shamrock shares a strained relationship, at best. Shamrock discussed his surprise at the purchase in addition to positing what it could mean for the sport of MMA.
“I was pretty shocked,” Shamrock said of his reaction at the news of the purchase. “I think it was Saturday morning and we had a birthday party for a friend and I was completely blown over by it.”
Shamrock, who says he counts Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker as a friend, explained that Strikeforce had been losing investors and was looking for options to allow their continuance as a promotion and that Zuffa simply came along at the right time with the best offer, even if Shamrock thinks the deal may not have been made under optimal circumstances for Coker.
“I think it was too early for Scott. I don’t think he wanted to get out this early,” Shamrock said. “Scott was in it for the long haul. He probably had another five years, but time and business is everything. This was the UFC’s time to make a move and they did.”
As for what it means to MMA? Shamrock sees the buyout as a double edged sword.
“It’s a good one because now we’re a sport,” he said. “100 percent a sport. Same rules, same name, same game. It’s really a sport.”
On the other hand: “I say no because free agency is gone,” he went on. “The end of creativity as an artist is gone. Now it’s about being an athlete, being well-trained, having good management and creating yourself a good business and brand.”