Frank Shamrock is a current cageside announcer for Strikeforce on Showtime.
He is also one of the pioneers of the sport, having compiled a 23-10-2 record, including becoming the first UFC light heavyweight champion (called the middleweight title at the time), the first WEC light heavyweight champion and the first Strikeforce middleweight champion.
So, as someone that has seen the sport grow from the depths of nothing to a network deal with FOX, you would think Shamrock believes MMA is right there with the NFL, MLB and the NBA in terms of mainstream sports.
You’d be wrong.
“But it’s not just like those sports,” Shamrock said. “I love MMA. I credit it with saving my life. I think it can and will change the world for the better. But is it s sport? I don’t think so.
“As dear as it is to me, MMA is still this thing in between sport and spectacle. No, MMA isn’t a sport. Not yet.”
Shamrock used UFC President Dana White as a prime example for MMA not being on the same level of the other major sport organization. Shamrock and White have never really seen eye-to-eye on anything since Shamrock left the UFC.
“Look, true sports have a serious level of professionalism. The athletes have to answer to somebody. The owners of the sport carry themselves in…a professional manner. It won’t get there unless some serious changes at the top are made,” Shamrock said.