by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Frank Shamrock officially put his legendary mixed martial arts fighting career out to pasture on June 26, announcing his retirement from competition at the Strikeforce and M-1 Global co-promoted “Fedor vs. Werdum” event at the HP Pavilion in his hometown of San Jose, Calif.
Looking back on a career that garnered the first UFC light heavyweight crown, the first WEC light heavyweight title, and the first Strikeforce middleweight championship, one fight stands out above all the others to Shamrock.
“They all kind of stand out for different reasons. But I’d say my physical, the greatest physical application of martial arts I’ve ever applied, was against Tito Ortiz just because he was so big,” Shamrock told MMAWeekly.com. “It took everything I had in my arsenal of martial arts skills to beat him.
“I’ve had other fights that… fighting Phil Baroni with a blown out knee was like the hardest mental thing I’ve ever done, but physically battling with Tito was just retardedly hard.”
Shamrock defeated Ortiz at UFC 22 to retain his UFC light heavyweight belt. His crowning achievement would be his last fight in the Octagon, where he went undefeated, finishing all five of his opponents, four of them in the first round. He relinquished his title and left the organization following the fight.
Frank Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz will always be one of the greatest bouts in UFC history to the hardcore fans that witnessed it and realized its significance at the time it occurred. There was a changing of the guard in UFC ownership and the landscape of the light heavyweight division, but Shamrock went out on his terms, propelled by a flurry of hammer fists to the head of the tapping Ortiz.