by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Since exiting the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2006, Ken Shamrock has stayed quiet about his departure from the organization, but with Randy Couture’s recent resignation, the former “Ultimate Fighter” coach has now voiced his displeasure with the promotion as well and says he is also involved in a lawsuit against them for alleged breach of contract.
Shamrock was released from his contract in 2006 and moved on to coach a team in the International Fight League, but according to the UFC Hall of Famer, it was not by his choice. He is seeking legal action because of his forced exit from the promotion.
“The fact is, we have a lawsuit going on right now,” Shamrock stated in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “They released me from my contract. I had one fight left. Now, we’re going to go after them for the damages and that’s why I couldn’t fight. I couldn’t fight because I was holding up to my end of the bargain with them. Then they turn around and didn’t hold up to their end of the bargain because they released me from my contract illegally, they breached my contract, I am now open and ready to fight.”
He went so far as calling out UFC President Dana White for deceiving him in the past and believes he did the same thing to Couture.
“I do know from experience that Dana White says things, he lies,” Shamrock stated. “He lied to my agent, he lied to me, I know he’s lied to other fighters. If it’s anything like what happened to me, he basically just straight out lied to Randy.”
He also discussed his departure and how he had expressed his unhappiness before the release ever happened.
“I know when I had my problems with the UFC, I voiced my opinion and people weren’t really hearing it,” said Shamrock. “It just goes to show the things I was saying are true. They’re willing to do what they did to me, a guy that helped build their company, and then turn around and basically say ‘you’re out of here,’ breach my contract, turn around and do the same thing to Randy Couture, who is winning.
“I was hurt. I was injured and needed some time off to recover. I wanted to fight some more and they basically released me with no excuse or anything at all. They’ve done it to Tito Ortiz. Even though Tito has a bad attitude, Tito’s done a lot for that company and they treated him badly.”
Still awaiting a deal to make his return to fighting, Shamrock states that the fighters deserve the credit for the success of the UFC.
“They don’t make the show,” he said of UFC management. “They’re not the ones out there getting their heads beat in, and training, doing all the hard work. It’s the talent. For them to treat the talent that way, it’s a bad, bad sign.”
With his release and subsequent lawsuit, Shamrock is currently shopping for a new fight contract and hopes to compete again in early 2008.
With Shamrock’s statements looming, White spoke very candidly with MMAWeekly in response and told the facts as he sees them about Shamrock’s return to the UFC in 2002 all the way to his exit from the organization in 2006.
“Ken Shamrock has been gone from the UFC for a long time now. He’s been with the IFL and I think we all see what’s going on over there, so now Ken is stirring up some (expletive),” said the UFC president. “First of all, I have never disrespected Ken Shamrock. It has been the exact opposite actually. Inducted him in the Hall of Fame, brought him back, think about this…
“I brought Ken into the UFC to fight Tito after Pride cut him after losing to Don Frye. Before that Ken beat a guy named Sam Adkins, whose record is seven wins, 19 losses and two draws.
“So when Ken comes into the UFC, he has a ton of financial problems. We help him clean up all his financial problems. He fights Tito and loses and then we help Ken fix his knee. We get his knee rebuilt … So now we’re sitting around thinking we invested all this money in this guy, we have to find somebody this guy can actually beat. So we get him a fight with Kimo. He beats Kimo. Then we get him a fight with 185-pound Rich Franklin. Ken gets knocked out in the first round. He leaves the UFC, goes back to Pride and gets knocked out in the first round by 185-pound (Kazushi) Sakuraba.”
White continued, “I still bring him back into the UFC as a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” season three. He actually comes out looking like the (expletive) bad guy against Tito! Which is amazing. I don’t know how you (expletive) that up.
“So at the end of the show he has to fight Tito again. He gets knocked out so bad in the first round of this crazily hyped up Tito fight that the fans are actually pissed off. So I have to go back and make a third fight cause I think it’s the right thing to do, make good for the fans. So Ken gets another huge payday to fight the same guy over again for a fight that should have never happened again. Ken’s last 10 fights, he’s three wins and seven losses and he’s lost four fights in a row.
“The last time Ken Shamrock beat anyone even considered in the top ten was 13 years ago, in 1995, when he beat Dan Severn. This guy thinks that I (expletive) him? Give me a break. Nobody wants to see 43-year-old Ken Shamrock get beat up again.”
After reading Shamrock’s comments, White was caught off guard by the former UFC fighter’s words towards him and the organization that has featured him over the years.
“Now, I have never ever dissed Ken Shamrock,” White stated. “I actually always liked Ken and Ken and I always got along well. Where he’s coming up with this crazy (expletive) … he must be broke again.
“I’ve never said anything negative about Ken. So for Ken to come out of left field with psycho craziness and that I’ve lied to him and I’ve done this… I made Ken Shamrock a multi-millionaire again. I guarantee that didn’t happen over at the IFL.”
During his interview with MMAWeekly, Shamrock mentioned that he was involved in a lawsuit against the UFC due to his contract dispute. White says that is incorrect.
“Is he in a lawsuit with the UFC? No. His attorney sent a half page letter to us, which we’re responding to right now.”
With all the controversy surrounding Randy Couture’s recent exit from the UFC, White also talked about the differences in dealing with both the current UFC heavyweight champion and Ken Shamrock.
“Randy Couture has made millions of dollars with the UFC. But Randy Couture is the type of guy who has stepped up and performed. I mean Randy Couture has pulled off amazing things in this sport,” praised White. “He’s an incredible athlete, an incredible fighter, he’s an incredible human being. The things that he’s accomplished just make people go, ‘Wow, holy (expletive)!’
“The guy’s 44 (years of age) and fights like he’s 24. Ken Shamrock is 40-something and fights like he’s 50-something. So for Ken Shamrock to ever be chirping… I have made Ken Shamrock a millionaire. Me and Randy Couture helped make each other money. Big (expletive) difference.”
White also stated that he is tired of defending himself against every person in the industry that has harsh words for him.
“It’s like every time some guy’s going to pop up because he’s mad at me, what am I going to do? Keep running out here and making (expletive) statements?” he stated emphatically. “Keep running around and making statements every time someone says something bad about me? Listen, at the end of the day, I know exactly who I am and I know exactly how we treat our fighters. I can’t run around defending myself all the time.”