by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Renzo Gracie is one of the greatest ambassadors in mixed martial arts and on tonight he looks to conquer the always boisterous Frank Shamrock. Elite XC is making their mark in MMA by having the first event ever on Showtime.
The bout was in doubt at one point when Strikeforce filed a suit against Frank Shamrock for breach of contract. Nevertheless, Strikeforce and EliteXC were able to come to terms and the fight is on. Renzo wasn’t worried anyway. “I knew if Frank wasn’t able to fight, I would fight him in the future. I knew they would find me a replacement and that I would fight.”
Renzo is riding a two fight win streak over Carlos Newton and Pat Miletich, but is he ready for Frank Shamrock? “I was born ready from day one, let me tell you,” said Gracie recently on MMAWeekly Radio. There has been speculation about animosity between the Shamrock and Gracie family that stems back to Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie back at UFC 1. Renzo dismisses any of those rumors. In fact, he has nothing but praise when speaking of the Shamrock family. “In reality, I have no bad feelings toward no Shamrock. I have nothing but admiration for them.”
Having been busy with his team in the IFL and his school in Manhattan, Renzo’s focus is back on fighting full time. “Definitely, I’m having a blast. For the first time since I moved to the United States, I’m able to just train.” Being able to train full time is something that Renzo hasn’t had the opportunity to do in the last couple years. With Gracie training full time and being the more active fighter, this should be Frank Shamrock’s most difficult challenge in years. While Shamrock is always in great shape, training is not fighting. No matter the outcome, this is an epic battle between two extremely well known fighters and is a landmark in the sport of MMA with it being the first event ever on Showtime.
Whether Renzo Gracie wins or loses this fight, his career is far from over. With his affiliation as a coach and fighter with the IFL, he assured MMAWeekly that he will be fighting there again. “I will definitely fight for the IFL again.” But Renzo doesn’t fight for glory. “I’m not looking for prestige; I’m not looking to be the best ever. I’m doing it because I enjoy it.”
With all of the rumors about New York being one of the next places to sanction MMA, Renzo is chomping at the bit to fight in “The Garden”. “My greatest dream is to fight in Madison Square Garden. It’s a block away from my academy.”