by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
Ken Shamrock joined the guys of MMAWeekly’s SoundOff Radio Friday night to discuss his third–or second, depending on who you talk to–fight with Tito Ortiz, his future in the UFC, and whether or not he plans for this fight with Ortiz to be the last of his career.
Ken Shamrock has held many titles in his last 13 years as a professional MMA fighter. Some of Ken’s fans know him as ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” others know him as the man in charge of founding ‘The Lion’s Den,’ and still more know him as an MMA legend and member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
But anyone who has watched the UFC in the past few years may know Ken Shamrock best as arch nemesis to ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy,’ Tito Ortiz.
Shamrock and Ortiz have already faced each other in the Octagon twice, with both wins going to Ortiz, but the long-time rivalry between these two men is still burning. Ortiz beat Shamrock soundly at UFC 40, and it seemed to many that as both men walked out of the Octagon that night, the rivalry would at last be finished.
Shamrock and Ortiz’s second fight was one that was riddled with controversy, thanks to an apparent early stoppage by referee Herb Dean. Ortiz took Shamrock to the mat and began throwing big elbows from inside Ken’s guard. After about five or six unanswered elbows, Herb Dean jumped in and stopped the contest. Shamrock jumped up almost instantaneously to object. Many of the fans in the live audience began booing the fighters and even throwing debris into the Octagon to show their disapproval of the outcome. Some fans even believed that it was a ploy by the UFC to stop the fight quickly so a third one could be set up, just for the sake of money.
Shamrock wanted no part of this conjecture, so he made the decision to retire…
Then he was approached with the idea of giving fans a fight on free TV at UFN 7. Shamrock jumped at the opportunity to give the fans what they wanted.
Ken said, “I want to give this back to the fans. What they paid to see the second time, they didn’t get to see…they’re going to see it this time.”
Ken will get his final opportunity this Tuesday night to settle this ongoing feud with Ortiz. A win over Tito would seem to allow Shamrock the ability to retire–if he chooses to–in peace.
Shamrock said of his and Ortiz’s last fight, “Last time I don’t believe they gave us an opportunity to decide the fight between the two fighters, you know. We went in there and I hit him, he clenched and took me down and he hit me, and they stopped the fight, so we didn’t really get to fight. We didn’t really get to see what the outcome would have been, so people say that this is Ken and Tito III, and I don’t believe that. I think that this is Ken and Tito number two, continuation,” said Shamrock.
Ken also commented on what it’s like being on free TV instead of PPV.
“I think that PPV is nice because it’s segmented out, and you all have certain times that you go on and there’s really no waiting. With TV, you know, you have commercials and you have different things that you’ve got to abide by. But the big selling thing to me was the fact is that the fans are going to get it for free, and so therefore it doesn’t matter whether there are commercials or some layovers or whatever,” said Shamrock.
Ken also responded to the rumors flying around that say he is going to retire after his fight Tuesday night.
Ken said, “I haven’t really even made a decision one way or the other. I think where it [the rumor] is coming from is that I was going to retire after this last fight with Tito, because I felt that there wasn’t a place for me in the UFC. Because of the way I was portrayed on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ and then them stopping the fight at such an early stoppage, I felt like, you know, I just don’t feel like there’s any love there, you know. Maybe I don’t belong here anymore, because I’m not getting that welcome and I’m not getting a fair shake,” said Shamrock.
When asked whether or not he believed that he was portrayed accurately on TUF Season 3 Shamrock replied quickly and assertively.
Shamrock then said, “There’s no question our team got beat, but it just seems to me that the way the show goes that they’ve got to have a good guy, and they’ve got to have a bad guy. It seems to me like they’re trying to build Tito’s image, trying to get him back in there. He’s going to be in there a lot longer than me, he is the future, and I felt like they used me as a tool to build Tito.”
Shamrock also said that there is a possibility that he could coach in the IFL, but there are no specific plans as of yet for him to do so.
Tuesday, October 10, will be the trilogy that finally ends one of the longest running feuds in MMA today. If Ortiz wins, he proves that he is without a doubt the superior fighter. If Shamrock wins, he throws a wrench in the entire UFC light-heavyweight division. It seems like almost everyone is counting Shamrock out…except Shamrock.
“I’m supposed to get beat, so if I get beat I get beat; but what happens if I don’t get beat? They’re going to have to eat some crow,” said Shamrock.