by Jeff Cain
Since losing to Rich Franklin on the season finale of The Ultimate Fighter, Ken Shamrock has been a very busy man. The UFC Hall of Famer and Mixed Martial Arts legend is in the twilight of his fighting career, but his future in the fighting business remains bright. These days Shamrock wears many hats. He’s a fighter, trainer, promoter, manager, and now has his own reality television show. Ken spoke with MMAWeekly about his changing role in MMA, but isn’t ready to hang up the gloves just yet.

“They’re going to have to shove me out the door in a wheelchair probably man. I love to fight man. I love to train. I’m going to continue to fight as long as they accept me to fight….but I am going to move in a direction of being a promoter, and a direction of training fighters. That’s something that I will want to do for a very long time, and I will be able to do for a very long time, so yeah I’m moving in that direction when they do force me out.” Shamrock told MMAWeekly.

Ken was asked if he was done with his UFC contract. He answered, “Right now I’m a free agent. My last fight was Rich Franklin…I have some good opportunities that have come my way with the fighting, and so wait and see how those are going to pan out. Once I figure out what goes on with those other, different organizations that have expressed interest and I’ll definitely come out with it, but my interest, right now, definitely I want to fight Tito Ortiz. That’s the one I want, and we’ll see what happens.”

One fight offered to Shamrock was Randy “The Natural” Couture. When asked about it, Ken commented, “Actually them asking you to fight, and them actually making it happen are two different things. You know? They want to go hey you want to fight? It will be a great fight. Yeah lets do it. OK, well this is what we’re going to pay you. What? [laughs] They want something for nothing, and it can’t happen. You know? They’ve got to take care of the fighters.” He continued, “I’m not getting any younger. I want to fight. I enjoy what I’m doing, but I’m not going to do it for free.”

Ken added, “I’m a fighter, and I love to fight. I have no grudges against anybody when I fight, and the same with Tito. I let it go after I fought him, and you know of course he doesn’t know when to shut his mouth, so he just brings it right back up again. With Randy, or Chuck, or anybody else, it doesn’t matter to me. I’ll step in, and I’ll fight them, and I’ll win. I’ll do the best I can to win, and after the fight is over I’ll shake his hand. It’s done. It’s over.”

As a promoter, “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” teamed up with Valor Fighting to put on “Home of The Brave,” over the weekend. The live Mixed Martial Arts event took place in Susanville California, where Ken grew up, and where he has relocated. The turn out was good, 1500-2000 people in attendance. The show was a success by all accounts, and future events are being planned.

“The New Lion’s Den” is Ken’s new reality television show. The first tryouts were held the day after “Home of The Brave,” on July 3rd. Commenting on his reality show, Ken said, “MMA is probably different than any other sport. When you go into this thing, you can’t go in and just be a tough guy. I mean because you’ll get choked out, or arm barred, or leg locked. You know? There’s just so many ways to lose, so you’ve got to be trained. You’ve got to have some skills, so by watching the reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, is outstanding because immediately they’re building some fresh new faces. Immediately. The reality show that we’re trying to put together will build quickly some fresh new faces, and I think the more that we get those type of things the more that Mixed Martial Arts will grow.”

The premise of the show is to follow aspiring fighters path from trying out for the Lion’s Den, training, their progression as a fighter, and ultimately competing. Ken stated, “This is open to anybody, and all they’ve got to do is send their applications in to P.O. Box 400 Susanville, California 96130. That’s where they can send their information, and make sure they give us all their information, phone numbers, faxes, emails, and we will get back with them, and let them know when the next tryouts are.”

Ken Shamrock has made his mark on Mixed Martial Arts as a fighter. With the forming of the New Lion’s Den, and his reality show, Shamrock’s mark on the sport covers all aspects of the fighting game; fighter, promoter, trainer, manager. Ken Shamrock has become a Mixed Martial Arts icon. Stay tuned to MMAWeekly for more on Shamrock’s new team, and inside information on the tryouts.