Dave Meltzer has an awesome story about Frank Shamrock in the aftermath of his fight with Cung Le, and it’s so full of interesting facts that I can’t pick one to quote … hell, I couldn’t even pick two or three! Heres’ some of the best parts with commentary:
But what can’t be debated is that there isn’t another fighter in the business who is better at marketing himself. The Shamrock-Le match at the HP Pavilion in San Jose gave Shamrock main event spots in two of the three largest paid attendances ever in North America for a mixed martial arts event.
But he did so without the television exposure or the ticket selling value of the UFC name.
This is pretty damned impressive, although to be fair Frank has been working on developing himself in San Jose for years and years and years, and that’s on top of the fame he acheived from his time in the UFC as well as the fame he gets just from sharing the last name of another UFC legend. I still wonder how many people went to that first big Shamrock vs Gracie fight expecting Ken vs Royce instead of Frank vs Cesar.
Still, you can’t argue that no one knew the score for Shamrock vs Le. The guy has turned himself into a ticket selling machine!
The Le fight left Shamrock with several gruesome souvenirs: the big cast on one arm; what appeared to be the world’s largest blood blister covering most of his left forearm, also from blocking Le’s kicks; nine staples near the top of his head from another kick and a discolored left eye as his souvenirs. But Le also took plenty of physical damage in a fight that took him from being a local star to a national one.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, holy fuck … discolored eye? Again, I’ve mocked Cung Le because he tends to take several rounds and 100+ kicks to finish the job, but goddamn … that’s some serious damage inflicted there!
If Shamrock can book his future, which he always tries to do, it’ll be a fight with adopted brother Ken Shamrock, the “Blood Brothers” pay-per-view concept that he and Elite XC promoter Gary Shaw have been talking about for months, followed by a rematch with Le.
Even though Ken Shamrock looked shot in his March 8 loss in London, England, to unheralded heavyweight Robert “Buzz” Berry, Frank believes the platform of reaching a completely new audience on CBS can still make the fight big. He recognizes the need for the right television vehicle like a reality show for both to tell their stories, plus the uniqueness of two brothers who were pioneers in the sport and had many ups and downs with each other in the process. And while it’s been years since Ken has looked good in a fight, he’s one of Frank’s legitimate rivals in the ability to sell a fight.
“He can talk the fight up big, but then he doesn’t deliver,” said Frank. “It’s like a girl who’s a tease.”
I didn’t think the Shamrock-Shamrock fight was dead … as soon as Frank started up the steroid rumors, it pretty much confirmed that he was ramping up the animosity to keep people interested in the prospect of a fight. Oh, and I’m sure he was also venting a bit over the value that was lost when Ken got punked by some nobody.
Still, the Shamrock brothers fight still has legs. Frank is smaller than Ken, and Ken is better on the ground. And Frank does dumb things that make him lose from time to time. Then again, so does Ken. All in all, I would still tune in.