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The past, present and future of Frank Shamrock

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.

  • Carcass

    ‘Discoloured eye’ probably refers to either:
    a) a subconjunctival haemorrhage
    b) a periorbital haematoma (‘a black eye’)

    Both of which are pretty normal in moderate head trauma. Subconjuntival haemorrhage just means bleeding in the white of the eye – it’ll just be looking all bright red and nasty. It goes yellow after a week or two then fades away.

  • MadMan

    It would be a great fight. I think both Shamrocks would take their game to a whole different level to
    win this one. Their ego’s would allow nothing less.

    Ultimate Warriors: The Shamrocks–

  • clint notestine

    We need a Shamrock bothers car paint off. Seriously though Frank got his ass beat by a flashy Vietnamese guy. Has to the ass beat of the year so far but was still just a one sided kick boxing match.

  • fightlinker

    They should put Le vs Barry for the new owner of “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” moniker

  • Higgz

    Frank losing against Le makes the “Blood Brothers” fight more interesting and more marketable.

    I can see the marketing now, “They’re both coming off losses and need to get their careers back on track…blah blah blah…enter Frank’s assertion of still being the greatest fighter in the world–here–and Ken saying he’ll beat the ‘LIVING DEATH’ out of Frank–here–”

    Let’s face it. Ken could lose 100 fights and we’d still watch this one. I wouldn’t PAY to watch it, but, I’d definitely endure CBS commercials to see it (actually I’d get up to get more food while they’re on but don’t tell the CBS execs that).

  • MadMan

    It would be a great fight. Both Shamrocks would take
    their game to a different level to win this one. Their ego’s wouldn’t allow anything less!

    Ultimate Warriors: The Shamrocks

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    I told you that Cung Le is serious business. Everyone says that he lacks knock out power. It doesn’t matter. Cung Le will FUCK YOU UP. Even if it takes many kicks to do it, those kicks are damaging. He has a 100% KO/TKO rate so at the end of the day, he gets the job. He’ll beat you into a TKO stoppage, end up cutting you with his strikes (which happened once) or brutally injure you. Personally I’d rather see Cung Le fuck a guy up for awhile than see a flash KO but maybe that’s me. One of the more annoying things in MMA besides Lay n Pray bore decisions and a Tim Sylvia fight are flash knockouts that happen way too prematurely before a fight got interesting. That’s one of the main complaints I get from boxing fans who criticize MMA. If anything, I was hoping for Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock to go on longer but he fucked up Frank’s arm so what can you do?

    As for Ken vs Frank, I think they should go on with this PPV. This should be Ken Shamrock’s last fight before retirement. Hopefully Frank Shamrock doesn’t kill or cripple old Ken.


    I’m not sure about Ken being better on the ground at this point. I mean, neither one of them have exactly been submission machines of late. Anyway, I’d definitely watch this, but no way would I pay for it. Maybe if we’re lucky we can get a double KO, or maybe a double knee-explosion from heel hooks.

  • fightlinker

    Yeah, but you might get worse at striking as you get older but you just get more experienced in submissions. Ken has been a catch wrestler for freaking years … big question i suppose is if he kept up with it all or if he just stopped bothering to do anything but hit the gym


    Hasn’t Frank been a catch wrestler for freaking years too? And it definitely looks like he’s kept up his grappling from the training videos I’ve seen.

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    They are both catch wrestlers, Ken trained Frank after all. Though Ken Shamrock was the more accomplished catch wrestler while Frank Shamrock was the more well-rounded brother. Ken Shamrock was a champion in Pancrase (which was mostly catch wrestling then. A shoot version of pro wrestling really) and the UFC champ when grapplers ruled MMA. Frank Shamrock evolved beyond his catch wrestling base and became a more well-rounded mixed martial artist. Frank Shamrock was awesome. Easily one of the top three UFC Light Heavyweight (then considered Middleweight) Champions of all time in my opinion. Just imagine what Frank could have accomplished if he stayed in the sport like Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture did.

    There’s a lot of bitching about Fedor fighting cans but Frank Shamrock taking off after beating Tito and never challenging himself again was a lot more disappointing in my opinion. Frank walked away from the sport when he was still 26. At least Fedor was 30 when he last fought a top 10 heavyweight and his legacy is second to none.