Although his performance against Robert Berry in March suggests otherwise, UFC hall-of-famer Ken Shamrock is convinced he has some fight left in him.
The 44-year-old Shamrock said he was walking away from MMA following his third loss in as many tries to Tito Ortiz in October 2006, but he came out of retirement in January by signing a multi-fight contract with EliteXC.
Had Shamrock beaten Berry at Cage Rage 25 in London three months ago, it's likely he, not James Thompson, would have received the call to fight Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson in the main event of EliteXC's CBS debut last month. Instead, Berry handled Shamrock with ease and knocked him out in the first round.
Despite the one-sided defeat, his fifth consecutive loss, Shamrock wants to hear the cage door close behind him once again.
"I'd like to get in there one more time and do a big one," Shamrock told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It'll help promote my gym, promote my business and help other fighters on my elite fighting team get out there and make some big fights. That's why I want to do it again, and I want to go out the way I want to go out. ... This is it, this is my last fight and go do it."
While Shamrock is currently focused on expanding his Lion's Den brand of gyms – a new facility opened earlier this month in Scottsdale, Ariz. – he expects to resume training in the next couple of months with an eye on that final fight.
A bout against his adoptive brother, Frank, has long been rumored. Earlier this year, the younger Shamrock raised capital for the brother-versus-brother showdown with a date in early 2009 in the works.
"I'd love for that to happen," said the elder Shamrock. "It's no secret there's been a rivalry between me and my brother and it's been going on for years. He's the one who called me out, and I said 'OK, let's do it.' But, he never stepped up. Forget about the talk and forget about the hype on this thing. 'If you're going to do it, shut up and do it.'"
Despite what appeared to be progress earlier this year toward making the fight, Shamrock says he has not seen any action on the part of his brother to line up the match, which would still have enough novelty to generate a measure of fan interest.
In the meantime, Shamrock is a free agent. The contract he signed with EliteXC in January expired 30 days after his fight with Berry when the promotion declined to pick up additional bouts. His short-lived stay in EliteXC stings a bit more after Shamrock watched Slice's performance against Thompson.
"Now that I saw the fight, I'm very disappointed," he said. "I didn't do what I needed to do to get that fight off. The last fight in England, I should have won it. Things happen, and I didn't win it. They did what they thought was best. It would have been a good match-up, but I have no complaints. I didn't do what I needed to do to get there."
As for his assessment of Slice, Shamrock feels EliteXC rushed him into prime time and that the former street brawler is too still green to be considered the future of the sport.
"He needs time to grow," Shamrock said. "He can be a good fighter, I think he just needs another year or so to get sharper on the ground and get this cardio better. This isn't like fighting in the backyard. He's got the great look, the great attitude, but he's just not ready."
MMAjunkie.com will have more on Shamrock and the growth of his Lion's Den fighting team in an upcoming edition of Fight Biz feature.