Ken Shamrock eyes final fight on his terms
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.
Salaverry Retires From Competition
Middleweight standout Ivan Salaverry (Pictures) has hung up his gloves for good and will no longer compete as a professional fighter. The decision came almost a month following his last bout -- a first-round submission loss to Rousimar Palhares (Pictures) at UFC 84 "Ill Will" in Las Vegas. Salaverry retires with a 12-7 career record.
"Basically, I am just not prioritizing fighting anymore," Salaverry told Sherdog.com. "Even though I love fighting and I had a great run and I enjoyed it, I've transitioned to other things. There are quite a few variables as to why I stepped away and not just one. I'm older now; I'm 37 and not 27. I also have some injuries that are just not recovering, too. And within that scope, I have my school and my two kids. Fighting is not just a priority anymore."
Salaverry's decision to step out of the spotlight shouldn't come as a surprise. His fight with Palhares was the last under his contract with Zuffa, parent company to the UFC, and the Seattle resident hinted beforehand that his performance against Palhares would greatly influence his next move.
Salaverry lost in surprising fashion to the highly touted Brazilian prospect via a deftly executed armbar, though the Chilean-born Canadian cites additional considerations that came into play with his decision to call it a day.
Anyone insistent that mixed martial arts has more in common with boxing than professional wrestling should learn their alphabet: UFC, IFL, WAMMA, etc.
Like the televised clown convention that is the WWE, the UFC has a stable of athletes unavailable for lending -- kind of like those musty reference books at the library.
That stands in sharp contrast to boxing's business model, which tends to acquiesce to fans' demands. Lennox Lewis was an HBO commodity. Mike Tyson was on Showtime's leash. Yet, the two networks understood that remaining contentious was just leaving money on the table.
With $106 million in the till, the Lewis-Tyson fight was the second most profitable pay-per-view of all time.
MMA's current problem is that no one -- fans, media or otherwise -- are demanding promoters to make important bouts before age and ring wear make them obsolete.
What follows is a list of fighters from disparate promotions that should swap leather before it's too late.
Tara LaRosa discusses record contract, Gina Carano
LEXINGTON, KY. -- It seemed that no sooner than the ink had dried on the American Fight League's contract with female MMA superstar Tara LaRosa (15-1) that rumors began to spread throughout the MMA community of a half-million-dollar price tag.
LaRosa told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Thursday that sum wasn't exactly true -- it could actually be worth more.
"I stand to make between 500,000 and 750,000 (dollars) depending on my performance and how I do with all of my fights," said LaRosa, now the sport's highest-paid female fighter.
Ken Shamrock Next Up For Frank Shamrock
Frank Shamrock on his next opponent:
"My goal for my next fight is to fight Ken, to fight my brother Ken, to have a brother versus brother match. I think that's a huge fight that everybody gets–easy to understand. You could use it as a huge promotional vehicle because it's got such a great hook in it, and I think it's just a huge fight, so I've been working hard on that one. First quarter of next year, I'll get it done."
‘MMA Legacy’ casting call for new reality series
Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, Calif., will host an open casting call on Monday, June 22 at 1 p.m. local time for a new reality show titled, “MMA Legacy.”
The idea behind the show is to give fans a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day lives of the people involved in mixed martial arts, whether it’s established up-and coming fighters, models and ring girls, and anyone else involved with the business side of the sport.
Jason Chambers — the host of the History Channel’s reality show “Human Weapon” — will be the executive producer of the show. Here are his thoughts on what exactly they’re looking for at the casting call:
The Case Against Counter Programming
What do you get when you mix one part Anderson Silva, one part free TV, and one part revenge?
A huge mistake on July 19th.
Originally rumored to be headlined by Wanderlei Silva or Brandon Vera or Wanderlei Silva AND Brandon Vera, Zuffa has thrown together a card featuring the 205 lb. debut of pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva. The card will also showcase Brandon Vera, a lightweight bout between Hermes Franca and Frank Edgar, and a heavyweight fight with prospects Jake O'Brien and Cain Velasquez.
The questions is, "Why?"
Attention Promoters: This Is How You Promote Local Mixed Martial Arts Shows
From an interview with Joseph Cavallaro, the promoter of the local Massachusetts show "World Championship Fighting":
Sherdog.com: Who is putting down money to come see your shows?
Cavallaro: It's funny because we need the hardcore mixed martial arts fans. We need that. We have to have a base of guys that read Sherdog, guys that go to all the fights. That's great. We definitely need to have them. I love them. I'm one of those guys; I fall into that category. But we need to get outside of that also and capture the people that may know who Chuck Liddell (Pictures) is and may see Rampage on TV, but they haven't actually been to a fight before.
MMA Down for the Count in New York...again!
A measure to legalize Mixed Martial Arts, AKA Ultimate Fighting, or Cage Fighting, is apparently down for the count in the Assembly Tourism committee after it looked like it didn’t have enough votes to move forward this afternoon.
Among those taking credit for the knockout was Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Colonie who argued that the state shouldn’t sanction a sport characterized larely by its brutality.
“We ban cockfighting and dog fighting — should we allow humans to enter a cage to knee, kick, and punch each other?” asked Reilly.
Last week Reilly had expressed concern that the measure might pass, given the big money and lobbying pressure involved here. But ultimately, the argument against it prevailed.
Ultimate Fighting Championship, the organization that promotes such activities, has been lobbying to get in New York since 2001.
It’s currently illegal in over 20 states, including New York, said Reilly.
Lindland Lays Down The LAW
U.S. Olympic Silver Medal Wrestler, Matt “The Law” Lindland would bring the same dogged determination that made him one of the world’s top professional mixed-martial-artists to a job in the Oregon House of Representatives.
The 38-year-old resident of Oregon City may be near the end of his fighting career, but his political life is just beginning. Recently winning the Republican nomination for House District 52 in Oregon, Lindland received 58-percent of the votes in the primary and has begun his campaign for the general election in the fall.
Oregon suffers from some of the worst unemployment rates in the country, and Lindland believes there’s a solution—if the state became competitive in the global marketplace, jobs would open in the private sector and the quality of life would improve for his prospective constituents. When it comes to building a world-class school system, the would-be Representative believes in shifting power from the bureaucracy to the teachers, parents and principals. Other key issues for him include changing land laws to make them fair to property owners, discontinuing government regulation of property values, and opposing tax increases.
MMA Fights In Tennessee Now Legal
Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday signed a bill that will pave the way for professional matches to be held in the state.
Until now, it was only legal to train in Tennessee.
One local gym is looking to hold large tournaments in front of 2,000 people as early as the fall. But first, the state has to set up a commission to regulate the fights.
"It was definitely a hurry up and wait. We pushed, we pushed, we pushed. We spearheaded this whole campaign to get this passed and now it's like, ‘Yes you're allowed but we don't really know what you're allowed to do yet,’” said Nashville MMA representative Jamie Bryant.
The Fight Network And Affliction Announce Partnership
The Fight Network and Affliction will team up in Toronto to announce some big news about the upcoming Affliction Banned event.
To learn more details about The Fight Network's coverage of the historic Affliction Banned MMA event and the All-World Caliber undercard on July 19th, please join us at a News Conference at the MMA Expo on Saturday, June 21st at 2 pm ET hosted by The Fight Network, North America and the UK's only all-combat sports channel, and Affliction, the premier fashion label for men who love hard rock and fast living.
Interview with 1st UFC Champion Royce Gracie
MMAyou.com had the opportunity to speak with a legend in Mixed Martial Arts when we interviewed the first UFC champion; Royce Gracie. Check out what Gracie has to say regarding rematches with Ken Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba, what’s he up to nowadays, Rickson Gracie appearing in the Incredible Hulk, and much more!
Arizona Adopts Unified MMA Rules
Chalk Arizona as another state that's joined the action:
Arizona joins Georgia and North Carolina as the latest states to adopt the unified rules for mixed martial arts combat. The Arizona bill was sponsored by Jonathan Paton, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. An intelligence officer for the U.S. Army Reserve, Paton became a fan of MMA during his infantry training in Fort Benning, Ga. When he returned to Arizona, he began working out at Arizona Combat Sports, one of the top professional gyms in the Southwest, which has produced such fighters as current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner (Pictures) and TUF 7 cast member C.B Dollaway.