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Ken Shamrock looked old last night

Back in the day, I was the biggest Ken Shamrock mark on the planet. In high school, I literally believed he was the “World’s Most Dangerous Man.” I went to three different high schools, and at this one, there were a bunch of martial arts posers. They’d say stuff like, “My master is a tenth-degree black belt” or “My Sensei once killed a man in competition.”

They’d also debate whether Jean Claude Van Damme or Steven Segal would win in a fight or whether Jackie Chan could hang with Bruce Lee in a real fight. Normally I’d keep my mouth shut but at a certain point I’d interject my belief that Shamrock would kill them all. Hey, I was in high school and a Shamrock mark, so cut me some slack.

Having been such a big Shamrock fan at one point, it was very difficult watching him lose last night to Robert “Buzz” Berry during SHOWTIME’s telecast of Cage Rage 25. Forget about beating Lee, Segal, or Ralph Macchio, Shamrock can’t even beat a dude named Buzz Berry.

Ken has to do what he feels he needs to do, and if the man needs to cash a few more paychecks, then he’s earned that right. However, I would really like to see him walk away as a competitive fighter because he’s looked awful in televised fights vs. Rich Franklin, Tito Ortiz, and now Berry. He’s looked so bad that I really feel it is tarnishing his legacy. When a younger fan hears that in his prime that Shamrock was once the best in the world, their estimation of MMA/NHB from back in the day must be shit.

I don’t know how else to say; Ken Shamrock looked old last night. He had a lot of trouble moving (he looked about as mobile as “Big Baby” Glenn Davis before he lost the weight) and he was out boxed last night by a guy in Berry whose boxing is mechanically flawed. Berry was punching from a low slot last night, which makes a fighter prone to getting knocked out because a superior puncher can just punch over top. Seeing Shamrock lose like that was tough to swallow.

But the bigger story here is that EliteXC managed to blow a potentially big main event between Kimbo Slice and Shamrock. According to Shamrock, the fight was being talked about.

“The groundwork has already been laid, and we talked about it,” Shamrock is quoted as saying during a recent news update posted on The Fight Network’s website. “I think he is a phenomenal puncher and a big, strong individual. He’s got a lot of ability, man. But I also know he’s very young in the sport, and there are a lot of things he doesn’t know. Hopefully, I can exploit some of them.”

With Shamrock refusing to abandon his ground game, Slice would have been a certain victor. Slice vs. Shamrock would have been a perfect CBS main event and a way to build Slice’s resume against a non-threatening opponent. What was the point of booking Shamrock vs. Berry in the first place?

Announcers Mauro Ranallo and Stephen Quadros pitched the idea at the end of SHOWTIME’s telecast of Cage Rage 25 of Berry being a potential candidate to fight Slice. I think Berry seems like a natural next step for Slice, however, when Slice beats him, who is going to care? What kind of drama can you build behind a Slice vs. Berry fight?

Personally, I think EliteXC should consider signing a main event between Slice and Sean Gannon for the first CBS show. Granted, most of EliteXC’s audience will have never heard of Gannon, but because of his past win over Kimbo in an unsanctioned fight, you have a selling point that you can present to potential viewers.

In an MMA-rules match, my money would be on Kimbo to take that fight. He’s simply a much better fighter at this point than when he fought Gannon the first time. In the end though, the biggest issue will be money. Several promoters have tried to book an MMA-rules fight between Kimbo and Gannon and each time the deal breaker was Gannon’s asking price.

  • Kelvin says:

    I too was(still am) a Shamrock fan…I wish he would stop fighting.

  • ROBERT says:

    when Kimbo fought Gannon it was suppost 2 b a street boxing match, if a person gets knock down they have 30 second 2 get up.but Gannon started throwing knees and choked kimbo thats why kimbos people kept getting in the middle. watch any other fight of kimbo and u will c that it a street boxing match.

  • Gygax says:

    Its gonna be Berry vs Slice. Even Berry was quoted as saying how Gary Shaw told him after the fight that he was going to make Berry a superstar. That means a fight against Kimbo. Thanks a lot Gary. As Sam said, Shamrock should have never been in that fight last night if they were hoping to use him against Kimbo.

    Just great. MMA finally makes network TV, and we may end up with a main event that is one step above Art Dore’s Toughman fights. Wonderful.

    That was Berry’s first win against a “name”. He has 12 wins, and last night marked just the 3rd win against a fighter with a .500 or better record.

    As a HUGE fan of Shamrock, I too hope Ken hangs it up. Its simply over for this MMA pioneer.

  • Adam says:

    I agree with what Sam said about Ken needing to cash a check…. If he needs the money at this point in his career…who are we to tell him otherwise???

  • jaydog says:

    Maybe we should hold an intervention and let Ken know that he’s not just hurting himself by fighting, but all of his fans and family as well. Okay, maybe not one family member. Frank Shamrock sees a big payday and another cake walk in his aging brother. Do yall think maybe Ken’s loss last night will mean the fight with Frank is off? Let’s hope.

  • darkmetal says:

    The Shamrock/Berry fight was certainly intended to be an easy win for the “Most Dangerous Man Alive” (he needs to drop this title already) but Shamrock simply no-longer has the tools to deliver.

    Some can blame the age, but as we know fighters like Randy Couture have done well regardless of age. The key is evolving, and Shamrock is fighting by the same rules he has always followed in an MMA world that has vastly improved. Were he 10 years younger, he would also probably lose.

    Shamrock is a fighter that refuses to train in modern ways. He fails to train with the intensity of current fighters. He has not improved his tactics or become a master of BJJ, although he has had the years of experience to do so.

    Ken Shamrock is simply riding the coat-tails of his early years in the UFC, and this will not win him fights, only make him into the world’s best paid punching bag.

    To be “Shame-rocked”:

    Old fighter who comes out and is taken seriously for having been good at one time in his career, only to be shamed by who should be a much lesser fighter.

    ie: Tank Abbott was “Shame-rocked” by Kimbo Slice

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Jay, even with the loss, I think enough people will still be interested in seeing two brothers fight. However, is the amount enough to do more than 100,000 on PPV? It may be something that gets relegated to SHOWTIME or CBS. But if that’s the case, then Ken and Frank will still need to get paid and how do you pay them big money when you don’t have PPV revenue coming in?

    Speaking for myself, I have no interest now in that fight because after last night I can’t envision a single scenario in which Ken would be able to pull an upset off. I think if the two fought, Frank would hurt Ken bad.

  • Evan says:

    The only value he really has left is Ken Vs Frank. Unless you simply want to serve him up to get KO’d.

  • Hey Sam.. so you think Kimbo vs Gannon is a good fight? What is wrong with booking and promoting developing talent? You know, talented but not well known young people who work hard and deserve a chance to catch the public’s eye. Not sure why you are so intent on dreaming up the ideal freakshow type matchups Sam.

    If Kimbo is real let him fight real fighters… thass all.

  • mofsteel says:

    I agree, Shamrock looked bad last night and I kind of felt sorry for him and really hope he hangs it up. As far as Kimbo goes I think Buzz would be he toughest opponent to date but he would still TKO round one. Forgot his name but they need to give kimbo the black guy that was on the last fight card with him that had the mohawk.

  • Evan says:

    And this is the last guy Tito beat…

  • I’m with you on this one Sam…I miss the glory days…perhaps so does Ken…which could explain why he keeps chasing after them…

  • mike says:


    -w/people like gary shaw and yamma pit fighting the ufc has nothing to worry about.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    LOL. I love these posts with disproportionate anger. Way to over-react!

    BTW, I don’t call myself anything. I live that up to everyone to decide for themselves on an individual basis. If you respect my work — great! If not, then no problem.

  • mike wolfe says:

    No. 12

    Good point, Evan. Put a microphone in Tito’s face and he’ll still blame everything on Dana White and talk about how he’s disrespected.

    As far as Ken is concerned, he tried to out strike a guy who was bigger, stronger, and who had a significant reach advantage. Not much of a game plan. He really does look like a guy who’s best days are way behind him.

  • mike says:

    it was more out of shock, not anger. honestly, i read your blog because i feel you are at the forefront of getting MMA information to the reader. as a true mma fan, id rather see the main event be yves edwards vs kj noons or lawler vs baroni even. the first network card should look more like the next Ult Fight Night that the circus. in my honest opinion, i feel the UFC/Dana hate has gotten out of control. is he perfect, NO, no one is. yet he consistently puts on great fights and amazing entertainment. does anyone not think any other promoter, hell any person if they were in danas postition would not act in similiar fashion. THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES!

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Mike, so you’re going to stop reading the site because you disagreed with an opinion of mine? Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?

  • mike says:

    and as a person in the media u should want to associated w. words like respectable and fair. dont underestimate your influence.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Mike, but in addition to being a reporter, I’m also a columnist. When I write a column, I take a position and express an opinion. Some people will agree with the position and some won’t. Those who don’t agree can either debate it and move on, or just move on. It’s not worth getting bent out of shape whenever someone doesn’t happen to see the world in the same manner you do.

  • Zantetzuken says:

    Forums and even the internet in general is based solely on opinion, so get off Sam’s nads.

  • mike wolfe says:

    Yikes. What an unpleasant metaphor.

  • Sergio says:

    Personally, I think a Kimbo/Gannon main event is a horrible, horrible idea.

    Does that make Sam any less of a journalist or make my respect level for him drop at all?

    No. We just have differing opinions on a subject.


  • robnashville says:

    “Mike, so you’re going to stop reading the site because you disagreed with an opinion of mine? Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”

    it’s not that extreme…. i stopped reading the site for 3 or 4 months after the whole sam hates rio heroes but takes money from them at the same time deal. if you don’t respect someone’s integrity you will tend to find little value in what they have to say. I’ve started reading again but not nearly as often as i used to.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Rob, you’re just a hater. If you’ve got some sort of personal bias against me, that’s fine. But it’s kind of funny that you’ve had so many negative things to say about 5 Oz. in public on this site and others yet you keep coming back.

  • mike says:

    im obv not going to stop reading but i was blown away by your opinion. like i stated b4 i think ur the best at separating rumor from fact. but kimbo vs gannon on cbs? why not just trot ken out there again (im sure many of the viewers that night will have never heard of cage rage) if all u want is to see kimbos hand raised in the end? have we learned anything about him except he cant wait to smoke after the fight. i respect his work ethic and his personality is undeniable and i love his humility but i want to see him work from his back, try for a submission all that good stuff. fighters can show progress in losses. cmon sam…. elite/kimbo will never gain traction w/ that offering. i know its free, but cmon.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    You’re shocked that I think EliteXC should promote a match featuring its signature star against the lone man who has ever been documented as having beaten him? The same man that many of Kimbo’s Internet fans will recognize the name of because they’ve watched the fight multiple times on YouTube?

  • mike wolfe says:

    Kimbo/Gannon wouldn’t be interesting outside the still small MMA community. And how could CBS hype the rematch? Their first fight was an underground brawl that was posted on the internet. Does CBS really want to associate its name with that? Does it want to equate its MMA brand with that?

    If CBS is serious about MMA, they have to develop talent and shows with much wider appeal. Hardcore MMA fans will watch anyway, even if it’s just so they can critique it later.

  • mike says:

    cmon. kimbo would kill him now. the training is EVERYTHING. i dont need to see it in a cage and i think MMA is better than that now. let me ask u, brock vs kimbo who takes it? i think brock would double leg him and gnp him to ref stoppage in 1 minute. forget even brock, how bout someone like cain velazquez? i mean can actual fighters be given headliner status…not sean gannons and bobb sapps. i feel putting kimbo w. these guys is a lack of respect for him even.

  • Ross says:

    So to the people who think slice/gannon isn’t the answer then what is? Who will you put infront of Kimbo for the first CBS show. Keep in mind you want someone who will be recognizable but at the same time inexpensive. You want someone who will put people infront of the TV but not someone who will make your cash cow look bad. Sometimes you cant have it both ways- great fight on paper and a fight that helps to put you on the same platform of the UFC. UFC started as a circus and look where it is now.

  • Mike Rome says:

    I think Kimbo/Gannon would be a bad thing for MMA in general. I am actually a huge fan of spectacle in MMA, like Sam, and that’s why I’m so disappointed EXC blew its big chance for a huge first rating with this idiotic Shamrock fight. I don’t think people realize that if the first show bombs, CBS will stop advertising it and it will fade quietly as a mocked disaster, a la the XFL. If the main event of the first CBS show is a high quality KJ Noons title defense, the show will do like a 1.5 and MMA will be stigmatized as a failure for years. In order to get high quality MMA on broadcast TV, you need the spectacle to bring the viewers in.

    I don’t really know who they should go for at this point. They really need a main event that captures attention, and not the negative attention the Gannon fight would capture.

  • Mike Rome says:

    How about Kimbo v. Royce Gracie? I realize the weight thing would be an issue, but that could even be a big selling point given Gracie’s past.

  • mike says:

    Kimbo vs Takyama LOL

  • Cabelo says:

    come on people……the marketing potential!
    KimboBerry flavoured energy drinks, KimboBerry cerela….the list goes on! (ok, so it doesn’t go on.)

    I’m kinda suprised no one even postulated the idea of Kimbo vs Tito Ortiz. both names have huge draw, as we saw from the results of Lidell vs Ortiz 2’s PPV performance, and Tito really does present a legitimate threat to Kimbo. Tito has publicy stated that this fight with Machida is his last, that he’s done with the UFC, and that seems to be an indicator that he’s been chatting with Gary Shaw.

  • Mike Rome says:

    Yeah, but we’re talking about April 26, well before Tito becomes available.

  • Rich S. says:


    lol.. kinda reminds me of Jiu Jitsu Guy!

  • Sam Caplan says:

    How perfect would James Thompson have been?

  • islandguy666 says:

    I like it here.. I just disagree sometimes…

  • Cabelo says:

    ah Mike Rome, trumpin’s me with dates and times and other such trivial information…….

    Thompson would’ve been a great fit, big name, and man, I would pay just to see thompson run across the ring at Kimbo….it’d be something akin to a head-on collision between two trains. Although I’m damn sure Kimbo’d knock him out. Thompson’s got a very suspect chin.

    Antonio Silva could be an interesting fight, although he really doesn’t have the name recognition that they’re going to need for CBS, and I have a feeling he’d find a way to get slice to the ground and eventually pull the sub. Although you wouldn’t have thought so from the rodriguez fight. That’s what torn ligaments do i guess…..

  • Atom says:

    Anyone else think that fight looked staged? It kind of looked like Ken took a fall. Granted Berry did catch him, but as the second blow came Ken turned away from it and just kind of fell to the floor. Once there he just balled up and didn’t try to defend himself. To me it looked like he wasn’t hurt and took a fall. Not implying anything, just stating that’s what it looked like. I love MMA and would hate for this to be true.

  • screwface says:

    cant believe how off topic this has become, i clicked this link expecting to see intelligent comments regarding shamrocks defeat. i kinda wanted to see shamrock vs shamrock before cage rage 25. but now that i saw how ez it is to dismantle ken, i could care less about that fight. ken needs to retire now, hes only going to end up hurting his gym in the long run and thats all he has left once said and done. i know i wouldnt want training from him if he keeps getting his ass handed to him in 1st round stoppages.

  • Atom says:

    Let me add that I agree Ken got out boxed and he lost fair and square, he is past his prime and as a Ken fan I hope he does hang it up soon. I was stating a simple opinion of how I, in addition to being out boxed saw the fight. Ken among others paved the way for the movement that is MMA and I will respect him for that forever.

  • Mike Rome says:

    Alright, final idea: They should get Tommy Morrison and try to sell this show as Boxing v. MMA. It would get a lot of mainstream press that way, and might create enough interest to do a big number. I know it’s hardly good for MMA as a whole, but it’s better than a ratings disaster.

  • mike says:

    is it just me or did colossus look a little more colossul in the eastern hemishpere?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “is it just me or did colossus look a little more colossul in the eastern hemishpere?”

    I felt the complete opposite. I thought he looked smaller.

  • treebranch says:

    In my opinion, everybody is missing the point here. Is Slice/Gannon a big draw for MMA? No. Is it a big draw for EliteXC? Yes. There is not a lot of talent in the orginization. Their top draw is a street fighter who has 2 professional fights under his belt. They were expecting to have a “big main event” between this guy and a old, washed up fighter who was embarrassed out of the UFC. Now, Shamrock loses against a little known fighter, and now Berry is going to be the next big name “star”? Get real. This orginization has no talented fighters. The only way to draw the public in is to feed off of rivalries and/or big name talent. They tried to set up Slice/Shamrock and it would have sold tickets but Gary Shaw screwed it up by having Shamrock fight Berry. Every fan of MMA knows that Shamrock has been washed up for years, but they would have paid to see the fight on name recognition alone. Look at Slice/Abbott. But Gary Shaw showed his inexperience and/or stupidity and scheduled a fight first. Now, all he has is the rivalry angle. People will buy this fight even though it is not headliner quality. If it is true that the only reason Slice/Gannon rematch has not taken place because Gannon’s asking price has been too high, who’s laughing now? The EliteXC will pay Gannon a huge amount to make this fight happen because…this is all they have left.

  • mike says:

    sam, eastern hemishere is japan. were in the western hemishpere :-)

  • JacRabbit says:

    Kimbo vs. Gannon would be a great seller pre CBS. But now? Nahhh, the way that they would need to market that fight would start MMA on CBS off with their foot in a bucket. The overall image of what is to come for the average viewer would be greatly skewed. Many would hate/love right after the first show. Best bet would be something like Shamrock vs. Shamrock. Both names are recognizable and easy to market in a not so bad light (at least as compared to Kimbo/Gannon).


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