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.