I spoke with legendary fighter Ken Shamrock today. Ken is fighting on February 13 at the WarGods event, which is fittingly called the Valentine's Day Massacre. I spoke to Ken about the show, his fight and a whole lot more. TheGARV.com: Hey, Ken. This is quite a thrill for me. I've been following your career since UFC 1. I know you have a fight coming up next month. Who are you fighting? Ken Shamrock: I'm fighting Bo Cantrell. The original plan was to fight John Marsh but he couldn't get ready in time. So Bo Cantrell was another opponent that we also thought would be a good fight and he stepped up to the plate. So we're going to step up and fight Bo Cantrell on February 13th in Fresno, California. And it's going to be the Valentine's Day massacre, Friday the 13th. TheGARV.com: Sounds like a horror movie title Ken Shamrock: (Laughs) Yep. TheGARV.com: And you are co-promoting this show with WarGods, correct? Ken Shamrock: Right now, WarGods is the one promoting this fight, but KSP [Ken Shamrock Productions] is going to assist, because I'm fighting on the card. So we're looking down the road at doing a lot more co-promotions with them. TheGARV.com: I understand you've opened a new Fighter House in Reno. Ken Shamrock: Yeah, we have 4 guys there now and we have spots for six more. We're looking to fill the spots with some guys who are looking to do something in MMA. We've got some great opportunities for anyone that wants to come down and just train and focus their life on MMA. TheGARV.com: I remember the old Lion's Den, you put those guys through hell. You plan on doing that to these guys? Ken Shamrock: (Laughs) That's the thing. To get in you really got to be into MMA. These are the guys that really want to do it, not wasting your time with guys who think they want to do it. TheGARV.com: I talk to Frank Shamrock on a regular basis. Every time I speak with him, he talks about fighting you. Is that going to happen? Ken Shamrock: Well, as far as I'm concerned, yes. I've always said let's do it. For some reason it never happened. I'm all for it, man. I say put it together and let's do it. And I've always said that. So I'm in the same position I was in ever since this thing's been brought up the past four years. Put it together and let's do it. TheGARV.com: So it sounds like it could happen in 2009. Ken Shamrock: Yep. We're supposed to be moving forward on it, but the last I heard was my brother Frank saying that it's getting to difficult to put this thing together. So I have no idea what that means. I know for me, I don't see what's difficult about it. You put it together and you do it. TheGARV.com: Next time I talk to Frank, I'll ask him about that. Ken Shamrock: I'm sure that he'll find a reason that has nothing to do with him but it's all to do with me. And the bottom line is it doesn't really matter what's happening, a fight's a fight, put it together and fight. TheGARV.com: Well, since Frank and you both want it and the fans want it, no reason for it not to get done. Ken Shamrock: Absolutely right. TheGARV.com: You were supposed to fight Kimbo, but got cut and couldn't fight. Do you still want to fight him? Ken Shamrock: Oh yeah. You know, when someone turns their back on you and disrespects you and then you don't get a chance to put your fist in his face, it kind of lingers on with you. I felt he was disrespectful and I didn't get a chance to shut his mouth. So that's my position on it. I want to fight him and I want to smash his face. TheGARV.com: And this month we have Fedor fighting Arlovski. Do you think Fedor is the best heavyweight right now? Ken Shamrock: Absolutely. The only thing is they don't sell tickets. For some reason promotions have failed to get them guys in the spot light, and failed to get them guys recognized and known throughout the world. The promotions are not doing their jobs of getting these guys over. TheGARV.com: Unlike the UFC? Ken Shamrock: Absolutely. Let's face it. Everyone who has fought for the UFC has been able to get over and get popular. I did it pretty much all on my own, with the UFC as a catalyst or as a shuttle to the media. But there's one thing I knew; I knew how to market myself. I knew how to get myself out in front of the media and I knew how to position myself to make exciting fights. That's something that fighters need to learn. They need to learn that it's not just about the fight, it's also about entertainment. It's about the fans and about the fans wanting to watch you fight. You have to find out what people like about you. You gotta find it and bring it out. Because it is about entertainment when it comes to making money. When it comes to being a great fighter, that's between just you and it's a good feeling for you. But if you want to make a living at this business you've got to be able to go out and get the fans to want to watch you fight. TheGARV.com: I actually bought UFC 1 on PPV and I wasn't expecting much, but when Tuli's tooth went flying out of the Octagon, I knew this was for real. Ken Shamrock: Along with millions of other people (laughs). TheGARV.com: Exactly. Now, to me it seems that it was important in the history of MMA that Royce won that fight. What do you think would have happened if you beat him that night? Ken Shamrock: Well, I think it wasn't Royce Gracie winning [UFC 1], I think what really set the standard was exactly what you just said, was when Teila Tuli's teeth came flying out into the front row. I think if you would have had a fight--very first fight--and it was Royce Gracie and Art Jimmerson, and they would have seen that first, people would have crapped all over the place. They would have just turned the tv off. Because that's not what people were looking for. They were looking for exactly what happened, with the teeth flying. What happened first sent the tone for MMA, what it is today. Whether or not Royce Gracie won was irrelevant, I believe. I think that because the first fight was so brutal and so real, that's what set the stage for MMA. TheGARV.com: That's an interesting viewpoint. When I saw the tooth fly, I was like, this is different. Ken Shamrock: Because if it's Royce Gracie choking out Art Jimmerson, that's pro wrestling. People are going to look at it and go that wasn't real. Now, when [Gordeu] went out and kicked [Tuli] in the face, I'm sorry, but there's no way you can act that. So therefore, from that point on, when Royce Gracie went out there and choked out Art Jimmerson, it made it more believable. And when I did the ankle lock on Patrick Smith, it made it more believable to people that that really happened. Because of what happened first, they were thinking this shit is real. TheGARV.com: (Laughs) Oh man, those were the days. I remember you standing over Pat Smith after the sub and it looked like Pat kind of kicked your leg while he was still down. I thought you were going to go after him again. Ken Shamrock: That was pretty intense. (there was more here, but his signal broke up). TheGARV.com: You've fought since the beginning. Back in the day, there were no rules. Do you prefer no rules or do you like the rules in place now? Ken Shamrock: You know, I'm torn between both.  I don't like the rules because I like when two guys go in there that you settle it. No matter how it goes, whether you wait two hours to finish the fight, but either way a guy settles it. But that's just the purist, the fighter in the heart, not going to the judges and all that. But the other sense is me wanting to do it for a living, to make money at it. And that's why I'm torn. Because I know going the straight no holds, no time limit, you can be there forever and it just doesn't sell on TV. The other way sells on TV and that means I can still do what I love to do and make money at it. That's why kind of why I'm torn between the both. I'm a purist.  I want to make a living doing what I love doing. TheGARV.com: Are there still any old time UFC guys you want to fight? I know there was some bad blood between you and Tank, for example. Ken Shamrock: That's funny that you bring that up because Ken Shamrock and WarGods plan on doing that. I'm fighting this next Friday the thirteenth and I'm going to be fighting Bo Cantrell. And then in March in Reno, I'm going to be fighting Tank Abbott. TheGARV.com: Wow, that's been a grudge match I've been wanting to see for years. Awesome. Ken Shamrock: There's a lot of fans that have followed this for years, die hard fans, that want to see this and reminisce a little bit. TheGARV.com: For me personally, there was nothing like the excitement of those early UFCs. Ken Shamrock: Because you had strikers and you had grapplers and there were no guys that really cross trained because no one knew how to yet. So it was definitely disciplines going against each other and it was exciting to see that. TheGARV.com: Ken, this was great, much appreciated. Good luck against Bo Cantrell! Ken Shamrock: Thanks, brother.
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