Ken Shamrock can boast a rare accomplishment among MMA champions: one of very few men in North America to enjoy successful careers in both pro wrestling and mixed martial arts.
Shamrock had enjoyed some success at the regional level as a pro wrestler, before turning to the fight game in Japan. But he really made his name in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship events, eventually earning the “SuperFight” belt, later re-named the UFC Heavyweight Championship, in 1995.
He would later leave the sport to become a popular attraction for World Wrestling Federation in the late 1990’s, before returning to MMA later, for UFC and other promotions.
Shamrock last fought in 2010.
Now, that same promotion where Ken Shamrock made his name known more than twenty years ago, has ignited some controversy by signing WWE performer CM Punk.
Unlike Shamrock, who came into the UFC at age 29, with a wealth of fighting experience from Japan’s Pancrase promotion — Punk, 36, says he has seldom even sparred.
But asked about the pairing ? Shamrock thinks it’s a good fit.
“I think it’s tremendous,” Shamrock said in an interview with Submission Radio with Denis Shkuratov released yesterday. “I mean a lot of guys are complaining, (saying) why is he in there? Listen, I wouldn’t be complaining about why he’s in there, I’d be fighting my tail off to get on the undercard or to fight him. These guys that are complaining are really not looking at the big picture here. It’s about dollars and cents! If he can put people in the seats and build this business to a bigger model, and be able to put more money into your pockets on the card, why are you getting mad about that? I think it’s a great move on the UFC’s part; and we will see if it’s a great move on his part.”
It all has to be approached correctly, Shamrock says.
“Don’t give him a guy that’s a top 10 fighter,” he warns. “That’s not fair, but if they’ll give him a guy that’s got 1-0 as a pro, or 1-1 as a pro, and start him out right like they should have done with Brock Lesnar. They should have probably gotten [Lesnar] guys that didn’t have fifteen fights, and that weren’t an ex-world champion for him to fight on his first, or second, or third fight – and groom this guy.”
The video for the full interview is here: