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An Interview With Ken Shamrock — Part 2

By Zach Heim, with Chad Blessinger

In part one of our exclusive interview with Ken Shamrock, we caught up with “The World’s Dangerous Man” and previewed his upcoming bout with Kimbo Slice. In part two, we delve into some of Shamrock’s recent business ventures, as well as preview his upcoming bare-knuckle match against Knuckle star James Quinn McDonagh.

CagePotato: It seems that you are busier this year than you’ve ever been. Self-defense and fitness (ProFit101), with the energy drink, and your ministry to name a few endeavors. Have you always been this busy or are you consciously keeping yourself really busy at this point?

I’ve made a change in my life, eight or nine years back, the time has come for me to really start looking at opportunities to build different businesses off of what I’ve already created. I’ve been sifting through different types of people that I’ve brought in to find out whether it’s a good fit or not a good fit, and let a lot of people go along the way because they just didn’t fit. I’m at a point right now where I have the right nucleus with my team. We are really, really in overdrive now because I have the right people in place that a lot of great things are happening.

I’ve got SEPA, which is Shamrock Executive Protection Agency. A lot of people heard about me doing the personal protection stuff, but I didn’t tell anybody why I was doing it. It was fun, it was entertaining, but the real reason I was doing it was I was building my own business. I now have a website. I now have a team. I will be moving in that direction where I will be offering services to different types of venues, functions and people for protection at a high end which is something nobody else is doing. I’m doing tier one operators along with mma, mixing the two together and now you have the ultimate in protection. I am bringing that to the surface where there will be nobody out there like it. That is the reason why I was indulging and going into that protection agency. It wasn’t that I wanted to go out there and work personally myself doing that stuff, which I will, but it was really just to get an idea and understanding of how the business worked. I’ve done that. We’ve got a business plan but together. We got investors coming on board so that’s getting ready to launch.

We’ve also got a science drink we have been working on for quite some time, trying to get it right. I know Michael Lajtay, who was the one that actually made the drink, asked me “what is it, if I was an athlete, and I was in a performance sport, what would I want in a drink?”  I thought to myself, this is a great opportunity because I have always in my mind wanted certain things at different times. I thought to myself, “Man, if I could just have an energy drink that would give me energy while replacing my electrolytes and also building muscle at the same time…” So I said to him, “I’ll do that but only if you are able to make that drink to my specs because I believe there is no other drink like this out there. If you can do this we’ve got something special.” I gave him all of the stuff I wanted in it, he went to work and did an amazing job. We locked this thing down in two tries. You talk to anybody and that’s impossible…and made it taste good. This drink is top of the line. If people taste it and they look at the ingredients in it they will just be doing backflips, especially athletes. There goes Gatorade and Mineral Water and all that stuff because here comes Shamrock Slam. I really think it’s going to jump and take the market. So we’re excited about that. We are going to launch the same time as my fight.

I also have a Pro Rage management company which goes along with the Fighters Source, the largest amateur fight league in the world, I am now owner of. We have jumped onboard with these guys and we love their idea. We love the direction they are going. We want to be a part of them. The excitement to work with amateur fighters who win these tournaments we have, the titles and stuff; we are looking to build these amateur athletes and moving them forward into the pro leagues. We want to help them understand obstacles and decisions that have to be made during the transition from amateur to pro. So our Pro Rage is something we’re very proud of because we get to help amateur fighters make the money that they should make and be able to make the right decisions for their careers.

Fighters Source (www.fighterssource.com), we love that man. All these young athletes, these amateurs, if you’re not in Fighters Source or on a team to be in Fighter’s Source, as an amateur you need to check into this.  I promise you if you go through a season with Fighters Source, the amount of experience and the amount and the level of your challenge will be second to none. We are very proud to be a part of Fighters Source and help these young athletes. I could go on about other stuff we have going on but that is the nucleus there.

Are there any agreements with Bellator, UFC, King of the Cage or other outfits with Fighters Source to feed into those organizations?

No. I think if do that you limit yourself. Your market has to be open. We like the direction Bellator is going in. Obviously UFC is always out there because they are the top dog right now. But we really love the direction Bellator’s going and we’re really trying to get some of these athletes an opportunity to at least go in there and get some experience and fight some top level guys before they start making the move into fighting guys who are 5-0 or 7-0 going into another organization. You’ve got to build yourself up to those type of fights. So that’s why we really want to make sure that moving forward with these athletes that they make good decisions so they’re able to further their careers so that when they step into a title fight they’re not burned out or anything or hurt.

With Fighters Source, do you work with the fighters personally or do you have a team that does it or is it actually you in there talking to them and in contact with them?

Well, I’m also going to be the color announcer on there but I’m also the Director of Communications, which means I deal with all the media sources, all interviews and I deal with the communication with the athletes. I am hands on with these guys. This year I will be starting at that job and I will be speaking to every one of these kids. I will have contact with all of them.

The other big thing going on with you this year is the bare-knuckle boxing fight with Knuckle star James Quinn McDonagh. Is this still going on?

Absolutely. We know it is in the first part of September, but don’t have an exact date set yet. That fight is definitely going to happen. I’m very excited about that one. Obviously that fight would have happened (already) if not for my desire to get in the ring with Kimbo. I wanted that one and we reached out. We were able to get it. Both organizations, promoters, were very good about this, allowing me to be able to do both these fights.

Is there a contract of any kind for this to be televised? How are people going to be able to see this?

Yeah, this bare-knuckle fight is definitely going to be seen on pay-per-view. We are already working on different types of pay-per-view venues. We are very excited about it. In fact, the venues themselves are vying for the fight. The actual pay-per-view, they are actually very excited for the fight. I believe there are going to be such huge numbers when you talk about bare-knuckles because people were drawn to that in the very beginning of MMA or “no holds barred.” It wasn’t submissions. It wasn’t fighters. It was bare-knuckle that drew people to come see these events. As time went on, people got educated. There is more to see and more to know and more to follow. When it got started people came because it was bare-knuckle and no rules.

I agree. I think there is an untapped market there. I think it’s an exciting new venue and look forward to watching you compete in it.

It’s not about competing with MMA though. It’s about having a venue, whether you’re a boxing fan or an mma fan, there’s a venue now where you get to watch what you’ve been wanting to see for a while. Where people get taken down, you see people screaming “stand ‘em up.” You know, it’s been that way ever since the beginning until now that people get frustrated because they are on the ground too long. Now people have a choice. They can watch mma but also now they wanna really see what it’s like for guys to stand up and go at it. We are going to give them that.

Q. Back to the Kimbo Slice fight. It seems Bellator has booked a featherweight title fight and Michael Chandler on the card as well. Do you know when they are going to put out the rest of the card or is that just something that’s going to be in progress?

Yeah I have not idea. My focus right now is on training and preparing myself for the 19th of June to go out there and take care of unfinished business.

Q. Any strategy or anything you can share that people might be interested in hearing?

It’s not going to be a shock to anybody. I believe I can take him standing up or on the ground. I hear some dumb comments “well, he hits hard,” “he’s powerful,” he’s quick,” “he’s maybe too big.” I’m thinking to myself these people are uneducated to who Ken Shamrock is because Ken Shamrock fought everybody. Whether they were big, small, green, yellow, white, it doesn’t matter man. It’s how I made my career was fighting everybody and anybody.

Is this a one-and-done with Bellator or do you have a multi-fight contract?

Yeah, I’m not sure. Like I said, when we reached out to Bellator we wanted this fight. They were excited about it, we were excited about it. We put it together. The fans wanted it. We put it together. We’re gonna do it. What happens after that I guess we’ll see.

Q. A final thing on a different note – I’m an MMA collector. I know you do some private autograph signings, and have done public events for Bellator and a lot of events over your career. What do you think about the fans you typically meet at these events, who want nothing more than to meet you guys and get your autographs? Any thoughts on that part of your job?

To me, I make sure the fans know that I very much appreciate their support because without them none of this is possible. It just blows me away when I see the fans that wanted things to happen so bad yet the promoters don’t listen to them, the fighters don’t listen to them. A lot of times the fans are just kind of force fed what they are supposed to see.  If they realized that they are the most important people in any event, that without them, there is no event – there is no basketball, there is no baseball, there’s no football, there’s no nothing. Fan base is the number one thing in sports to be successful.  We need fans, therefore they should be appreciated.

You want to tell everybody where they can follow you? At KenShamrock.com you have a blog that you update…

Yeah, Kenshamrock.com. I’m making a point for fans this time to be able to follow this ride with me for the next 3 to 4 months as I go through these two different fights I have planned. I have a blog and the way you do that is go on the website, I update my blog at least once a month and we’ve got pictures of my training, we have comments from my training. You are able to go on there and look at that and if you go to my contact page you can leave your information or your comments about what you think of my training or the different types of things we have posted on there. And we get back to you. I’m very very much involved in my blog page and in the comments and I’m definitely conversing with my fans. We want you to get on board and enjoy this journey with me because without you I really do realize that my life would be so much more, so different if I didn’t have what I have today. And I wouldn’t have what I have today without the fans. Get on there and check it out at kenshamrock.com, check out my blog, go onto the contact page, leave your comments and we’ll get back to you.

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