Frank Shamrock has yet to encounter a situation that is not, at its core, about Frank Shamrock. It just hasn’t happened. It probably never will happen. The main event at EliteXC: Heat last Saturday night is a great example. You remember that one, right?
Kimbo Slice was set to face Ken Shamrock, but instead squared off against (and was quickly defeated by) Seth Petruzelli. You might have seen it. What you probably didn’t know at the time was that this situation was all about Frank Shamrock. He was the grown man with braces calling the fight for CBS. But really, he should have been in there fighting. If he had, MMA history could have been altered. At least, that’s the story he told Sherdog:
“I think it was a mistake to not let me fight [Kimbo Slice],” said Shamrock, who claims he offered to step in to face the notorious streetfighter.
“When I realized we would have to cancel the show, I said, ‘Look, I’ll fight the guy. You know, it’s a great story — little brother steps into the spot, comes out of the booth. It’s very compelling, but we need a fight to happen that’s compelling,’” Frank said. “That went around for hours. Then I put my shirt on and went to work. No one committed to it, so I just kept talking.”
Of course you did, Frank. Because that’s what you do. A lot of talking, and occasionally some fighting.
Look, I’m not saying it wouldn’t have been awesome to see Frank fill in for his older brother. But it wasn’t at all feasible. He wasn’t licensed to take that fight. There was no way the commission would allow a middleweight commentator with no medicals and no clearance to fight to jump in there two hours beforehand, and he knew it. This isn’t Japan, for Pete’s sake.
But that is only a glimpse into the world of Frank Shamrock. The real tragedy last Saturday night, he says, was that it ruined all his hard work in putting together a brother-versus-brother bout:
“The worst thing that could have ever happened was [for] Ken not get in the ring,” Frank said. “Two and a half years for me, I’ve been working on this once-in-a-lifetime event. If it doesn’t happen, it’ll be terrible for everybody, I think.”
Really? You think it will be terrible for everyone if we never see you face your over-the-hill brother? Because I’m not so sure.
For a guy who seemed so talented, who had such great potential, Frank Shamrock’s accomplishments have sure fallen short of his claims to greatness in recent years. His 1999 bout with Tito Ortiz was an instant classic, but instead of building on that he chose to walk away from the sport for a few years. When he came back he had a couple of bouts that weren’t entirely competitive, got himself disqualified for illegal knees against his Renzo Gracie and then blamed the Brazilian for it while avoiding a rematch. He beat a very beatable Phil Baroni and then got kicked from one side of the cage to the other by Cung Le.
And now, for some strange reason, he thinks the fight we’re all dying to see is Frank vs. Ken? Maybe it’s just me, but I think I can live without that one.