Bad news: it’s starting to look like this thing is really happening. Worse news: as if the combatants themselves weren’t awful enough, the injection of special rules qualify it as an early runner for the least-meaningful highly-publicized fight ever.
There’s really no easy way to tell you this, so we’re just going to come right out and say it: As first reported by BJPenn.com, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and trash-talking boxing champ turned Randy Couture choke-victimJames Toney have agreed to face each other in an MMA bout this fall. The original report pegged the match to an unnamed event in El Paso, Texas, on September 23rd, but Toney’s trainer Trever Sherman says the bout could happen in September or October, and that Texas was simply the most likely location at this point; more details will be hashed out this weekend between the two fighters’ camps.
(Since this sculpture seemed to be a major talking point…)
Minoru Suzuki was born 43 years ago.
Why he matters: One of the co-founders of Pancrase — the pre-cursor to the UFC — Suzuki was of the best Japanese submission specialists of his era. He holds wins over Ken Shamrock, Vernon White, Matt Hume and Guy Mezger and Maurice Smith. A former Olympic alternate freestyle wrestler for Japan and former Japanese freestyle wrestling national champion, Suzuki retired from MMA competition in 2002 with a record of 27-20 to focus on professional wrestling, in which he is still active today.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/MrDartzero)
Many MMA luminaries from Bas Rutten and Ken Shamrock to Josh Barnett count Suzuki as one of THE best catch wrestlers the sport has ever known.
Ken Shamrock spoke Fight Network Radio recently and stated that he believes that if the UFC would look past their personal and legal issues and give him a rubbermatch with Royce Gracie at UFC Rio in August, they will sell out and set pay-per-view records much like his pair of fights with Tito Ortiz did.
($kala got yo’ eyeballs all up on EliteXC. Mission accomplished.)
With the recent news that ProElite has risen from its the ashes to make an offer on Strikeforce before Zuffa quashed them like the insignificant mosquito that they’ve always been known as, inquiring minds have begun asking who will be at the helm of the company’s latest incarnation.
One name you won’t see on any of ProElite’s offices is Jared Shaw.
The former EliteXC matchmaker who used to prefer to be known as his hip hop name $kala says he is done in the MMA business.
In a recent interview he did with Sherdog’s Jeff Sherwood, Shaw says he is concentrating on boxing and rapping and shed some light on the reasons he says ProElite and EliteXC collapsed.
(“So, which one of you broads is the lucky lady?” PicProps: Esther Lin)
We never thought we’d say this, but Old Dad’s latest “My First Fight” piece with Frank Shamrock actually makes us look at the metal-mouthed Strikeforce color commentator in a whole new, halfway positive light. Say what you want about his broadcasting skills (oh, and we do, we do) but after reading this story on MMA Fighting.com it’s hard not to consider the man’s life on the whole an overwhelming and unlikely success story. As an added perk, you also find out why Shamrock’s nose looks so funny on TV. It’s because when he was 24 years old, Bas Rutten kicked him in the face.
We’ll get to that in a minute. First though, this gem: Within the first two graphs of the narrative, our man Fowlkes deftly tells us that Shamrock may have been the first and last person in the history of mankind to (fresh out of prison) find himself deciding between a career as a health care professional, a mixed martial arts fighter and a male stripper. Channeling his 1994 self, Shammy explains thusly: “I was going to be a physical therapist or an exotic dancer, or I was going to do this no-holds-barred fighting thing that Ken (Shamrock) was doing. And I didn’t know anything about any of them.”
A decade later we all know the path Shamrock chose, in the process likely saving the bachelorettes of the early Clinton years an incredibly awkward night they would remember forever …
("When the first thing a doctor says to you is ‘Can I get an autograph?’ it’s pretty easy to get any drugs you want." Photo courtesy of UFC.com)
By CagePotato contributor Jason Moles
Coming off a loss to Jorge Oliveira in December, James Irvin returned to action last weekend at Gladiator Challenge: Young Guns 4 — and he would have gotten his much-needed rebound victory, if it wasn’t for the meddling of celebrity referee Ken Shamrock. (Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.) Freak occurrences have plagued Irvin’s career from the beginning, and that night was no different. "The Sandman" recently gave us on opportunity to chat with him about his anti-climactic match against Mike Crisman, his battle with painkiller addiction, and his plan to make another run in the UFC.
CAGEPOTATO.COM:First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us at CagePotato. Tell me a little about the physical toll your body has taken after fighting three times in the past four months. JAMES IRVIN: It’s been good for me. It’s tough, but I’ve been doing this for ten years. In shape, out of shape, and back into shape again. Kinda like what Chris Leben said — it keeps me sharp. I fight again on February 20th and have two fights in March, one in May. I train best when it’s intense and there’s nothing more intense than training for a fight.
Speaking of fights, your last one ended after an inadvertent illegal knee to the head of your opponent. As a result, Ken Shamrock ruled the fight a No Contest. What really went down in the cage? Honestly, three weeks ago Ken turned down a fight with me, so as soon as I saw that he was going to be the ref I had a bad feeling. He kept coming back to the locker room to give us his version of the rules like this was my first rodeo. As for Crisman, I beat the brakes off this fool. I KO’d the guy and walked away before Shamrock even got there, and two minutes later, he says I illegally kneed him and it’s a no contest. It’s cool. I don’t have a scratch on me, and [Gladiator Challenge promoter] Tedd Williams says I can rematch Crisman in May.
("When you put your focus on one thing, you tend not to focus on the journey. Once you get there, it’s not going to be as big of a deal as you thought it was going to be.")
This Saturday, Rich Franklin will step into the Octagon for the 18th time to face Forrest Griffin in the co-headlining feature of UFC 126. During his 12-year career, Ace has experienced everything from championship glory to bitter defeat, and now stands as one of the sport’s most revered statesmen. “I think that what people will remember me for is that I’m a tough competitor who’s put on entertaining fights for the fans all these years," Franklin tells CagePotato. "And I’m happy with that kind of legacy.”
Rich was generous enough to give us some phone-time recently, and instead of asking him about his gameplan for Forrest, we discussed Franklin’s career as a whole, from the moment he decided to pursue MMA as a full-time job, to the fight that changed his life, to every other notable moment that helped forge the fighter he is today. Let’s begin…
The Early Days, 1993-1999 Rich Franklin: “I started training in traditional martial arts in 1993, then I saw the first couple UFCs and started doing some jiu-jitsu. I was training at a Royce Gracie chapter here in Cincinnati, and the guy who was leading my class was a blue belt. By today’s standards, if the best you had in your area was a blue belt, you’d be way behind the times, but in 1994 it was a big deal to have that kind of a resource. So I was doing jiu-jitsu, working with kickboxing coaches, and of course I’d been watching the UFC, learning off instructional tapes and all those kinds of things.
I started fighting at these little local amateur shows out in Richmond, Indiana, and clearly at that point in time, I was just light-years ahead of the competition that was showing up at the event. The promoter told me, ‘These are amateur events, I don’t really have anybody for you to fight.’ But there was a gentleman there who said, ‘You know what, I run a pro show, and I’ll pay you to fight." And he offered me 200 bucks. I was like, ‘Wow, I can make money fighting? This is great. I’m gonna make 200 bucks." I was bankin’.
RICH FRANKLIN (5-0) vs. AARON BRINK (7-4) — Franklin’s first regional title fight IFC: Warriors Challenge 11, 1/13/01 Result: No contest due to accidental injury, after Brink’s leg slipped through the cage.
As we recently learned, the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will be coached by a grumpy mountain man who probably won’t spend any more time on set than he absolutely needs to, and a Brazilian dynamo whose grasp on the English language is limited to simple phrases like “I believe too much in my boxing” and “tub you are a cold — so we’re not expecting a verbal rivalry on par with Tito/Ken or Rampage/Rashad. Still, it’s TUF, so somebody’s gonna get told at some point. Can this season’s insults possibly stack up to some of our past favorites?
#5: “You’re like an expert swimmer who’s never been in a pool.”
Matt Serra’s epic dress-down of Marc Laimon was his star-making moment — and a firm bitch-smack to every sideline-hater who talks tough without any intention of actually backing up his words. A year later, Serra was coaching that damn show.
Like a Katy Perry song, it’s annoying as hell, and yet you can’t get it out of your head. “Bro, you’re a male nurse” — I say that to all my friends now, no matter what their professions actually are. And it aggravates them too.
As you may recall, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock scored a rare victory over Jonathan Ivey last month at a USA MMA event in Lousiana. If you’d like to see the full 15-minute battle, the video is currently in our "Fight of the Week" section over on the right. (Scroll down a bit. Yeah, there it is.) The above highlights package from Inside MMA saves you a lot of time by rounding up the important moments, like when Ivey knocks Shammy down, and later when he slaps his own titties and shouts at Ken to bring it on, like an enraged, diabetic Nick Diaz.
But the best moment comes right before the end of the fight when Ivey does a pair of somersaults for no apparent reason; we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was rolling for a kneebar, then dodged out of the way when he couldn’t catch it. Kenny Rice describes it both as a "Rerun impression" and "the dreidel defense." Oy vey, Ivey!