(“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, Oh, and just in case you’ve ever stopped in the middle of your day and thought to yourself, “Man, I bet it sucks to be Ken Shamrock’s adoptive brother” well, friends, you don’t know the half of it. We’ve read in the past about the ridiculous bullshit Kenny used to make dudes do during their “Lion’s Den tryouts” and it turns out he didn’t make any exceptions for little bro. He actually probably made it worse.
“You did 500 squats, 500 sit-ups, 500 leg-lifts, 250 push-ups, then you fought Ken for 20 minutes,” Frank says. “After that it took me about four days before I could walk down the stairs again. I was just traumatized, and I didn’t know you could tap. Ken was tearing my ankles and knees out, and I was just taking it. I didn’t know you could tap and I was trying to be this tough guy. That was my intro to (fighting).”
Ken must have been duly impressed, because he immediately fast-forwarded Frank into the 1994 King of Pancrase tournament in Japan. Hi first-ever opponent? You guessed it: Rutten, a guy who already had eight MMA fights under his belt (that we know about). To hear Shamrock tell it, it sounds like first-things-first Bas came out and kicked him in the face with wrestling shoes on, pretty much obliterating his nose. The effects can still be seen in stunning high definition every time Strikeforce puts on a show.
“He had that old man strength,” Shamrock remembers. “He was just super strong, and he absolutely smacked the shit out of me five or six times … I had maybe two or three moments of clarity in the whole fight. One was when I took him down and I remember the feeling of kind of floating through the air. Another was when he was front choking me and he said, ‘Aha, I’ve got you!’ You know, in that booming Bas voice of his? He was weird like that; Bas was always talking to me. He’s the one who taught me to talk to people in fights …
“I remember a couple points in the match kind of looking up and thinking, my God, I’m fighting this crazy bald guy in front of a bunch of people in Japan. How did this happen? The 10 minutes seemed like literally 40 seconds. Then they rang the bell and it was over.”
Shamrock defeated Rutten by decision, but lost by submission to a different opponent later in the night. Nonetheless, one of MMA’s most, um, interesting personalities was born. For the genuinely sobering quotes about prison, childhood abuse and Shamrock’s initial thoughts on the sport itself, do yourself a favor and read the original story.