On September 21, 1993, Ken Shamrock made his professional MMA debut when he took on (and defeated) Masakatsu Funaki. From that point until his retirement back on November 25, 2010, Shamrock had one of the most elusive careers in MMA history, earning him one of the first inductions in the UFC Hall of Fame.
Fast forward from Ken Shamrock’s retirement date to now. On Friday, June 19, 2015, Shamrock will be stepping into an MMA ring for the first time in about five years. He is going to fight a man he was supposed to fight back in 2008: Kimbo Slice. The question that needs to be asked is why is Shamrock even bothering to come out of retirement for such a fight. Fortunately for MMA fans, Ken Shamrock recently explained his reasons why.
Back on June 10, 2015, Ken Shamrock made an in-call appearance on the MMA H.E.A.T. podcast in accordance to the upcoming premier event Bellator 138. The audio (in the form of a YouTube video) from the podcast has been recorded and attached below for people to listen to. Ken Shamrock’s part starts at the 10-minute mark.
Though most of the questions for Ken Shamrock were aimed toward his upcoming fight against Kimbo Slice, MMA Weekly pointed out an important part of the interview in which Shamrock explains his reasons on why he is returning to fight. This is actually significant because the MMA community — both fans and professionals in the industry — have accused Shamrock of continuously fighting way past his prime, something Shamrock finally realized just five years ago when he retired. So why is Ken Shamrock coming out of retirement to fight Kimbo Slice? Here is the reason he gave on the podcast.
“I’m trying to put myself on the opposite side of the question when people ask me, ‘why are you doing this?’ And I keep getting the same question, over and over again. I’m trying to put myself on the other side of that so I understand why it is that I keep getting asked the same question. And I think the reason being is that it’s probably difficult for someone to understand.”
If that was the reason why Ken Shamrock is stepping into an MMA ring against Kimbo Slice, then it wasn’t. The MMA community found this to be unsatisfactory. Fortunately for them, Shamrock provided more insight in an illustrative disclosure.
“I’m not really gaining anything [by returning to the cage]. I’m not looking to gain anything. I’m hoping to live my life to its fullest. I really enjoy what I do.
“I enjoy sparring, I enjoy game planning, setting strategies, and working with a group of people to accomplish a goal. In the end, when you accomplish that goal, there’s no better feeling in the world than to have a group of people who set out on a journey and they accomplish the goal they set out on together with all the plans working out the way you wanted them to. You’re standing there at the end getting your hand raised and everyone is in the zone, endorphins are running; it’s a great feeling. I don’t know what to compare it to but it’s a feeling you never want to lose but you know it’s going to have to go away.”
From the above statement, Ken Shamrock has finally revealed why he is returning to fight in MMA: He likes to win but loves the journey to earn that win. Ergo, Shamrock might possibly be thinking his fight against Kimbo Slice will be an easy win given the fact he believes he can finish Slice in the first round. Despite how selfish the reasoning sounds as pointed out by many in the MMA community, Ken Shamrock at least wants others to enjoy the ride along with him.
“I’m going to live this thing as long as I can live it. I’m going to enjoy this thing as long as I’m allowed to enjoy it, and I wish that people would enjoy it with me.”
[Image via Bellator MMA]