Ken Shamrock and Brock Lesnar have never crossed paths, either in a professional wrestling ring or MMA octagon, despite similar journeys during their careers. Shamrock’s MMA origins stem all the way back to 1993, which led to a two-and-a-half year run with WWE beginning in 1997 before heading back to the octagon. Lesnar, meanwhile, debuted in the WWE in 2002, crossed over to the UFC in 2008, returned to the squared circle in 2012, only to recently announce he’d be competing at next month’s UFC 200.
Sprinkled in Lesnar and Shamrock’s time with the major promotions you’ll find stints with the likes of TNA, New Japan Pro Wrestling, K-1, Pride, and Bellator, but it’s their work under the umbrellas of WWE and UFC that established their careers as marquee performers in the sports.
So, if anyone can relate to Brock Lesnar’s career path, and most notably his recent one-off defection back to the octagon, it would be Ken Shamrock. But in a recent interview with MMA Fighting (via Daily Wrestling News), Shamrock questioned Lesnar’s motives entering his UFC 200 bout with Mark Hunt.
“I appreciate people making decisions and doing things they want to do but I think he’s jumped back and forth too many times from wrestling to fighting, to wrestling to fighting. I mean this is his third time around I believe. I think it’s going to hurt him, it’s going to mess up his … you’ve got to have consistency. When you’re a professional athlete, you have to do something for a period of time. So if he continues to keep going – oh he did wrestling first and then he did MMA and then he goes back to wrestling and now he’s back to MMA again – I don’t think he’s really stabilized himself or set an example for himself in MMA. I mean he was there a short time, then he was gone. I mean he’s really done more in pro wrestling than he has done in anything else.”
While it’s true that Brock Lesnar made his initial impact on the sports landscape inside a WWE ring, he made a bigger name for himself by entering the mixed martial arts world. And despite his landing in UFC because of a failed attempt at an NFL career, it was his run under Dana White’s watch that made him that much more of an attraction when he returned to Vince McMahon’s lair. Either way, Shamrock isn’t so sure that Lesnar (as blasé as he seems about facing Hunt) has the skill-set necessary to win next month in Las Vegas.
“Well he should have put a little more work into his ground game with his submissions, defensive submissions, and definitely his striking. His striking is horrible. So I think he needed to pay a little bit more attention if he’s gonna come back. He needs to take some time and really focus on that and not just jump back into it because he’s a great wrestler because that’s just not going to get it for him in these days.”
The one lingering question surrounding Lesnar’s return to the octagon remains what happens if he loses to Mark Hunt? What does that do to his reputation upon returning to the WWE one month later? Does it take the shine off arguably the company’s biggest special attraction, and does the WWE have plans in place to be prepared for any outcome in the Lesnar/Hunt showdown? Ken Shamrock seems to have the same questions.
“I think [the UFC and the WWE] are both gonna get something out of it, I’m just not sure it’s gonna be good for him. I hope it is. I really hope he wins because I’d hate to see him lose, even though I like Mark Hunt, but I’d hate to see him lose after having to come back and it doesn’t work out for him. I think it’s gonna hurt him more than it would Mark.”
[Image via WWE]