Ken Shamrock doesn’t believe Kimbo Slice belongs in MMA: I’ll spank him like a child

Back in 2008, the final EliteXC show took place on CBS and was expected to feature a main event between former UFC fighter Ken…

By: Karim Zidan | 8 years ago
Ken Shamrock doesn’t believe Kimbo Slice belongs in MMA: I’ll spank him like a child
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Back in 2008, the final EliteXC show took place on CBS and was expected to feature a main event between former UFC fighter Ken Shamrock and YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice. A sudden twist of fate forced Shamrock out of the fight on the day of the show due to a cut, which allowed Seth Petruzelli to step in and take his place.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“When I heard that Kimbo had come back and was going to fight in Bellator, that was unfinished business for me,” Shamrock told Submission Radio. “I felt like there were some things that were said on his behalf and on some of the people that were surrounded the Elite XC at the time that really made me angry; and so I had always kept it in the back of my mind that if I ever had the opportunity to set that straight, I would do so.”

Shamrock spent years hearing accusations from the Slice camp about how the UFC legend never wanted to fight him and had manufactured the cut as an elaborate scheme to get himself out of his contractual obligation to the promotion. When he was finally offered the opportunity to face Kimbo again, he immediately jumped on the chance to silence his doubters.

“I made a living of fighting, and fighting a guy like Kimbo who has no experience whatsoever on the ground, I would spank him like a little child. So it was actually a blessing for him that I didn’t fight, because I don’t believe he would have fought again after that fight; but it was what it was, he said the things that he said. My father was in the hospital, he went into a coma and was going through some complications, and I believe that’s what bothered me the most, was when I was going through these difficult times in my life with someone that had really, you know, gave me an opportunity at life and that was a special person in my life. And then for me to be treated and talked to the way that I was during that time by him and his people, was very disrespectful to me. And that’s one of the reasons why in the back of my mind [I thought], if I ever had the opportunity to fix this unsettled business between me and him, I would jump all over it. And we have that opportunity now for me to be able to go in and to really set the record straight on who Kimbo Slice is and who Ken Shamrock is.”

While the fight does bring with it some significant history, few can ignore that Shamrock is over 50 years old and has not competed in professional MMA since 2010. Ken is aware of the scrutiny he will likely face in the coming weeks but I adamant that he has maintained his health over the past few years.

“Well he may be 10 years younger, but I’ve kept myself in shape. I’ve treated my body very well over the years and I stayed in training, and I don’t put on a whole lot of extra weight. I’ve always stayed in shape and I’ve kept myself physically fit, and so when I step in the ring, you’re going to think he’s [Kimbo] the one that’s 10 years older.”

Even though the gap between his upcoming fight and his last one is uncommonly long, especially for a fighter who is over half a century old, Ken is far from concerned. In fact, he does not even think that his opponent belongs in the same sport.

“When I watched Seth Petruzelli go in against him and do what he did against him, I was pretty much convinced that this guy shouldn’t be in MMA, and not even in boxing. The guy couldn’t even make it in boxing. I mean, they tried to handpick fights, they tried to push him, and I think people have finally realized that this thing, that this phenomenon from the website, the YouTube or whatever he came from, and they put him in the ring, and they handpicked fights for him, and blew him up and did a tremendous job. I’m not hacking on these guys. I thought it was a brilliant job for them to do what they did, and keep him around for as long as they did. That was tremendous. I mean that’s a feat that can’t be done again, I’ll almost bet it can’t be done again. So hats off to them for doing it, but that gig is up.”

While it may appear that Ken considered breathing new life into his MMA career, he revealed that his match-up against Kimbo does not mean he plans to resume professional fighting.

“That’s not even a thought. I came out of [retirement] this time because the opportunity arose that I could get a fight that I thought could be entertaining to the fans, and I thought it definitely was entertaining to me, and one that I wanted and that it made sense. So I came out to get that fight. Anything other than that, I’m not interested in right now. Like I said, it’s gotta make sense to me, it’s gotta be a fight I want, it’s gotta be interesting to the fans and it’s gotta make sense; money-sense.”

Transcription taken from Submission Radio.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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