MMAFrenzy.com’s Orlando Mac recently had the opportunity to interview former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion and EliteXC announcer Frank Shamrock.
Enjoy the interview…
Orlando Mac: Tell us about Frank Shamrock?
Frank Shamrock: I see myself as a fairly normal guy, that lives a somewhat extraordinary life.
Orlando Mac: You recently lost to Cung Le in an epic battle in San Jose (which had to be the best fight all year), tell us what was going through your mind during the fight. What was your game plan?
Frank Shamrock: I was just having fun, I wasnâ€™t stressed by Cung Le or anything. For me it was a very exciting joyful time. I did feel my arm break, that kind of sucked, I didnâ€™t think it would stop me.
Orlando Mac: When did you feel that?
Frank Shamrock: In the first round, but I have broken a lot of things and it has never stopped me, but when the bone separated and displaced it hurt pretty bad. I enjoyed the fight though.
Orlando Mac: What would you do differently in a rematch?
Frank Shamrock: For Cung I would just pressure him more instead of playing with him. I would pressure him and put him to sleep. I played with him because Cung is boring, you know he throws cool kicks and does fun things but as a character he is kind of boring. I thought it was my job make it exciting, make him exciting, and it worked. Unfortunately, I broke my arm, thatâ€™s the problem with fighting occasionally you will hurt yourself.
During the fight, I was doing what I wanted to do, and Cung was getting the hell beat out of him.
Orlando Mac: How has it been recovering from the broken arm, what is the prognosis?
Frank Shamrock: Itâ€™s been good. They put a plate in it, I am doing light rehab and recovery. I figure in a couple of months they will take the plate back out, and then I have a little more rehab and I am back to work again.
Orlando Mac: Will we have the pleasure of seeing a rematch with Cung Le?
Frank Shamrock: With Cung, yeah I definitely think so. It is something I can build up to be a big exciting match. I donâ€™t think Cung will fight me again, but I certainly think I can make it happen, and make it pretty big, money talks.
Orlando Mac: There was talk of a Shamrock vs. Shamrock battle is that going to happen soon?
Frank Shamrock: I am still working on that, it is my next big project that I am working on.
Orlando Mac: There has been some bad blood between you both, is there anything you would like to say to Ken?
Frank Shamrock: To Ken no, Ken and I know how we feel about each other. All families have their problems. Ken and I have just been in the public eye for so long. I just would like a chance to fight him. I think itâ€™s something very important that needs to happen, and I think he feels the same way.
Orlando Mac: Many fight fans would love to see you in against Anderson Silva, as you would challenge him greatly, is it possible to get you back into the UFC?
Frank Shamrock: Well anything’s possible and I would certainly like to fight Anderson Silva. My direction has been traveling differently then the UFC and I donâ€™t know I donâ€™t have any plans to do it and to be with those guys. But who knows never say never, cause as soon as I say never then the opposite always happens.
Orlando Mac: If you could get anyone else into the cage to fight. Who would it be?
Frank Shamrock: I would fight George Bush I think that would be a good fight. I believe there is a course for me and believe this is to fight Ken next, then probably to fight Tito Ortiz, then to probably fight Cung Le again. Then after that the problem is we are running out of stars.
I like Cung Le but he needs to become a bigger star and I can help him with that, there is no other real fights out there that make a lot of sense that are really exciting and sexy, that a large part of the public will come out to see. Those three guys are pretty much built in, hopefully CBS will build some new super stars that I can fight, I am kind of relying on them to do some work for me.
Orlando Mac: If you were building a monster fighter like Frankenstein which fighters out there would you tap for their ability to kick, and whose brains would you use?
Frank Shamrock: I would have to say my brain because there is no one smarter than me in the sport but we could probably use a computer for a brain that would be fun. I would definitely take the balance and flexibility of BJ Penn; I would take the punching power and confidence in stand-up of Fedor; the submission abilities of Nogueira or Penn again would be tremendous in submission abilities; wrestling skills I would revive Mark Schultz and take his take-down abilities.
Orlando Mac: With your experience as a fighter, instructor, and coach, if I gave you a $100 bucks to bet on each of these next 5 fights who would win and why?
Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine
Frank Shamrock: Wanderlei Silva
Orlando Mac: Phil Baroni vs Ninja Rua
Frank Shamrock: Phil Baroni
Orlando Mac: Tim Sylvia vs Fedor Emelianenko
Frank Shamrock: Fedor will crush him.
Orlando Mac: Brock Lesnar vs Mark Coleman
Frank Shamrock: Lesnar is going to crush poor Mark.
Orlando Mac: Frank Shamrock vs Cung Le
Frank Shamrock: I will definitely smash Cung.
Orlando Mac: If you had to train for a kicking specialist who would you train with to prepare yourself?
Frank Shamrock: Maurice Smith.
Orlando Mac: What would surprise most fight fans about you?
Frank Shamrock: My propensity for reading, as well as I generally care for people and have a lot of empathy for just people in general. I think that always comes across weird and unexpected.
Orlando Mac: What do you love about the fight game?
Frank Shamrock: I like the camaraderie and the community of the people necessary to get you there.
Orlando Mac: What do you hate about the industry?
Frank Shamrock: I hate the politics.
Orlando Mac: What is it that you look forward to every morning?
Frank Shamrock: I look forward to seeing my daughter smile when I wake up and then going to work.
Orlando Mac: What is it that most people donâ€™t appreciate about fighting?
Frank Shamrock: The mental and spiritual side of it the art itself. I think most people are fighting and working out and I think very few people are studying the art.
Orlando Mac: Having trained with some great fighters who was the best?
Frank Shamrock: The best fighter that I have ever seen with the most skill all around I would say is BJ Penn. He has physical skills far beyond other athletes out there. I am an exceptional athlete, he is a exceptionally blessed athlete. He has physical abilities well beyond what other people could even acquire.
His mental and his cardio have always been a problem but the rest of him is phenomenal.
Orlando Mac: Who gave you the most difficulty in all the fights you have had?
Frank Shamrock: The most difficult psychologically was fighting Enson Enouie, and the most difficult physically was fighting Tito Ortiz.
Orlando Mac: Who do you think is pound for pound the toughest fighter out there?
Frank Shamrock: I think the one that is most looked at would be probably George St. Pierre now.
Orlando Mac: Who is the best fighter ever?
Frank Shamrock: I would say myself, it would have to be me. [laughs]
Orlando Mac: Who is the best up and coming fighter that you have seen?
Frank Shamrock: That is a tough one, but one of the guys that I have seen who has the most amount of potential is Donnie Liles out of Colorado who was on my IFL Team. Heâ€™s just one of those super athletic, and talented guys.
Orlando Mac: If you were a matchmaker, which fight, would you like to see? Why?
Frank Shamrock: I go for the story behind it, the marketing, the promotion, and the story line. The fights to me are usually bad displays of semi-technical fighting. I really believe people go to see the play, as opposed to the fight. The entertainment as opposed to the violence, Iâ€™m one of those people who want to be entertained.
Orlando Mac: Having fought and coached at many events, what is the weirdest thing you ever saw?
Frank Shamrock: The weirdest thing was I saw Harold Howard get knocked out after he won, by a swinging light at the old UFC. Then I saw them wake him up and send him back out for his next tournament match-up fifteen minutes later. That was pretty weird.
Orlando Mac: Is there a special message that you have for someone in the fight game?
Frank Shamrock: There is a girl named Jamie Harris in Oklahoma who is my biggest fan and who is a fantastic martial artist, and I want to tell her to keep training.
Orlando Mac: Who is the nicest person behind the scenes?
Frank Shamrock: The nicest person I have ever met was Chuck Norris, I met him in a restaurant and then I worked with him on the Texas Walker show, after-wards I went to his house and actually worked out with him.
Orlando Mac: What is your routine before a fight?
Frank Shamrock: I get up late; I have a light breakfast; I read for several hours; watch a movie; then I take a big nap; I eat a light lunch; I meditate for about 30 to 40 minutes; then I go to the arena; warm up with light calisthenics; do martial arts/fighting techniques to complete my warm-up; then I go to my partner techniques kicking and punching; I move to bag/mitt techniques; then I cool down; meditate; then go out and fight.
Orlando Mac: Have you ever been hurt in a warm-up?
Frank Shamrock: No I go pretty light in warm-up, only when warming other people up do I get hurt. Maurice kicks the crap out of me, when he is warming up for his fight and I probably do the same to other people, but I have never been hurt by it.
Orlando Mac: Tell us about how it felt like climbing into the ring for the first time, against Bas Rutten of all things?
Frank Shamrock: I was so scared, that I really donâ€™t remember what it felt like. It was all kind of surreal , like a dream or a movie, the whole fight was that way. Then the bell rang to start, it was such an adrenaline rush that I was so amped up that the whole fight went by before I had a clear thought. Then the bell rang to end the fight, and they raised my hand and I was like, â€œWoah that was it?â€ It was pretty amazing!
I had two conscious moments in the fight, one was when he kicked me with a hard leg kick and I remember going, â€œOw that hurts!â€ The other was when he kicked me in the nose with a front kick, where he broke my nose, and I remember the pain of my nose breaking. I remember thinking, â€œOh, I gotta do this, shoot in or something.”
Orlando Mac: Who do you respect most in the industry?
Frank Shamrock: The person I respect the most is my boxing coach Tony De Maria, he has taught me patience, how to love more, and how to turn that love into passion.
Fighting is spiritual if it is done right.
Orlando Mac: Has your wife given birth yet?
Frank Shamrock: Yes she gave birth a few weeks ago.
Orlando Mac: Kenâ€™s son is fighting would your son ever consider taking up your profession?
Frank Shamrock: I donâ€™t know about my son. Iâ€™ve always let him make his own decisions, and I have never pushed him. It would be ok if he wanted to do it, but I would never encourage him to. I think my son saw me carried out of the gym and to the hospital far too many times to even think it was a good idea. Once he saw that, he decided he was going to go to college.
Orlando Mac: Is there something you would like to say to the fans?
Frank Shamrock: Thank you for always supporting me! I love my fans and they have always supported me, that is important to me, and is tremendous.
Orlando Mac: What are you doing with yourself right now?
Frank Shamrock: I am on paternity leave, I have taken a month off, and I am working about an hour or two a day on my computer, and building my businesses.
Orlando Mac: What is Frank Shamrock doing over the next year?
Frank Shamrock: Iâ€™ll make a couple of films; Iâ€™ll have at least one fight probably two; I am launching my vitamin line; expanding my martial arts franchises; expanding my law enforcement training business; and keeping busy.
Orlando Mac: Youâ€™re a very talented fighter people still wonder why you left on a high earlier in your career?
Frank Shamrock: It was a personal choice. I didnâ€™t want to waste my talent, and have nobody see it. I waited until the eyeballs came back, and the sport got to where it is supposed to be. Now I have ten more years to get the message out.
Orlando Mac: Thank you once again for taking the time out to talk to the people here at MMAFrenzy.com. Cheers.