It's a family affair in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) for the Shamrocks.
Last week 43-year-old (soon to be 44) Ken Shamrock announced he was coming out of quasi-retirement to fight alongside his son, Ryan, for EliteXC. Ken's younger adopted brother Frank is the reigning middleweight champ for Strikeforce -- a promotion under the ProElite banner along with EliteXC.
The brothers have had somewhat of a behind the scenes feud going on for years. A fight between the two has been talked about for a while and now its finally going to happen. Frank confirmed a fight with his older brother will take place early next year, according to MMAWeekly.com.
Here's a snip from Frank on the match up:
"Oh yea. Unless I die, it's going to happen."
It's an odd time for Frank to be announcing his plans for a fight in 2009 when he's putting his Strikeforce middleweight title on the line against a very dangerous Cung Le on March 29.
Apparently Frank felt it was important to announce the fight now so there would be plenty of build up to what he is calling, "the biggest fight in mixed martial arts history."
Here's more from Frank:
"This will be the first fight that has a solid 13 to 14 months of marketing behind it and real story lines, real stars. I think this is the fight that's going to change the sport of mixed marital arts, make it more talent oriented instead of company oriented. This is the story that everyone can understand. Even if you don't like fighting, you get the story. You get the storyline. You get the characters. You get the players. I think this is what breaks our sport open to the masses, for real."
I have to agree, there is nothing like a fight to settle a sibling rivalry. I'm looking forward to this one. Even if these guys are getting up there in age, there's still something appealing to me about two brothers trying to settle years of frustration with their fists.
While Frank is the 185-pound champ, Ken has fought most of his professional fights at heavyweight. It would no doubt be a little much for a 44 year old fighter to cut down to a weight he's never fought at before.
Therefore, the two agreed to meet in the middle and will fight at light heavyweight.
"I do know the weight will be at 205. That's what Ken wanted. The where doesn't matter. The when will be the first quarter of 2009. The how will be right hand, left hook, right hand, and then that will be it."
Ahhh yes ... what better way to start the hype then with some good old fashioned shit talking. With at least a year until the fight expect to hear more of the same in the months ahead.